Buffalo at Buttonwood Zoo – 35mm in Holga 120

If you’re not used to handling 35mm film in a Holga plastic camera, you quickly realize just why it’s so important to seal up all of those light leaks. While 120 medium format film has a protective paper wrap on its back side to protect the film, the 35mm has nothing. Nada. Zilch. If light gets in there, it gets recorded.

This is a 35mm photo of a buffalo at Buttonwood Zoo taken with my Holga 120 medium format film camera. That is, I manually rigged the 120 camera to take 35mm film even though it natively takes 120 film.

The benefit of jury-rigging a Holga 120 to take 35mm film is that you therefore shoot the entire height of the film, top to bottom, including the film sprockets. That creates a cool look.

On the down side, though, while I had taped up the back of the camera, I hadn’t extremely taped it. This is what I do now to prevent light leaks, with multiple layers. The white is on the very top because normally I use black to seal that back area in a temporary way. I wanted to use a different color which would catch my eye. Plus seal it completely.

Because if it’s not fully sealed, and if light over time seeps in through that window opening, you end up with an image that has been exposed in ways you might not have intended.

Photographer: Lisa Shea

This image is of a buffalo at Buttonwood Park Zoo in New Bedford, Massachusetts.

Of course, if you want to be creative, you could combine this squareish light leak, which is always in a set spot, with some other images to create an intriguing combination.

This film was developed at https://oldschoolphotolab.com/

For more details about how to use 35mm film in a Holga 120, visit:
Loading 35mm Film into a Holga 120 Camera

Ask with any questions!