I would just like to provide a simple reminder of how to use a Holga camera to ensure that your pictures turn out well. If you need assistance, please contact me at drdexter@drdexter.com or text at (541) 543-3700. I am also happy to assist you in person as well.

Holga Step One

Before taking your first picture or using your Holga camera

Wind (turn the Film Advance Knob slowly to the left) for quite a while to get to that first magic number “1” centered on the red Frame Counter Window. Then follow the steps 1-5 below before taking your first picture. You will need to repeat the steps below for every picture.


1. Set the aperture according to the weather/environmental conditions, but don’t shoot in dark, shadowy places.

You will see the symbols on the “Aperture Setting Knob”, switch to sunny or cloudy symbols.

Aperture symbol Lighting conditions
Holga Sunny Aperture Sunny sunny outdoor occasions
Holga Cloudy Aperture Cloudy cloudy outdoor or insufficiently lit-up indoor occasions

Holga Parts


2. Estimate the object distance and turn the Focus Ring to set the object distance accordingly.

The camera offers four choices of object distances. There are four symbols on the Focus Ring to select the following object distances:

Focus Symbol Object Distance
Holga Focus 1m One person 1 m 3.25 ft
Holga Focus 3m Three person 2 m 6.5 ft
Holga Focus 6m Several person 6 m 20 ft
Holga Focus Mountains Mountains 10 m 33 ft

You can set the Focus Ring at positions in between two symbols to more precisely estimate object distances.

Never take a picture less than 3.25 feet.


3. Remove the lens cap before taking a picture.

Always check to see that the lens cap has been removed before taking a picture, otherwise you will lose a valued shot.


4. Look through the View Finder, hold the camera steadily and firmly against your face. Then press the Shutter Release Button slowly and gently (do not jerk) to capture the image.

Holga Parts 2


5. After taking a picture, turn the Film Advance Knob slowly to the left until the number for the next frame appears centered in the Frame Counter Window. The camera is now ready for taking the next picture!

It may take a few turns to wind. When the number appears inside the red box, you are ready to shoot. Do not be concerned if the number inside the red box is upside down. You will have a total of 12 shots.

Holga Step One