The Holga Instant is a Holga 120 camera
with an Instant back attached. There were several different Instant
backs in the course of the Holga history. The first try was a back for
Polaroid Pack 80 peel-apart film, the sqare version of pack 100 film.
With this back only a 6x6 cm
(56x56mm to be exact) part of the film area is exposed, the rest
remains black. The second try was a back for Polaroid 80 film with full
frame covering. To achieve this, the back is further away from the film
plane which needs a correction lens. It was sometimes marketed as
Holgaroid. Type 80 film is no longer available, so these back are
obsolete. They are easily recognizable: seen from the front, the
right side of the back is no longer than the body of the Holga. Then
there was a Holgaroid back for pack 100 film, this type of film was
available from Fuji until 2015 and is still on the market. All these
backs obstruct the finder, so there was a framing aid. If you buy one
of these, check whether finder and correction lens are furnished.
The next try was a back for SX70/600 integral
film. Those I have seen had a 6x6 exposure area, as the instant
film plane was at the same spot where the roll film would have been. Full frame versions surely have been made.
The main snag of the integral film version is that the image is inversed. In
Polaroid Cameras the integral film is exposed via a mirror. Without
this bulky mirror the image is inversed.
The back shown here is
for Fuji Instax Mini film. To cover the 46x62 mm image area, the film
plane is a bit further away from the lens. In order to keep focussing
right, there is an additional lens which has to be attached in
front of the Holga lens. This back is not motorized as the Diana
Instant back. After the exposure you have to push the photo via a lever
towards the rollers and then turn a crank handle to squeeze the photo
through the rollers. This is quite easy and works well. No batteries
are required and the price of the back was much lower than the price of
a Diana Instant back. The main features of the Holga Instant are:
60mm simple plastic menikus lens + correction lens, ~F13 and F20, zone focus 1- ∞ Shutter ~1/100, B Size 140x140x105, Weight 448 gr. Picture size 99x62 mm, image area 46x62 mm, covers full Instax Mini format
Instant Back set, an Instax Mini Film back, a format viewer and a
correction lens. If you take away the format mask to avoid vignetting,
you have to secure the batteries with tape. On my backs (I have several
of these) there was nearly no vignetting with the 6x6 mask staying
front. Viewer and correction lens attached.
Camera seen from above-
Camera bottom. New tripod socket, crank handle folded in, film counter window.
The handle folded out.
The lever to push the photo after exposure.
Film compartment with empty Instax pack.
Film compartment without pack.
Photo taken on a dull day, F13 (cloudy) setting, 1/100s.
Veranda, ~2m, flash, F13, 1/100s. Slight vignetting from flash.
Interior, 2-3m, flash, F13, 1/100s. Slight vignetting from flash. A bit overexposed
Interior, 2-3m, flash, F20, 1/100s. Same
photo as above, sunny setting. Exposure correct. More vignetting than
above. This should not be the case, normally a smaller aperture should
give less vignetting. Obviously the Holga aperture shades the edges of
the photo. Maybe the aperture material is too thick. It's fine blades
in ordinary cameras.
Instant back gives good results for a camera with a cheap plastic lens.
There is nearly no vignetting. The Instax film allows photos on dull
days with normal shutter speed. No problem on sunny days with the F20
F-stop. The back is a good base for DIY backs on other film cameras,
e.g. on old folders.
A nice feature for your Holga, but difficult to find. The backs were only marketed from Hongk Kong. But they are Instant fun.