The Diana Cult Camera, a vintage crapgadget reborn

dianacamera__42922.gif

The Diana Cult Camera is a recreation of its famous plastic predecessor. According to the Wikipedia article, “Thee poor quality of the [Diana's] plastic meniscus lens results in generally low contrast, odd color rendition, chromatic aberration, and blurred images.” In other words, it takes in real time the sort of lousily ethereal, overfiltered pictures you’d have to spend hours fiddling in PhotoShop to achieve.

The Wikipedia article notes: “The Diana was first produced during the early 1960s in Kowloon, Hong Kong, by the “Great Wall Plastic Factory”, and was sold under various labels (often just a different stick-on nametag). Most were given away as novelties or prizes at fairs, carnivals, or other public events.” In other words, the Diana is a truly vintage crapgadget. Only £39.99.

Diana Cult Classic [Lazy Bone UK via Coolest Gadgets]

PreviouslyLo-Fi “Diana” Camera Reissued as “Diana+”
Flash for Diana+ vintage film camera

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10 Responses to The Diana Cult Camera, a vintage crapgadget reborn

  1. Anonymous says:

    I’d really like to see this kind of camera (this one or a Holga) with a digital backend instead of 120 or 35mm film since those are going to be dropped anytime.
    Maybe a DIY exchange of back or exchange of lens…

  2. Anonymous says:

    There is also the Holga plastic crappy camera. Very similar to the Diana and a little bit cheaper in price. I just had a show in my home town where showed all images taken from a Holga. Check out Holga Mods (http://www.holgamods.com/mods/mods.html) for Holgas that have been modified for cable releases, aperture mods, and more. Also check out the Krappy Kamera Contest at the sohoi gallery http://www.sohophoto.com/krappy_kamera_comp.html

  3. Anonymous says:

    Actually people have been taking the lens off of the holga or diana and fastening or gluing them to a cut out body cap of their digital slr’s. So you have a really nice Digital SLR with a crappy lens.

  4. mazerrackham says:

    Re #2: There are lots of DIY instruction sets out there for hacking a holga lens onto an SLR (or DSLR). Here’s the first one that came up on google: http://www.flickr.com/photos/atanguay/sets/72157594165111190/

    I also don’t see either 120 or 35mm going away any time soon. It’s not like polaroid where a single company produced the film. Plus, film is still used by many professional photographers. It might become more expensive as production goes down, but dropped? Nah.

  5. Mark Crummett says:

    I work as a photo lab tech near a major university. All The Cool Kids seem to have discovered Holgas and Dianas at Urban Outfitters, and the Lomographics web site. Dear God, I hate these things! I’m the guy who has to process and print the HORRIBLE pictures from these things. What a complete waste of time and effort. I suppose some interesting pictures can be made with them, but I’ve never seen any. If you want to take crappy pictures, smear some Vaseline on the lens of a cheap 35mm disposable and save both of us a lot of time, trouble and expense.

  6. aTanguay says:

    Anything more than 20-25 US dollars for a ‘crappy camera’ like a Diana or Holga is a crime. Keep in mind…it WILL break sooner than later.

    These reissues are a huge money grab…look on eBay for an original one instead.

    PS: That’s my set in #3! 8-)

  7. Latente says:

    £39.99 ?

    Lulz: you can find “original diana clone” or a “original diana” for 5€ in thrift store.

    http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=diana&w=33423611%40N00

  8. muteboy says:

    Who’s going to patent the word “Dianography”?

  9. Downpressor says:

    I’ve kinda wanted to play around with one of these or the recently announced Japanese plastic view camera but the prices barely seem worth it to me.

  10. nixiebunny says:

    My first camera – I got one of these plastic wonders (perhaps not this exact model) in 1968 (I was 7) via mail order for 50 cents and a stack of candy wrappers. It was truly craptastic! It used 127 roll film for a square picture. I don’t think that stuff is around these days.

    The two main effects I obtained free with every photo were vignetting and light leaks around the edges. They combined to make a spooky frame around the image. I shot black n white film, since that stuff was cheaper than color.

    Unfortunately, I don’t think any of the photos survived all these years. It’s just as well.

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