Plastic Lenses

Posted 2011.06.25 9.19 in Family/Friends, Photography by Stephanie

I took my plastic Holga camera out on the Summer Solstace last week. We were having a family get-together and it seemed like a good excuse to expose some old B&W film.

The Holga is a cheaply-made plastic camera with a plastic lens, a fixed aperture (roughly f/11) and a fixed exposure (roughly 1/100th). It’s known for light leaks and double exposures. Mine requires a rubber-band to ensure the back doesn’t fall off unexpectedly.

I say cheaply-made as opposed to just cheap, because the Lomographic Society International will happily sell you a Holga for at least 3x what it’s probably worth. I have mixed feelings about the LSI – I do enjoy shooting film (they’re all about analogue photography) and I can & do appreciate the joy of the occasional unexpected serendipidous results… Where I take exception is that they seem to be making a fortune selling junky cameras at insane prices.

Anyways, this wasn’t supposed to turn into a rant against Lomography… just a brief intro or explanation about the culture of embracing crappy pictures as their own artform. Which is what Lomography means, sort of.

Back to the pics – there are two pics from the summer solstace and two pics from the winter. Same Holga, same brand of film (expired Chinese black&white) but different processing results.

About processing – I still develop my own black & white film at home. The roll I did in the winter got contaminated or something. When it came out, it was covered in these little speckles.

I haven’t shot colour in a while because I think it’s too expensive to process at the labs and I haven’t found any reasonable sources of chemistry for processing at home. Yet…


  1. KevinG says:

    The specks reminds me of some old photos we found in a trunk at my grandfathers house way back when. I like it!

    1. Stephanie says:

      Hello KevinG,

      Thanks for the comment! I never figured out what caused the speckles but they do add a sort of old-timey feel to the pics…


      1. Kevin G says:

        Also I asked my friend Drew about it and he said:

        “The film had to be Shanghai GP3. The backing seems to leave an imprint on the emulsion. Stays on through developing. Steph as had it happen with her Holga, and I’ve had it through both my Kiev 88 CM and my Yashica Mty. Just part and parcel of that film. Probably why a good roll of 120 b/w is 4-8 dollars and the GP3 stuff is 2.”

        Hope this helps.

        1. Stephanie says:

          Hi Kevin,

          That’s right, it is the GP3. I’ve used it quite a few times without the speckles but I guess I just got lucky with that one roll. 🙂 I have a stockpile of the stuff, came across it super-cheap so I picked up a few dozen rolls.


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