Oh Diana

I just recently bought the lomography reproduction of the Diana camera. For those who don’t know, the Diana was made in the ’60s but thought a failure because of the light leaks and unpredictable photos it produced. These quirks were of course intriguing to some photography daredevils and the Diana (as well as her sister camera, Holga) became a cult favorite.

My first foray into using the Diana I had to retrain myself after each “click” not to check and see if the picture was worth saving or deleting. Finding a place that develops 120 film isn’t too difficult in San Francisco, but you can’t just drop it off at Walgreens and pick it up in an hour.


I got my first three black and white rolls back and a few of them turned out quite well, though I’m still learning what to do with the aperture, the pinhole setting, and how to compose my shots.

Dianas are now sold in Urban Outfitters and it seems like analog technology is once again making a resurgence. It takes more time and money than a point-and-shoot camera, but the unpredictability and dreamy shots are what makes these cameras so intriguing. Also, it’s pretty exciting to get a roll of film back from the developer. Like opening a present.


Anyone have tips or hints about the Diana? Do you prefer a Diana or Holga camera?

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  2. I use a Holga and love the ability to half advance the film and make stories through a strip of overlapping pictures and not just individual shots. I created a dark room in my basement so I don’t have to wait on development of my BW 120.

  3. Just bought a Diana as a gift the other night, and it was deeply satisfying to hold in my hands. I’m pretty certain there’s one on the horizon for me. The Lomography store in NYC does overnight developing.

  4. Me personally I love the holga, but the girlfriend loves her Diana as the she reckons the shutter speed is slighty faster than the holga. And now that she has the big black ugly flash on it, shes in love!