Thursday, April 5, 2012


Tree by William 74
Tree, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.

Hang around with a certain sort of photog long enough, and you hear about something called a Diana. The Diana camera is a cheap, plastic camera, with a plastic meniscus lens, a leaf shutter, and zone focusing via little icons on the lens barrel. They were originally made in Hong Kong in the sixties, and were usually imported as giveaways for raffles and opening bank accounts, that sort of thing. The are really distinct looking, black plastic with a turquoise top and a shiny lens barrel with DIANA writ large across the front.

Dianas take medium format 120 film, and their lenses have a peculiar, lo-fi effect that's usually called "dreamy" but is sometimes just called "fuzzy" or "not really sharp at all". Between the artifacts and stuff like vignettes and light leaks, Diana cameras have a unique fingerprint.

Anyway, the Diana camera became beloved for it's uniquely flawed prints, and eventually went back into production, in various formats and with different lenses available, just like a real camera. You can even get Diana lenses with adapters for your fancypants DSLR. Which is exactly what I did here, since I haven't got a darkroom and am tired of sending 120 film away and waiting two weeks.

TL;DR, I took this picture of a tree with a cheap plastic lens.


  1. I love the "TL;DR" bit at the end.

    But I loved the long version more. ♥