Phase plate (PP) imaging has proven to be valuable in transmission cryo electron microscopy of unstained, native-state biological specimens. Many PP types have been described, however until the recent implementation of the “hole-free” phase plate (HFPP), imaging has been challenging. We found the HFPP to be simple to construct and to set up in the transmission electron microscopy, but care in implementing automated data collection is needed. Performance may be variable, both initially and over time, thus it is important to monitor and evaluate image quality by observing the power spectrum. We found that while some HFPPs gave transfer to high resolution without CTF oscillation, most reached high resolution when operated with modest defocus.