In this post, I described my recent film loading disaster with the Lomography Diana Mini camera; a modern remake of the classic plastic 1960s Diana camera. I got some scans back a few months ago from a roll of Kodak Ultramax 400 I’d managed to successfully run through this little blue and black bit of plastic.
Like my Smena 8M experience, I’d call the Diana Mini camera rather cranky. It’s small and cute, but it’s also tough to load, hard to wind on when you get part way through a roll, and offers a fine impression of breakage whenever a small button is pressed or a plastic winder is rolled. That said, it’s light, easy to drop in a bag, and fun in its own cranky lomographic way. Here are some photos from a roll pulled through it some months ago:
The character of the plasticky Diana Mini wonder is immediately obvious: saturated colours, blur, questionable sharpness, and a two dimensional depth of field. This all adds up to a dream pictorial tone that matches well to the characteristics of the classic Diana camera from the 1960s.
It was certainly an uncommonly golden sunset that evening, but I think the plastic lens of the Diana mini somehow made it even warmer and more saturated !
Even though the Diana lacks a lot of manual control options, it’s possible to work within those limits to produce interesting images. For the above photo, I knew that I wanted the highlights to blow out and create a central pool of light. I opened up the aperture a little more by setting it to overcast, and by pointing into the sunlight, I was able to record the above image on the fast 400 ISO film. The vignetting emphasises this pool of light.