Holga 135 TIM

The Holga 135 TIM (Twin Image Maker) is a very compact half frame, dual image camera for 35mm film. It's based on the Holga 135 body, but has 2 lenses instead of one. So it can take 2 nearly idetical images at a time on one 24x36mm frame which can be used as stereo images.

However it has two independent built-in lens covering to shoot one side or the other independently to get half frame images. The shutter is cocked either by winding the camera or via a MX (Multiple Exposure) switch. The front of the camera looks like a human face, with the lens covers as eyelids. It was made in black, white, blue, red, yellow and pink.

Holga made a hand held stereo viewer and envelopes which were sold separately. They also made a proprietary filter holder for special effects filters. I was not yet able to put my hands on these 2 items. The camera was also sold as a kit with a matching flash.

Its main features are:

29mm wide lenses, F8, focus free, 3 apertures: F8, F11, F22
Shutter ~1/100s and B,
Double exposure, 2 lens sliders, 1 on each lens lens, hot shoe, tripod socket, cable release

Size 116x80x45,  Weight 144 gr.

Camera with dedicated flash. The flash has a choice of colour filters to put in front of it.

Camera front, both lids closed. Aperture setting with weather symbols

Camera front, one lid open to shoot a half frame picture..

Both lids open to shoot a stereo picture.

Camera back. Viewer, thumb wheel for
film advance and shutter cocking.

Camera top. Film rewind, hot shoe, shutter release with cable release thread and counter. On the "lens housing": double exposure switch.

Camera bottom unsharp. Rewind release button and tripod socket.

The shutter setting is a bit hidden on the side of the lens block.

Back open.

The flash, guide no. 12.

Battery compartment takes one AAA battery. The exposure table is meant for a different camera. This camera only has F8, F11 and F22.

Using the Holga 135 TIM leaves a choice: Either you shoot stereo photos or you shoot half frame. Shooting stereos is like any camera, cock the shutter, frame your picture and shoot. Framing is a guess as the viewer shows a full 24x36mm picture, you will get full height, but only half the width. Set aperture according to the light conditions.

Shooting half frames needs a bit of organization or an extremely good memory to remember, which half you already exposed. Having taken the first half of the frame, push the double exposure switch and change the lens covers. Now you are ready for the second shot. To not mix up things, I cock the shutter and open le left lens cover first. And after taking the first (left) photo I change the covers and cock again via the MX switch. After taking the right photo, it's changing the covers again and cock via film advance. So the camera is always ready to shoot when I take it out of my pocket. You can use the MX switch for double exposures of course.

As there is only one shutter speed, you have to choose your film depending on the weather conditions. On bright days ISO 200 is fine, on dull days ISO 400 is better. Modern film is quite flexible, so you will have usable results. Having 3 apertures helps a lot. Inside or at night photos are possible as there is a B setting. It's a toy or fun camera, all plastic, but it's fun indeed. Holga build quality seems to be a lot better than other Lomo cameras.