Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Random Camera - Lomography Diana F+

For this post, I'm going to try something a little bit different.  I'm going to post a video unboxing (even though this isn't the newest camera on the block), overview and review of the camera and my results thus far. 

The most recent roll of film I shot through the Diana F+ was only my second roll; so like most of my other cameras, I'm still learning their intricacies and peculiarities.  The first roll of film that I ran through my Diana F+ was Lomography Color Negative 100 and I shot that on my weekend photo trip to Mansfield, Ohio earlier this year.  The second roll was Ilford Delta Pro 3200 black and white.  I had a few nice shots on the first roll, so I was expecting a better outing with my second roll.  Unfortunately, that didn't occur. Before I get to the video review and my results, here's a little background info on the Diana F+.

It might surprise some of you, but the Diana camera has been around since the '60s.  According to the Lomography website, there was a small Hong Kong firm named "The Great Wall Plastics Factory" that created the Diana camera, made entirely of plastic, for a cost of about a dollar a camera.  The camera was a commercial failure and was discontinued in the '70s.  It gained a popularity among avant garde artists and lo-fi photographers for the type of images it produced.  There were many Diana "clones" produced during the same time, but the shift in consumer preference to 35mm doomed the camera.  However, in 2007, Lomography decided to "rebuild" the camera from the ground up and the Diana F+ was born.  The original Diana was equipped with two shutter speeds, three apertures and manual focusing.  The Lomography rebirth of the Diana kept the main features of the original, but added a few new tricks to the old dog of a camera.  It was now equipped with a pinhole mode, endless panoramas and a boat load of accessories.

So, now that you know a little history about the Diana, let's get to the video unboxing and results gallery!

After recording and watching this blogpost, there are a few things that I would like to change as I produce more of these segments.  So, I hope you'll forgive the long-windedness, the less than stellar camera placement and the other flaws with my first video review.  Regardless, I hope you have a better idea of the Diana F+ and the results it can achieve.  Here are the images that were featured in the video:

Roll #1 - Lomography Color Negative 100

The last two shots in that series were shot using the Diana F+ pinhole mode.  I really like the results I was able to achieve using this mode and I look forward to experimenting with it more in the future.  The next set of images is from my second roll, which was shot on Ilford Delta Pro 3200.  This is the loose roll that I mentioned in the video.  The effect on the film was the interesting light leaks and the backing paper image being burned onto some of the exposures.  I like the effect it had on some of the images and that's part of the fun/appeal of a Lomography camera.

Roll #2 - Ilford Delta Pro 3200 Black and White (The Loose Roll)

So, not bad for the first two rolls on the Diana F+.  I look forward to trying the camera out with the small modification I made to the spool/film holders.  I hope it fixes the "loose roll" problem and I'll be anxious to display the results.  If you're interested in checking out the results of a few professionals that use the Diana, check out Mark Sink and Allan Detrich.

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