The subject of this week’s how-to was mary’s suggestion. She asked me how to expose the sprocket holes of 35mm film using a Holga, as I did in the image above. I will tell you in a few, very simple, steps. You will need:
- 35mm film
- Either a solid back for your Holga (no hole) or…
- Opaque black paper/plastic & tape
- Plastic bottle cap
- Heavy-duty cutting implement
- Changing bag or dark room
Step 1: Remove the back of your Holga and replace with the accessory back from the 35mm Holga kit. If you don’t want to purchase the kit (or you are too impatient) then you should cut a square piece of opaque paper/plastic and tape securely over the red viewing window. No light should enter from the back of the camera.
Step 2: Cut a plastic bottle cap in half. When you look at each half you will see a rounded, closed side and a straight, open side. Put one half of the bottle cap at the bottom of the left side of your Holga (where you load film) with the straight, open side facing out. Take the other half and jam it in the top portion of the same section of your Holga with the round, closed side facing out. They should stay without having to use tape or glue.
Step 3: Using some scrap film, measure how many rotations you will need to advance your film. This should be pretty universal, it’s about one and a half rotations. For me this is about five flicks of my thumb. I include this step in case you want to try this with another kind of camera.
Step 4: Place your 35mm film between the two bottle caps. It should fit beautifully without slipping around much at all. Now you will pull the film across and tape it to the 120 reel on the right side of your camera. Make sure your film is straight, it’s easy to do this in a hurry and have all your negatives tilt one way or another, your film will not advance properly otherwise.
Step 5: Replace back, advance film, and go shoot!
Step 6: You will have to use a dark room (as in a room without any light) or a changing bag to remove the film. You need to hand-wind the film back into the canister once it is exposed.
Step 7: Develop, print, and enjoy!
For more details, watch our video through our youtube channel.