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The Holga 120S camera was designed by T. M. Lee in 1981. It was later released in Hong Kong in 1982. It was designed for 120 roll film as this was the most widely available film in China at that time. On release the intention for the Holga was to provide an inexpensive and easy to use camera for Chinese families and at this is was initially successful. However, 35mm film and cameras were soon imported from abroad which effected sales in mainland China.

It did not take long before some photographers started using the Holga for its unexpected artistic qualities such as variations in lens quality, light leaks and vignetting. Similar attributes were also to be found in other toy cameras such as the Diana but the Holga took off and evolved a cult status and following.


Plastic 60mm f/8 meniscus lens, fixed shutter speed and two position aperture setting.