Holga Panoramic

holga panThis is one big ass piece of plastic. Seriously, this thing is massive! The Holga Pan 120 takes medium format film and shoots 6cm x 12cm negs – yes, 60mm x 120mm! The camera technically has a 90mm fixed focal length lens – the best estimate I could find for 35mm equivalency was a 29mm lens on the interwebs.

The camera is essentially two Holga bodies almost welded together, somehow. The image is pretty much two standard 6 x 6 square frames side by side.

The Holga Pan does not feel like a super wide angle camera – it just shoots in the very aesthetically pleasing panoramic format.

It is no different to any other Holga – cheaply made, plastic lens, and questionable film door that you know will jump off the camera at the first chance. So, it has all the same good bits and bad bits.

The viewfinder is pretty good, and provides for easy composition – of course, there is some parallax error, but normally you won’t really get close enough to a subject for it to matter.

You should be able to pick one up for about $AU90 or so. Another economic way to get panoramic out of your system without having to acquire an XPan. Well, it is not a true panoramic, by my definition. An Xpan has a frame size of 65mm x 24mm, giving a ratio of approx 2.7x width to height. The Holga runs at exactly 2, so it no so much a letterbox format as a wide screen TV format. Still, it is a better choice than something like a Lomo Sprocket Rocket in terms of image quality.

Here are some images – granted they are not urbania – but demonstrate the camera’s capability. The shots were taken around the Mansfield / Merrijig area in regional Victoria.

There is some pronounced vignetting, which I find quite suits the Holga style. The scans were done on an Epson V700 and processed using Lightroom – the combination of both resulted in the saturated colours.

The lens is suprisingly sharp in spots with the usual attractive smearing of the image in other spots, delivering the classic Holga look.

I do quite like these photos….


I very much enjoyed taking the Holga Pan out for a spin after it arrived. Since then, it has sat, a little forgotten, in my toy camera box.

With only 6 shots per roll, a discerning eye is needed to ensure you don’t spend more time loading film than shooting.

The 6 x 12 ratio doesn’t offer much for me personally. If I want to take some toy camera action, a standard 6 x 6 Holga is my tool of choice. I just don’t like height to width ratio of this camera. It is a bit of a nothing ratio to me. I love square format, I love panoramic, but 6 x 12 just feels boxy. If you don’t have a panoramic option in your gear, then you might enjoy this camera more.

All Holgas are great for Street Photography – lightweight, and unassuming. Nobody is really threatened when you point one it their direction. Sometimes I think they question if it is even a real camera.

If you want to have a crack at panoramic on a budget, get one.

2 Responses to “Holga Panoramic”

  1. Hello, I just discovered this camera, and like your review. But there are none for sale anywhere in the world! I don’t suppose you still own yours and want to sell it??



  1. Featured Melbourne Image “Five Ways” – Dee Smith | Melbourne Street Photography - October 3, 2014

    […] You can read more about Holgas here and here. […]


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