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BNW Film Review - Holga 400

F4 @ 500

I recently ordered about a dozen different BNW film stocks to try out. I primarily use HP5 for black and white photos, and occasionally Tri-X 400 or T-Max. Today's film look is for Holga 400, which I shot in fairly bright conditions yesterday in Yellow Springs.

I used Sprint Systems chemistry at 68 degrees for 12:30. I had to find the time on a MassDev chart since Sprint Time Chart didn't have Holga listed. I have one more roll of Holga, and I might try overexposing it a bit to see if there's much of a difference in the look.

Holga 400. Price on BNH Photo: $4.49

F16 @ 500

F16 @ 500

F5.6 @ 500

F22 @ 500

F16 @ 500
F16 @ 500

F8 @ 500

The only thing I know about Holga 400 is that I've seen it sold with plastic 120mm cameras on Amazon. From a small amount of online reading, it looks like Holga is produced by Foma, and almost always paired with a cheap plastic camera made in Hong Kong. I couldn't find much information about it other than that, but I'm just giving my opinion so I don't really care to know all that much about how/where this is produced.

I'm not extremely thrilled with Holga 400, but I wasn't really expecting it to be spectacular. I can't tell if the extremely dark look to this is due to the processing or the film itself. Like I mentioned above, I shot this in fairly bright conditions, around 5:30pm in direct sunlight in many cases. The blacks are solid black, the mid tones are fairly dark, and there's a ton of contrast overall.

I don't think it's the worst film, though. Holga 400 definitely seems to have a surreal look to it, and that can be something interesting to see from time to time. I have one more roll of Holga 400 that I bought on accident, so maybe I'll try to over expose that to see if there's any difference. The look that Holga gives is not a look that I strive to see in my photos, so I doubt I would go out of my way to buy some, but I would use it in a pinch for some street photos, and possibly grab a box if I came across it in the future.

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M.D. Beltrán
M.D. Beltrán
Oct 29, 2023

I bought some from B&H. Soon as I finish up the XP2, I'm going to try the Holga 400 (Fomapan). From the looks of it, I will try it at 200 ISO. Cheers;


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