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Holga pinhole lens 38mm f/152 (HPL-C) Review


The Holga pinhole lens 38mm f/152 (HPL-C) is historically significant but not very practical for modern photography. It produces soft, low-contrast images and requires slow shutter speeds, making it challenging to use. It also has issues with white balance and dust on the camera sensor.

It's historically significant, but trying to work with an F/152 and getting miserable results for your efforts were to not feel rewarding. Other products are certainly a more enjoyable choice.

  • Historically significant
  • Unique and distinctive look
  • Produces soft, low-contrast images
  • Requires slow shutter speeds
  • Difficulty with white balance and dust on camera sensor

You end up looking softer than a swimming pool full of kittens and teddy bears, so I can't recommend this lens for anything.

The Holga pinhole lens 38mm f/152 (HPL-C) is historically significant due to its incredibly small aperture of approximately F/152, giving it a unique and distinctive look. However, in practical use, this lens presents several challenges. It produces soft, low-contrast images, and using slow shutter speeds is necessary, even in bright conditions, leading to the need for a tripod at all times. Additionally, due to the dark aperture, it becomes difficult to compose shots through the camera's viewfinder, and the camera may struggle with white balance. The lens also tends to show dust on the camera sensor, which requires frequent cleaning. While it can create an interesting vintage aesthetic, its practicality for modern photography is limited, and the results may not be rewarding for most users.

The footage at a lower frame rate looks even more VHS-style, which is kind of cool in a way for a lens without optics.


This article is based on the review by

Christopher Frost

Christopher Frost

Christopher Frost is a YouTube channel dedicated to providing in-depth reviews and analyses of photography equipment, particularly lenses. Christopher Frost, the creator and host of the channel, is known for his thorough and detailed evaluations of various lenses from different manufacturers, including Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fujifilm, and others.  To learn more, please visit the channel here.

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