the original diana was made back in the 1960s by a small firm called the great wall plastics factory in hong kong. back then, the diana was a cheap camera that never became a mainstream product and in 2007, the lomography society created the diana+ and then the flash version – diana f+. these plastic cameras have a dead-simple shutter and produces beautiful soft-focus images and became an instant hit!
the popularity of the lomography diana f+ encouraged the release of a series of clones and there is a stunning design to suit every style. the one that i purchased over two years ago is the spanish version called ‘el toro’. this design was to commemorate the diana+ world tour in spain.
this camera uses 120 film and has three specific film format where you can produce twelve large square shots, sixteen small square shots or endless panorama. the aperture settings for the camera is simplified to match the outdoor weather (sunny, partial cloud and full clouds) which makes it very easy to use. the shutter is set at 1/60 of a second but you can always opt for the ‘b’ mode where the shutter stays open for as long as you like.
my favourite feature of the camera would be the ability for multiple exposure. i’ve only had successful double exposures and have yet to master triple. i think the key is to make sure that the two shots are underexposed so that the resulting image would not be overexposed.
the f+ version of the diana comes with a flash and colour gel filters that allows you to change the colour of the flashing light. it’s great for portraits and can create playful photos that are spontaneous and fun.
my diana f+ clone is my favourite lomography camera. i love the images that the plastic lens produces and the endless possibilities. the only problem is that the cost for film (purchase/development) is too expensive and it is hard to find a store that still develops 120 films. it’s an expensive hobby but the end result makes it all worth while.