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The Holga is the world-famous plastic camera that has taken America by storm. Every year, thousands of new customers discover this plucky little medium-format camera and the stunning, art-house style pictures it can produce. Known for its soft-focus, often dream-like images, the Holga's supremely easy operation is the perfect way to introduce someone to the world of medium-format photography. This camera's astounding success has bred an entire line of accessories for it, including two flashes, a cable release, a 35mm panoramic adapter, a fish-eye lens, three sets of special effects filters and a Polaroid film back! Holga: proven success in the past... and undoubtable success in the future.


Aspengrove, Colorado by Kit Frost
taken with a Holga using multiple exposures

Brendan Fraser using a Holga with a
Polaroid film back on the TV series Scrubs

Holga medium format cameras have a near fanatical following of professionals, educators, and artists. But for those not familiar with the camera and its unique abilities, a Holga is largely an enigma. This does not dissuade people from buying the camera. In fact, the Holga mystique draws people to it.

By 2001, the Holga's 20th anniversary, over half a million cameras had been sold worldwide. Since then, photographers have purchased tens of thousands more. In the same year, research found over one hundred internet pages supporting, discussing and displaying photos from the Holga. A micro industry had sprung up and people were making a living modifying and accessorizing Holga cameras. Today, the array of cameras and accessories available from Holga reflects its continued popularity among photographers. The latest models, including the 120N and 120FN have a built-in bulb switch for time exposures.

What's in a name? Quite a lot, it seems, because everyone is wondering where the name "Holga" came from. The answer is related to the Holga's Far East heritage. The name is derived from the Cantonese term ho gwong, which translates into English as "very bright." A nip and a tuck and a western twist and you get the Western name: Holga.


Photo by "alternative camera" specialist Michelle Bates
Taken with a Holga