In part VII of the series Manny Santiago looks at Modern Japan via the Pinhole Holga Panoramic. Generally available in the 120 and 35mm format, Holga pinholes have essentially the same bodies with the lens replaced by a pinhole. This lensless body produces infinite depth of field, meaning everything in the scene will be reasonably in focus.

The family of pinhole cameras has a base of the Holga 120PC without the lens while the Holga WPC (Wide Angle Panoramic) shoots 120 film in unique panoramic sizes; either 6x9cm or 6x12cm format for a super wide angle view. There is the Holga 135PC, modeled after the Holga 135mm camera and there is the Holga 3D Stereo Pinhole camera which shoots two pinhole images per shutter for dual side by side images. These images can then be mounted to view in 3D with a 3D viewer.

The basic principle of pinhole photography is that light passes through a pinhole rather than a lens to expose the film directly. The image on the film will be reversed but the advantage is there is no optical distortion so there is no need to focus and the angle of view is much greater.

Both a tripod and cable release are necessary for use with pinhole photography due to increased exposure times. Since there are no standard exposure times for pinhole photography, all approximate exposure times are to be used as a starting point. The key is to bracket.

HOLGA WPC & 3D PC f/135
Sunny – ½ sec.
Overcast – 2 sec.
Sunrise/Sunset – 18+ sec

Modern Japan with the Pinhole Holga

The Modern Japan Gallery