View Full Version : Film suggestions for a Holga?
A friend of mine just recently received a Holga as a gift, and I'd like to surprise her with 2-4 rolls of film for it. The only problem is, I'm a digital shooter (shh!) and can use some help with the following questions:
1) I had in mind a roll or two of medium-ish speed (100-200) color for sunny days and a roll or two of fast-ish speed (200-800) black and white for indoor use. My friend does not develop her own film, so I'm looking for film that's tolerant of (possibly inept) lab processing, will handle a Holga's light leaks etc gracefully, and is a colorful/contrasty film that will make pleasing prints straight from the lab. Anyone have any suggestions for brand/types of film for this? If I'm going about this all wrong, what are some other films that'd work well for a Holga and that my local camera store will most likely have in stock? Should I try some high-speed color film instead for indoor people shots?
2) This is embarassing... I'm supposed to ask for 120 size film for her Holga, right? I don't have much experience with purchasing film for formats outside of 35mm and don't want to accidentally pick up the wrong size.
Thanks in advance!
Yep, 120 size. For b&w, the chromogenic c41 films work well, they are nice and contrasty, and they can be exposed between 200 and 800 ISO and the results usually come out very good with standard processing. I'll leave the color films up to someone else.
Fuji Reala CS is a great ISO100 film. Good balance between being saturated and normal colors and really quite cheap too :) It should be quite fun to use in a Holga.
I'd also grab a roll or two of Plus-X for the B&W. It's rated as ISO125 which would make it a good match for the Reala in terms of where and when to use it.
The Holga manual, yes, there is a manual for the Holga, suggest Tri X or similar film. From experience the 400 speed Tri X work well with the Holga I would not suggest going slower as the camera only has two alleged apertures, f8 and 11.
This said may I offer a general statement, I don't think the film matters, it is a Holga. The photos taken with it will be funky cool no matter what film is in it.
The higher the speed the better with a Holga. 100 speed film is about useless, although using Efke 125 and developing it in Diafine is OK on really bright subjects.
If you are not going to be doing any special development, then stick with something in the 400 to 800 range.
the camera only has two alleged apertures, f8 and 11.
You are right the camera has two ALLEGED apertures, but actually they are the same aperture, around f8 ish.
I've used iso400 film in my Holga but found it's too light sensitive when it comes to bright sunny days. iso200 would be better IMO.
For format, choose anything you like between 35mm film and 120 film. :) Adapting the Holga (http://shardsofphotography.blogspot.com/2006/02/holga-mod.html) to take smaller formats than 120 film is easy.
I have found that 400 is the best speed for the Holga. As was previously mentioned, the aperture adjustment between f/8 and f/11 is merely a sham.
200 will be effective only under the brightest of conditions.
By my measurements, the metal washer behind the lens is about f/16. I'd stick to color process films, including chromogenic BW like Kodak T400CN. Portra 800 gives crappy results from my Holga. Sometimes it's the good kind of crappy.
You can find a mod that gives two real apertures on the Holga, with an Holga modified that way I found I can successfully use iso400 film in both sunny and cloudy conditions.
Along with the rolls of film, I would suggest a roll of black gaffers tape. I haven't used one in a long time but Tri-X is what I shot mostly. Now I'd pick one of the C-41 B&W films.
My own choice would be FomaPan 400 for B&W - it has sooo much silver and is pretty tolerant of exposure and processing variations.
My other suggestion would be to use pyro for development - it gives wonderful scale to a neg and is extremely forgiving of exposure variation.
I use 200 for sunny days, but normally I use 400 since its rarely that sunny here.
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