Review: Holga 135BC

Who knew reviewing a plastic camera would be so hard.  After shooting a roll for the review we determined that the second shutter curtain wasn’t opening.  We repaired this by jabbing at the shutter with a ballpoint pen (Holga style).  On the second roll the shutter only opened twenty-one times out of thirty-six exposures.  They say the defective Holga’s are the best but I took this piece of shit back and got a different one.  However, we decided to base the review on the defective model in the true spirit of lomography.

Although the camera is made entirely of plastic, lens included, the build quality seems to surpass that of the 120N (and most of the Pentax DA* zooms).  There are three 35mm Holga’s that we know of.  The 135, the 135BC and the 35mm pinhole.  The BC model that we tested indicates “bent corners.”  In other words big fat vignette.  Like the 120N it has two shutter speeds and two apertures.  You’ve got your choice of f/8 or f/11 and normal (1/100 sec) or bulb.  Unlike it’s sister model this ones got a metal cable release socket.  It’s basically a fixed focus 47mm lens but there is a focus ring for subjects of varying distances.  The shutter release and film advance are coupled so if you like to shoot multiple exposures a 120N or Diana mini would be a better choice.

Cable release socket & shutter release


Focus ring & aperture selector

Tripod socket and shutter speed selector


Shooting with this camera was like playing Russian roulette.  I was never quite sure if it was gonna go off.  I was never sure that the film was advancing as the rewind mechanism would spin freely from time to time.  Most of the time I felt like I wasn’t taking pictures at all.  At close distances there is parallax error which can produce unexpected results.  Some have said that the 35mm Holga’s don’t have the same character as the 120N’s.  I don’t agree with that statement.  This camera had character, hell it was a character.  With that being said, the simplicity of  cameras like this is what makes the experience worthwhile.  Point, shoot and hope that the camera actually worked like a camera is supposed to.  For the review I used a roll of extremely expired Kodak 400UC.  Expired film is cheap or sometimes free and is perfect for experimental photography like this.   As advertised all of the images had “bent corners,” some were “dripping with color” and all had that sweet plastic prime lens look.  The camera cost us $50 bucks and was worth ever penny.  If you need to free yourself from all the technical, Dpreview forum bullshit, go buy one of these.  You’ll never have a better time.   Below we’ve included a small gallery for your viewing pleasure.


The Ride









The Mill



Olympic Cafe



Dr Dragon


PTC hopes you enjoyed our brief review of this funny plastic camera.  Comments are open.  See ya.



  1. gee
    July 8, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    did u use flash to capture all these pictures?

  2. gee
    July 9, 2010 at 10:34 am

    say i wanna take picture of a building at nigh, do i need to use flash?

    • July 9, 2010 at 12:23 pm

      better off using a tripod and cable release. you could use a flash but you would have to fire it multiple times to “paint” the building with light.

  3. gee
    July 9, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    Gulf Blvd. at night.
    to take a picture like this, is flash needed or not?

  4. December 30, 2010 at 9:02 am

    Good article, keep us updating, you are very good writer!

  5. January 1, 2011 at 11:50 am

    Very interesting info, i’m waiting for more !!! Keep updating your website and you will have a lot o readers

  6. February 6, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    Love some of these photos. Insane vignetting with these!
    I have a Holga k200n, really looking to get one of these now

  7. alexandra
    February 20, 2011 at 3:25 am

    Where did you buy this camera?

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