HolgaMods: Tweak Your Lomo
Randy Smith improves a lo-fi favorite on the cheap.
Posted Sep 16, 2007
Six months ago I sent $50 and a glass lensed Holga 120GN to Randy Smith at HolgaMods. After he received my camera, we spoke again about how concerned I was regarding image quality. I asked him to take special care of it. About a week later I was again holding my 6x6 shooter, complete with a new set of modifications. I didn't opt for every mod offered - see the modifications page for a complete list of what's available.
I can't tell you how impressed I am with Randy's work. The modifications are solid and hold true to the Holga's nature of being simple and effective. He even tossed in a few extra lenses and walked me through the replacement procedure.
And today, it's still a great performer - one of the best $70 investments I've made. I'd recommend HolgaMods to anyone who's interested in a personalized and inexpensive medium format camera.
To the left is a list of all images taken with this camera. Below is a detailed list of all modifications that were made:
The Holga was intended to have a two aperture settings, but a design flaw leaves it with just one, at about f13. Randy adjusts the available apertures so the sunny/cloudy switch registers two usable apertures of approximately f8 and f11.
Cable Release Modification
|A 9in locking cable release is permanently attached just above the shutter. This takes some getting used to, but the benefits are wonderful. Moving the shutter release away from the body means less chance of unwanted movement when firing the shutter. And considering a Holga's light weight - any help stabilizing it is appreciated.|
Tripod Mount Modification
|While newer Holgas come with a metal tripod mount (viewable below), the placement makes it useless. Randy's mod places a new screw hole centered and flush with the lowest point of the body. This ensures the camera will sit as true as possible on a tripod.|
Time Exposure Modification
The original placement of the shutter switch makes it extremely hard to reach, let alone identify once mounted to a tripod. This mod disables the switch in favor of a push button on the side of the lens. When pushed in, the camera is in Bulb mode (for long exposures) and when pulled out the standard 1/100 second shutter is enabled.
The interior of the camera is coated with a flat black paint. This helps reduce abnormalities on the final image by absorbing any stray light that may enter the camera.