The Diana F+ is a plastic bodied, box camera that first came onto the scene in the early 1960s. They were sold by the Great Wall Plastic Factory in Hong Kong and were later shipped to the US and UK. It had a mechanical film advance, spring-loaded shutter and a primitive plastic view finder.
Interestingly enough, it was first marketed as an inexpensive novelty gift. You know, just a cute little something you get for someone – and this cute little something could take photos. Most of them were given away at fairs, or as a prize for winning a contest or raffle and for product promotions. However, when other better quality cameras came around, for example, the “Kodak Instamatic”, the Diana F+ camera just wasn’t doing it for people anymore. It eventually disappeared into obscurity in the 1970s.
Today, however, the Diana F+ (now called the Diana+) is back on the market and comes in several different whimsical colours (clones). The black and green one below is the colour of the original Diana F+ camera.
These cameras still work the same as the original, although you might be able to find the odd digital one here and there, and are favoured by the avante garde photographer, the eager vintage camera collector and the ever present hipster.
The one striking feature about the Diana+ camera is the “lomographic” (I think I made that up) style of the photos it captures. The features I had mentioned earlier of the Diana+ camera may seem undesirable right off the bat, but several photographers and photography institutions have utilised these characteristics to acheive an artistic and creative effect. Below are a few examples photographs taken on a Diana+ camera.
As you can see the edges are a bit blurry and the focus does fall on the object in the centre, but ultimately not too clearly. On the VSCO app, this is similar to the “vingette” effect. Any photos you took on this camera would get that vintagey feel – no filter needed.
It’s a fun little camera to have, and they are still fairly inexpensive at Ksh. 4900 ($49) for the camera alone and an extra Ksh. 5900 ($59) for the flash attachment, OR Ksh 9900 ($99) for the camera and flash attachment together.
They come in fun colours and some clones with their own little quirks. If you would like to get yourself one of these, be on the look out at your next flea market or bargain bin store – a second hand one will probably cost a lot less – or head on over to the lomography.com shop.
Disclaimer:NOT my photos