Junky, but with a lo-fi charm.
Lomography - both the pseudo-art-form and the company whose brand name the practice shares - is a polarizing thing. Its detractors say it's a pretentious activity for hipsters, using overpriced junk sold by a money-grabbing evil empire that sell things purely on branding alone. Its followers claim it has charm, warmth, and a sense of community and fun.
Me? I fall into the latter camp, but I can definitely see the argument presented against it.
In a non-biased sense, not favouring either side, a lot of Lomography's cameras are made entirely of plastic, but are ingeniously designed. There are a whole load of add-ons made, which while expensive for what they are, are always a lot cheaper than the "proper" versions used by "proper" photographers. And the results? Well, they speak for themselves. They do often have that old-school warmth and dreamy haze, and can (depending on what you do) have some buck-wild colours that can look stunning.
The Diana F+ is a prime example of all of the above. It's relatively lightweight plastic, and probably wouldn't take to being dropped too well. And as its viewfinder doesn't look through the lens, the only focusing option available is a basic zone focusing ring. And forget about the light metering and countless aperture/shutter speed settings on your expensive SLR: Here you have two speeds (N, which is about 1/60, and B) and four apertures (handily shown, for the beginner, as cloud, part cloud, sun and pinhole - F/11, F/16, F/22 and F/150 respectively). And if you don't like the basic lens, or don't like using 120, or if you prefer instant photography, there are add-ons available to change all of that. The 35mm back, for example, is very popular.
So what you have, ultimately, is a camera that while easy to pick up - unlike SLRs, you're unlikely, as a complete novice, to get overwhelmed with options) - is pretty tough to master. You can spend years just taking basic snapshots and getting decent results, but if you want to teach yourself how photography works, this is a good way to learn principles like metering by eye, Sunny 16 rules, etc., and eventually, you can get some amazing photographs worthy of hanging on a wall somewhere.
Whether or not you want to buy this, however, depends on how patient and tolerant you are. Yes, you will get a lot of underexposed shots at first. And yes, nothing will be perfectly sharp and in focus. But that's part of the charm, and part of the learning curve. And for the £45 it costs on average (or £80 with flash), you'll have a lot of fun with it. Carry it everywhere; it'll become your new best friend.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
I really love this camera!
I brought it to go on a camping trip with, asI hate digital cameras and the whole 'oooh let me see let me see' and just wanted something I could snap away with and hopefully end up with some nice pictures.
I wasn't dissapointed! I read loads of reviews before i brouht it so knew what to expect. As was informed, the camera is plasticy and looks and feels like a toy (best toy ever, mind), and has a habit of occasionally getting stuck when you try and wind on, so you get some rather odd yet brillaint double exposed pictures. I also read that you would waste the first film trying to figure it out, which I duely did. It also has a handy strap so you can wear it round your neck, and looks pretty damn cool...
I have never used a 35mm camera like this before, where you insert the film (I know! And I'm 25!), and I've found this great fun, really easy to work, and I got some lovely photos! I'm slightly addicted now, and all my friends are buying one, copycats.
The only downsides are the fact the lense cap just doesn't stick on, which is the most ridiculous fault in the world, and also if you have large fingers you will have real difficulty adjusting the lens focus. Its also not really made to last all that long, its too plasticy and will break easily.
Other then that, its great! I mega loves it!
Lomo Diana F+ 35mm Film Camera
Ok, were to start about this camera?
This isn't about great optics and functionality, it's about having a piece of photographic history which produced some very peculiar pictures because of the build quality of the original. It's made of plastic, feels like it's made of plastic and takes terrible pictures, with a very odd quality about them.
The boxed set that I bought had a hard back book that gave some history and photos, showing the photos that this camera should produce.
I suppose it's like having a valve amp for a guitar, there's something very analogue about the sound. The same is true of the Diana camera. You just get a really nice feeling about the results this camera produces.
Can't say much else really other than you will but one of these knowing what your getting into, and this delivers.