Tag Archives: 135

Graffiti and the Holga 135

I have already tried this camera, but I gave that away ages ago and found this one for $3. There is a BC version which means black corners indicating more vignette. As you can see from my example photos the original camera already has quite a lot of vignetting.

I was quite excited to try this camera again as every 120 Holga I have tried has had pleasing results. I didn’t really give this one a chance when I first tried it as, but my opinion of fantastic plastics has chanced since then.

As I was going to London for the 100 heroines exhibition, I decided to take some time to try this camera in an area I have not visited before. I did a search for places to see if you have already seen the top tourist spots and Shoreditch came up as a choice. For fun I thought I would try to capture the graffiti around the area with a black and white film. I loaded a Fomapan 100 with the intention of push processing it to 400. I thought it would have a different look to it and show off the vignetting.

I absolutely loved my day in Shoreditch, an area I had not even thought to visit before. Everywhere I looked there was something else to see. Using the Holga was easy and the resulting photos are by far favourite series of photos that I have completed recently. I have already put another film in the camera, a colour one this time. Where shall I take it?

Makinon MK-II

I was wandering through Akihabara, as I am want to do on a weekend, and there, a new camera shop!! Brand new!! In fact, the owner was still putting cameras on the shelves. Not only that, right at the front was this camera. It is a weird looking thing from a manufacturer I had never heard of before. I walked in and asked to buy it. I was his first customer, he hadn’t even unwrapped his till yet. I think I made his day.


It has a very plastic feel, it reminded me of the original Lomography camera. That one had a little more control than this one and much more written about it on the net. This one is practically non-existant anywhere. The only reference I could find stated that it was also produced as Porst 135 KE. The Makinon version is the same camera for the Japanese market, and I am in Japan. There are a few technical details here. And that is it, all I could find. It was released in 1981 and at that time I can only imagine how many alternatives there were in Japan. I have no idea where in the market this toy camera would fit. And that is what it essentially is, a plastic, toy camera. I did not enjoy using it. I did not really understand how the scale on the top worked to set the camera. The flash is the weirdest part, you swing it out to turn it on and use. It uses 2 AAA batteries (LR03), though the ready light took ages to turn on, the flash did work. The camera is ready for use when the barn doors are open, closed the shutter locks.

I did not enjoy using it I did not really understand how the scale on the top worked to set the camera. It is a fixed focal length camera so what do the people symbols mean. You are not changing the focal length so why does it matter how far people are away from you. The clouds and sun symbols are much more understandable and I stuck to using those.

So did it work?


Yes, it is a very simple point and shoot that does no more than that….I paid way too much for it and doubt I will get my money back. Maybe the rarity will help there as I have no intention of keeping it. At least it is another camera to add to the list.

Keep or sell: Given to a friend due to my imminent move.



Konica Big Mini Nou 135

After looking for film cameras to test or buy a few names pop up over and over again. One of them being “big mini” from Konica. I think they are usually ridiculously expensive for a point and shoot. Therefore I had no intention of ever buying one. I doubted I would ever see one in a junk big…hello Big Mini Nou.

This version is from 1995 and seems quite rare. There is little about it on the net, especially in English. Once I popped a battery in I found the flash on this one did not work, which was a shame. But would it work outside? I decided to use some Lomography cyan film. After using this film for the first time. I have to say I hate it and don’t see the point. Plus a regular scanner cannot handle it at all. So if you do use it then get a cd made at the time of processing. That being said here are my scans.

As I said, I hate the film and feel like throwing away the other Lomography film I have…but won’t. It is hard to say whether the results are due to the processing, the scans or the camera. I think the camera is the last in the line of suspects.

So let me try and talk about the camera. It was fun to use and it seemed to handle all the conditions very well, a few of the shots were in dark areas. They all seem sharp and well exposed.

Due to the flash issue, I am not willing to keep this or sell it. There are so many other cameras out there with a working flash. So this one will go in the bin. If I see a working big mini for a reasonable price I would recommend buying it..but I would not recommend the film



Holga 135

Who has not heard of this camera series? They seem to be everywhere is some shape or form. I have long seen them in museum shops for outlandish prices considering they are plastic, toy cameras. Of course I wanted one, but knowing the construction I couldn’t justify the price. You can get a great “proper” camera for the same or less on eBay.

But here was one in the junk bin for $10 and still in the box. What the heck, might as well end my curiosity.

On opening the box at home, it looked brand new. Everything was in the box and plastic tape was still waiting to be removed from the decals. When you have the camera in your hands it feels like a toy, plastic, light and quite frankly awful. Even the shutter sound was naff. There is a lot of information about this camera on the net, one of my favourite sites is this one.

Though I have read many great reviews of the Holga, holding one didn’t impress me. It felt like it couldn’t possibly work. Never the less I loaded a film and went for a walk around my village, rushing around to finish the film before it got too dark. Basically I didn’t want to spend too much time on a camera I didn’t think would work.

I was impressed by one nice feature, the shutter is not connected to the film advance so you can take as many shot on one frame as you like before advancing the film. It works by zone focusing and there are two aperture settings, sun or cloud – f11 or f8.

So did it actually work? Surprise, surprise yes it did and quite well.

The photos do have a certain quality to them and the focusing is really interesting. They all came out, even with fading light. Some of the double exposures were on purpose, some were due to me forgetting to advance the film. I have also read that this camera is prone to light leaks and is one of the ‘cool’ features. For me this means a camera is not working as it should as there should not be light leaks. In the end I didn’t notice any with mine, but that could be I used the film quickly and I didn’t give it the chance to develop any.

So should I sell or keep? I am unsure. It is a popular and well know camera. It seems like something I should have in my collection. But I much prefer proper cameras, not toy ones.