Making A Good Camera Better

I had read on many sites that the Holga camera had a problem with the back coming loose. Well, I didn’t want to junk-up my new camera with ugly tape so I loaded the camera and went off to shoot my first Holga photos. Of the first four rolls of film I took the camera back opened or came off six times. Something had to be done to correct this problem. He is my solution:

Put small Velcro ® patches (about 1” square) on both sides of the front and back of the camera. I used the fuzzy part for the patches. Then make a strap long enough to reach from the front patch to the back patch from the Velcro ® hook material. This was a clean fix that has corrected the problem.

The second problem that I had read about was that under certain conditions light would leak through the red frame counter window and expose part of the film. I also used Velcro ® to make a removable cover for this window.

I also took the advice of Keith D. Myers and lined my Holgas with used felt from 35mm film canisters, to prevent scratching as the film is advanced through the camera.

Finally I also agree with other Holga users that a small wedge of cardboard from a film box placed next to the film reel on the left side of the camera creates a little extra tension and keeps the film flatter for exposure.

Wide-View Holga - Using 35mm Film In A Holga

A standard roll of 35mm film can be used in the Holga and produce fun interesting photos. I call this my "Wide-View Holga". No permanent modifications are needed for your Holga. The only catch is that after you expose the film, you need a changing bag or a darkroom to rewind the film back into the film canister in total darkness.

The equipment needed for the 35mm conversion are two rubber bands and two small blocks of foam rubber. The rubber bands help guide the film on the center of the take-up film reel. The foam rubber block center the film canister. When shooting with 35mm you need to watch the arrow on the film advance knob. Advance the film 1 1/2 turns to prevent overlaping frames. Tape over the film counter window to prevent an extra big light leak. When the last frame is shot, use a darkroom or changing bag to rewind the film (by turning with your fingers) back into the film canister.

Currently, these are the only modifications that I have made to my Holgas and I very happy with the images that my cameras produce. If you want to see other modification that photographers have made, please check the modification section of my links page.