Diana +

Posted by Scott


The "Diana +": even lower-fi alternative to the Holga? Sent in by Damo.

"Back in the 1960’s, a small firm in Hong Kong — the Great Wall Plastics Factory — created a dirt-cheap 120 camera called the “Diana.” Crafted entirely of plastic, each camera cost about a dollar. As a mainstream product, the Diana was pretty much a failure — and was discontinued in the 1970’s. But like any superstar cut down in their prime, the Diana’s posthumous appeal skyrocketed. As a cult artistic tool of avant-garde and lo-fi photographers, it was a rousing success! They loved its soft & dreamy images, super-saturated colors, unpredictable blurring, and random contrast. Diana shots are raw & gritty, with a character all their own. They simply cannot be duplicated by any other camera on Earth! In short order, the Diana rose to prominence as one of the most treasured and sought-after cult analog cameras from the late 70’s onward. The Diana is now available again at Lomo Stockists around the world."

Anyone have any experience with these?

13 Comments Leave A Comment


Forrest says:

December 19, 2007 at 5:43 pm

I JUST bought one for my girlfriend for christmas… I will let you know how it turns out. Although, just from playing around with it from the box, I don’t think it has as much versatility as the Holga. But I could be wrong.

Then again, the images it has created that I have seen are fabulous…


Rene Bach says:

December 20, 2007 at 2:37 am

I found 2 old Diana cameras in a Danish 2nd Hand Store and got them for 50p each. And one of them had a flash unit with it, but i never tested it out.
But the other Diana works brilliantly after a bit of masking tape to make it more light proof. Best results is with a Slide film being cross-processed and shoot in bright sunshine.


Bobby says:

December 20, 2007 at 10:05 am

I happened to start playing with a Diana + in an Urban Outfitters the other day and compared with my Holga it really looks interesting. It’s much lighter and the choice of apertures is definitely a step up. The Holga, though advertised as having two apertures, in actuality only has one. I have personally found this very limiting and also haven’t yet been wowed by my plastic fantastic. The cost of shooting medium format (for a hobbyist) and the completely uneven results I get due to the lack of flexibility are slowly turning me off the thing. That said, when I do get one really nice picture I’m very very pleased. People only do post their very best with this camera and I suspect there are a lot of duds. A lot.


louis says:

December 20, 2007 at 11:16 am

Wow, this looks very interesting.
Do you know if you have to get it processed any differently (more expensively) when you bring it in to get prints made?


sayer says:

December 20, 2007 at 6:25 pm

I got a couple different lomos and holgas. When you get a good photo it is really great, but you will burn through a lot of rolls. It’s fun to have these cameras though. I was going to get the Diana for my girlfriend for christmas but found the “MULTICOLORED HOLGA” and opted for that instead. they make it in crazy colors and they have a built-in multi color flash. Great because the main problem i have had with these cameras is low light. Flash is a must for some situations. Bottom line its a fun camera to have just don’t expect the world from them. Oh yeah and it comes with a roll of tape to stick and patch up its’ flaws. HA.


elissa says:

January 3, 2008 at 5:49 am

Can any of you guys save my life and tell me how and where you actually tape these cameras up???? My Diana is producing about 50/50 pleasing shots, but the last film (400 ISO) on a bright day was full of light leaks that went beyond “happy accidents”….the taping sounds like the cure she needs. Plus, I’ve decided to always use slide film from now on. The film is cheaply got from eBay and weve found several places that cross-process for free. So worth it.


Jason says:

January 4, 2008 at 5:17 pm

I just thought I’d share my experience with the Holga. I cannot comment on the Diana, but I may look into one now that they seem to be available again.
About the Holga:
If you want consistent (for a Holga) results, you have to disassemble the camera and spray the inside of it with flat black paint. Even if you tape the outside, many times light will still enter and when that happens it will bounce around all those shiny surfaces and onto your film. I don’t remember the procedure exactly, but you can probably find it on one of the Holga enthusiast sites. I suspect a similar thing may happen with the Dianas. You also cannot trust the red window on the Holga, even with black and white film. Keep black tape over it and only view it briefly in the shade as you advance the frames. I even fitted (with tape) a lens hood to mine to further control unwanted chromatic abberations (funny to say in regard to a Holga, I realize). Everyone in my photo studio class cracked up, but I have never had an unexpected result with my Holga. Although I have probably missed countless wonderful unexpected “mistakes” for which these cameras are known. I would also suggest 400 speed color negative film as it is very forgiving and even responds positively to slight overexposure.