PetaPixel

How to Convert a Holga Lens for Your DSLR for Toy Camera Fun

I have been using Holgas on and off for many years, and I have always had the idea of how to make it digital. There are many current options one being strapping a medium format digital back to your Holga, but that method is very cost prohibitive for most people messing around with toy cameras. I have seen lens mods on DSLR cameras that take the body cap and glue the holga lens on, but they are upwards of 50 bucks each.

I like a challenge so I decided to make one myself! Here is my method for doing so, so you can do it too.

You will need the following for this project, this project assumes that you already own a DSLR:

  • A Holga camera. If you can find a broken one, great! i had to buy a new one to take apart
  • Body cap for your camera. I found this on ebay, 99 cents got me one.
  • Drill with a 5/16″ bit
  • Screwdriver
  • A hot glue gun

The first step to this is to take apart the holga and detach the lens. If you take off the back of the holga and take all the film holders out you will find two small screws. Unscrew those and the first part of the lens will come off.

Next you want to remove the shutter, there will be two screws again, just unscrew them, the shutter assembly will come right off, then you want to remove the square part off of the lens. Just take the Holga lens firmly in one hand and twist counter clockwise you should hear a click and the lens will come right off.

Then you want to get the plastic lens out of the holga lens body to move it closer to the sensor. If you leave the plastic lens in there you will have a very short depth of field.

Now it’s time to drill the body cap, just find the middle of the cap and drill into it with a 5/16″ bit.

Then you want to glue the plastic lens you removed from the holga lens to the body cap as shown here.

Then lastly, mostly for looks, you can glue the holga outer lens to the body cap.

Then it’s time to go shooting. The quality is much like a holga without the light leaks. It gives the halo effect much like a Holga. With my camera the old setting I could change while using this lens was of course the shutter speed which can give some cool effects. It would be neat to combine some of the lens attachments for Holgas in this mod.

I hope you enjoyed this quick tutorial, and would love to see your own digital Holga creations. If you find any new mods or ways to make the picture even cooler, please contact me!


About the author: Gregg Horton is an intern at Instructables.com. This tutorial first appeared on that site as “Digital Holga“. To see more of his great projects head to groovypancakes.com or instructables.com/member/frenzy.