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The Diana is more of a cult item than a 60s classic, but if you like the idea of quirky photos from a vintage camera, you can pick one up thanks to a reissue by Lomo.
The Diana was originally made by the Great Wall Plastic Factory in Hong Kong in the 1960s, famous for producing out-of-focus images that have (unintentionally) become its trademark.
The new version still does that – and on old 120 roll film. In fact, apart from a couple of minor improvements, this is the same as the one you would buy 40+ years ago. Available from October, you can pre-order one now for $50 (around £25).
Find out more at the Unica Home website
3 thoughts on “Lomo reproduces 1960s Diana camera”
I’ve been told (although it’s not been confirmed) that the first photography course in the photojournalism program at Ohio University required students to use the Diana. The reasoning was that one should know how to take good photos before learning to fiddle with the knobs and buttons.
Apparently retro isn’t cheap – I bought a Diana when I was a kid for $5.
This looks very like my first Camera, which came from something called an “Adventure Kit” which was basically had a little satchel like bag one could attach to a belt, a compass and a small pen knife. and I think some plastic binoculars. However the best bit was the Camera, which looked very like this but took 127 roll film.
I took it on a school trip to Cheddar Caves must have been around 1967 or 68 (I must have been about 8 or 9). The pictures came out like nothing on Earth The lens tended to blur everything around the edges and the shutter speed couldn’t have been much more than 1/15 of a second so it was very prone to Camera shake. Still I took some interesting photographs with it, well the quality was so poor the pictures had some surprising abstract Surreal qualities.
Mind one thing it did do, was convince me I needed a better camera. 🙂 Which got me interested in photography. So maybe there was something to be said for cheap cameras after all.
Rumor confirmed. I went to Ohio University in 1970 and we were all required to shoot with the Diana in the initial photography class. It put all students on an equal footing. Memory fades, but I think it cost $2.50 at the arts school store. I still have it!