plastikcam.com       Diana Original or Classic Revue


The first Diana
camera (without F for flash) is a simple plastic camera, often called toy camera, from the 1960s. It has no flash connection and was sold in a small yellow box, size of the camera. It was produced by the Great Wall Plastic Co. in Hong Kong and was branded with many names for different markets. The first model has "NO. 151 MADE IN HONG KONG" written on the lever releasing the back. 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.

The 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 turning the lens' index 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 smaller towards the end of production (F11, F13 and F19). Several variations in top-plate and lens-barrel style appeared.

The second model had a flash, hence its name "Diana F". It was sold in a bigger red box which also contained the bulb flash.
It is marked "NO. 162 MADE IN HONG KONG" on the lever releasing the back. 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 Vienna launched the Diana F+ in the original 120 format. 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.

The camera shown is the first Diana model without flash. It's branded Revue, a Foto Quelle brand, which was a widely known chain of stores and a source for cheap photo gear in every major city in Western Germany. The camera was sold for DM 4 (2, $2,20 today, $1 in those days) or bundeled with 7 rolls of film for DM 9,25 which let you get the camera nearly for free.
Its main features are:

75mm simple plastic menikus lens, ~F11, F13, F19, 3-zone focus 1.2-2m, 2-4m, 4m--∞
Shutter ~1/60, B
Size 125x95x76,  Weight 143 gr.

Some phots of the camera:


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Camera front. Viewer window. There was a fake lightmeter grid around the lens that somebody has pryed off.


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Camera back. Finder. Red window.

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Camera top. Film advance knob.

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On the lens: Distance settig in feet and metres, shutter setting and shutter lever.

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Camera bottom. No tripod socket. Back cover release with German and English indications. On the lens barrel: aperture setting.

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Back open.

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And finally the Lomo Diana film camera family: the Diana F+ for 120 film, the Diana Mini for 135 film and the Diana Baby, for 110 cartridge film.

The Diana isn't a reasonable camera nowadays. It is a basic plastic camera with only one speed, no automatic exposure, no automatic film advance, no autofocus, not even a rangefinder, a cheaply made plastic lens that produce heavy vignetting and random results.
If you want to get into the Dianas, you better get a Diana F+, which offers a whole system and can be affordable second hand. But as I love to play with old basic stuff, the original Diana is a nice find for me.

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