Halina 6-4 Review: Point and shoot 120 class with Pilkington Glass

Halina 6-4 120 roll film camera
Halina 6-4 120 roll film camera. Note kickstand under lens

This 120 roll film camera is a bit of an oddity for Haking a company with a TLR (Halina A1) and a smattering of pseudo TLRs (e.g. the Halina Viceroy. But it perhaps serves as model for how Haking cameras were to become in the 35mm age and the styling is more like a 35mm than 120 film camera of the era.

And for a basic 120 film P&S, it is pretty good.

Forest bridge
Mabie Forest, 2014. Halina 6-4 with Ilford Pan F+ 50 4×4 mask

Halina 6-4  Specs

  • Focus: 3 Zone Focus
  • Metering: None
  • Aperture: f/8, f/11 & f/16
  • Shutter: 1/50 or B
  • EV range (100 asa): 12-14
  • Filter-Thread:  none

The camera has a Pilkington glass lens which is actually not that bad.  Haking sensible set the camera 3 focusing zones to play with. Likewise there are 3 aperture settings (f/8-f/16). In modern sense the only weakness is the shutter which is fixed at 1/50 or B setting. The camera has curved film plane which might raise some alarm bells but is actually quite sensible for improving focus on a camera of this vintage.

Thomas Carlyle
Ecclefechan 2014. Halina 6-4 with 4×4 mask with Lomography 100CN

The camera should come with a mask that you add to the film plane allowing you to switch (at loading only) between 6×6 and 4×4 size images (hence the 6-4 name). This is handy as it mean you can shoot 12 or 16 images on a 120 roll which makes shooting a bit more cost effective. Whilst these masks are often seen on modern toy class 120 film cameras like the  Holga  or the Diana F+, original 120 point and shooters tended to have a fixed frame size

Victoriana Slide
Penrith, 2014. Halina 6-4 with Expired (2006) Kodak Ektachrome 100 EPP. E6 processed. 6×6

Images are pretty crisp for such a basic camera especially at the smaller aperture. You’re likely to be shooting there anyway due to the relative long 1/50 sec  shutter speed meaning ideally you’ll be using a 50 asa film or more realistically  a 100 asa. The 3 zones system works well, although the lens turns smoothly  so I’ve  shot between the setting when the distance is middling. Worth noting the distances are in feet.

Guardian at the Gate
2014. Halina 6-4 with Ilford Pan F+ 50 4×4 mask

The camera has 2 film count ports on the back for the different frame sizes and weirdly 2 viewfinders which make the camera appear like an autofocus or rangefinder from a distance. I’ve no idea why the did this and it doesn’t really add anything to the shooting experience but perhaps adds to the aesthetic. There is no cable release point or timer but the camera does come with a Bulb setting and a neat wee moveable support to keep the camera even just below the lens. The curved film plan limits the camera being used for modding for 35mm.

Play in available light
Palmerston, Dumfries ,2014. Halina 6-4 with 4×4 mask on lomography 100CN

Okay,  so this isn’t a do everything camera but I still like it. You really are limited to 100asa or slower film (unless you are happy for lowlight shots). There is no metering and limited controls. But for what it is it’s lens is good and it’s quite stylish. The ability to change masks is quite handy and makes the camera a bit more frugal to use.

They turn up on eBay not infrequently expect to pay one side or another of the £5 GBP mark. Make sure it comes with the mask as the film plane is curved it would be hard to replicate and the case is handy (more platicky than some fake leather but wears better). Basic camera so little should be untowards.

Alternatives

  • Agfa Isoly Series – The classic 120 plastic P&S shooters
  • Diana F+ – Lomography’s re-invention of the Isoly and its clones
  • Bencini Koroll 24s – 24 frames on this 50’s 120 shooter

Helpful links

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