I honestly don’t remember when or where I first came across the 35mm Holga adapter. The lime-green spacers had been 3D printed by a friend several months previous, quickly relegated to the dusty collection of half-finished photo projects I kept on a bedroom shelf. But one summer weekend I got my act together and ran a roll through it.
The 135 adapted Holga scratches a couple of experimental analog itches I’ve had for some time, such as sprocket hole exposures, overlapping frames and panoramic formats. For those unfamiliar with the Holga, it is a low-fi plastic box designed for 120 film and possessing very basic controls. However, it is fairly easy to modify it to use 135 film with the addition of two plastic spacers and a piece of tape. One can even do it more dubiously with pieces of foam. By using a smaller format of film across the 6×6 backing, you can expose an entire piece of 135 film from top to bottom and in an unusually wide aspect ratio for each image. What’s more, the Holga’s winding system is a simple knob with short clicks, offering a somewhat charming opportunity to blend your exposures into strips.
Thus armed with my funky hack of a camera, I took a spin in my beater Volvo and blew through a roll of Ilford 100. Developed in my garage that evening, the results were mixed. But I would recommend the experience to anyone interested in trying it. This is one of those cameras where the journey is part of the destination.
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