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The triumphant return of the Diana Lomo camera


The Diana was a truly awful medium format camera introduced in the 1960s by the Great Wall Plastics Factory in Hong Kong. Its plastic body and lens were anything but high precision, making it unpredictable and prone to happy accidents and inconvenient light leaks. The simple design was copied by numerous other manufacturers during its heyday in the 1970s. Production ceased years ago, just as artists and experimental photographers were beginning to discover the unique charms of these cheap and cheery cameras. Inevitably, they became much sought after.

Lomography.com recently introduced an updated version, the Diana +. This Chinese-manufactured plastic device improves on the original by offering a removable lens that unscrews to reveal a pinhole, allowing pinhole photography without modification. They were even considerate enough to make the top of the camera a ghastly vintage shade of blue. The Diana + also lets you play with a panorama mode that allows you to stitch together a panoramic scene on the negative with multiple exposures. The original Diana camera didn't have the precision required to achieve this effect.

Diana+ camera
A third trick is a shutter lock to help you achieve dreamy light-streaked nighttime long exposure shots. The camera uses more-or-less easy to find 120 roll film. Prices start at $50 for the camera alone, of $70 for a package that adds 20 rolls of Agfa film. The camera offers three switchable frame sizes allowing 12 shots (5.2 x 5.2cm), 16 shots (4.2 x 4.2cm) and endless panorama mode (4.6 x 4.6 cm). There are only three lens aperture settings, so it's fairly hard to go wrong.

Diana+ Lomo Camera  [via Ektopia]


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