Introduced around 2005, the Holga 135 and 135 BC are smaller versions of the original Holga 120. They keep the spirit of the original but bring it to the smaller 35mm film format.
The original Holga 120 was introduced to take advantage of an abundance of 120 film in the China market and a lack of affordable camera. I do not know if the Holga 135 was a reaction to increased supply of 35mm film or if it was targeted at the export market. It was available in a base Holga 135 and a Holga 135 BC. The BC stands for Black Corners and has an internal mask to add to the vignetting.
Other than the size and the mechanical differences of 35mm film vs. 120 the Holga 135 is very much the same as the original Holga 120. It still has that same toy camera feel and delivers that same "Holga look" that made the original such a hit. If you like the Holga 120 but would rather get more shots per roll: the 135 is for you. If you wanted to try a Holga but were intimidated by medium format film: the 135 is for you.
This thing is junk, splendid wonderful junk. I can see why people love them and why other people think they are a joke. For me there was something liberating about shooting with such a cheap (price and quality) camera. It lowered my expectations to a point that I was just willing to point it at anything slightly interesting and take the photo. My expectation were low. So low, that I was almost surprised to actually see images on the film as I pulled it out of the processing tank. Had I shot this on a "real" camera I would have been disappointed with the quality, but because of the source, I was impressed.
Image quality is well, Holga. Amazing from a toy camera. If you are looking for mind blowing clarity and detail, your not shooting with a Holga. If you want that toy camera look, this is where you get it. Find one and give it a try they are not expensive and you might enjoy the freedom of lowered expectations. If you are shooting with a several thousand $ professional gear, there is pressure to get some decent results. Some cheap plastic and the pressure is off. Or maybe the pressure is on the user because you don't have the image quality to fall back on. There I ruined it.
Get one. I taped the back to prevent light leaks or you can live dangerously and not. What is the worst that could happen? It is just a toy. Because Holga has stoped making the 135 version, the prices seem to be going up so at some point the price may cross what is reasonable for the quality. Till then enjoy. Or if you really want to mess with your head, you can buy Holga lens in popular mounts and put a toy lens on your pro-gear. But using the actual toy camera just feel more liberating to me.
Film: Kodak Max 400 - expired
Lens: fixed 47mm f8