original Diana camera is a simple plastic camera, often
camera, from the 1960s. It was produced by the Great Wall Plastic Co.
in China and was branded with many names for different markets. The
Dianas were either sold at prices as low as $1 or given away as
promotional items. They were packed in boxes of 144 cameras for the
resellers. The original Dianas used 120 film.
lens is simple
plastic meniscus lens with some vignetting. Light leaks are frequent,
often you had to put black tape over the seams. Each frame is 4cm x
4cm, so a roll of 120 film gives 16 frames. Focusing is done by
twisting the lens to 3 zones, 4-6ft, 6-12ft, or 12ft to infinity. There
are 3 F-stops, sometimes said to be random, around F4.5, F8 and F11 due
to less sensitive film in the 1960s and maybe smaller towards the end
of production. Several variations in top-plate and lens-barrel style
appeared, a few have
flash sync. By the end of the 1970s 120 film was replaced by 135 film
in cheap cameras. It is not sure when the production of the original
Diana stopped, but full cases of 144 Dianas were still available in the
2000s. 135 film versions or look-alikes appeared in the 1970s.
In.2007 the Lomographische AG in
launched the Diana F+ in the original 120 format, followed by
and 110 versions. The medium-format Diana F+ is has become a
system camera, with interchangeable lenses, flashes, and film backs. It
has two formats, the original 16 frame 42x42mm, and a
12-frames-per-film 52x52mm. Features such as a tripod socket
and a shutter lock were added. Its main features are:
75mm simple plastic
menikus lens, ~F8, F16, F22, 3-zone focus 1-2m, 2-4m, 4m--∞. Pinhole setting F128
Shutter ~1/60, B
Size 125x95x76, Weight 150 gr.
2 frame masks, 42x42mm and 46.5x46.5mm, hook to
block shutter in B position
front. Viewer window. Zone focus scale arounf the lens.
back. Finder. Red window with 2 settings.
Camera top. Flash socket, film advance knob. On the lens: speed setting
and shutter lever.
Camera bottom. Tripod socket and back cover release. On the lens:
I made a test for all the lenses on Fuji Instax Mini film (see lens page). This is what you get with the 75mm standard lens:
75mm standard, F8, 1/60s, good sharpness.
The basic set. Instructions, 2 frame masks, lens cover and camera with
basic plastic strap.
Back open. No frame mask installed.
Film compartment. 42mm frame mask installed.
Roll film ready.
is a whole set of a camera with all the lenses and most of the
accessories, the Diana Deluxe Kit. As a set it's much cheaper than a
purchase step by step. It was packaged in a BIG box that I did not
keep. I found mine quite cheap on an advert page.
there are quite some lenses and some accessories, this page would have
become to long. So the lens page is here and the accessory page is here.
The Diana F+ isn't a reasonable camera. It is a basic plastic camera
with only one speed, no automatic exposure, no automatic film advance,
no autofocus, not even a rangefinder, cheaply made plastic lenses that
produce heavy vignetting and random results. But...
age of digital cameras and cell phones with quite good cameras
Lomography took the risk to launch film cameras again and to get people
back to the fun of trying out the basics of photography, even to the
point of a certain hype. I would not discuss the prices, it's a small
market nevertheless and everything had to be started from scratch
again. They created a whole system of easy to use lenses and
accessories. There is a second hand market which is worth a try if you
are patient. On the other hand Lomography offers a 2 year warranty with
a good service, I have used the service several times. So if your
friends offer you a Diana as a gift, please ask them to keep the bill.
There are thousands of discussions across the forums worldwide about the Diana. Read some of them if you are interested. I love playing
wth the multiple possibilities of the system. For me it's fun. I don't
think about measuring, I guess and I try. So for me the Diana is a nice find.