Friday, June 12, 2009

My Diana!

My friend J has gotten me interested in lomo photography. She got a Holga a few weeks ago, and it's a inexpensive plastic film camera, that uses 120 film, has a fixed lens, and is pretty much completely manual. She said that since the camera is, for lack of a better term cheaply made images are a little fuzzy and the cameras are prone to vignetting and light leaks, which can create unpredictable and very interesting effects.

This sounded really interesting so I started looking into them, and I picked up the book Plastic Cameras: Toying with Creativity by Michelle Bates. This book in my opinion is pretty great, it came out before the Diana was re-released so it focuses more on the Holga but it gives you the history of plastic cameras, goes into different models a bit, has a gallery of artist's photos, gives tips & mods, film types and qualities, composition, and film processing. Over all I think it's a pretty good intro to the toy camera world.

Diana cameras came out in the 60's and was one of the first plastic cameras on the market in the West, and was a way for photography students to learn the basics of camera operation and composition without having to sink a whole lot of cash into it. Unfortunately they were discontinued in the 70's, but the Holga filled the empty space when they were released in 1982.

Since I'm lucky enough to be coming into the plastic camera community with brand new Dianas as well as Holgas on the market, I had a pretty tough choice to make. I spent a couple of weeks looking at them and ultimately went with the Diana because it seems to be the more versatile of the two with regards to light settings, focal distance, and available accessories. I'm probably going to end up with one of each though, because of the different quirks and qualities they each have.

Anyway I went with the F+ kit because it had the flash, the kit also included 2 masks for different picture sizes, a pretty wide range of plastic colored filters to put in the flash, lens cap, hot shoe adapter, and a book that's all about the Diana (I haven't started it yet though). There is a Deluxe Kit that has ALL of the Diana accessories that I know of but since I'm just getting started with it I didn't want to spend that much on it.

I also picked up some B & W film and plan on taking my first pictures tomorrow at the WWKIP I'm going to.