The first Diana camera (without
F for flash) is a simple plastic camera, often
camera, from the 1960s. It has no flash connection and was sold in a
small yellow box, size of the camera. It was produced by the Great Wall
in Hong Kong and was branded with many names for different markets. The
first model has "NO. 151 MADE IN HONG KONG" written on the lever releasing the back. The
Dianas were either sold at prices as low as $1 or given away as
promotional items. They were packed in boxes of 144 cameras for the
resellers. The original Dianas used 120 film.
lens is simple
plastic meniscus lens with some vignetting. Light leaks are frequent,
often you had to put black tape over the seams. Each frame is 4cm x
4cm, so a roll of 120 film gives 16 frames. Focusing is done by turning
the lens' index to 3 zones, 4-6ft, 6-12ft, or 12ft to infinity. There
are 3 F-stops, sometimes said to be random, around F4.5, F8 and F11 due
to less sensitive film in the 1960s and smaller towards the end
of production (F11, F13 and F19). Several variations in top-plate and
The second model had a flash, hence its name "Diana F". It was sold in a bigger red box which also contained the bulb flash. It is marked "NO. 162 MADE IN HONG KONG" on the lever releasing the back. By the end of the 1970s 120 film was replaced by 135 film
in cheap cameras. It is not sure when the production of the original
Diana stopped, but full cases of 144 Dianas were still available in the
2000s. 135 film versions or look-alikes appeared in the 1970s.
In.2007 the Lomographische AG in
launched the Diana F+ in the original 120 format. The medium-format Diana F+ is has become a
system camera, with interchangeable lenses, flashes, and film backs. It
has two formats, the original 16 frame 42x42mm, and a
12-frames-per-film 52x52mm. Features such as a tripod socket
and a shutter lock were added.
The camera shown is the Diana F model with a bulb flash. Its main features are:
What' in the box: camera with cap and flash, instructions (German in this case).
Camera, flash and cap.
front. Viewer window. Zone focus scale arounf the lens.
back. Finder. Red window.
Camera top. Flash socket, film advance knob. On the lens: speed setting
and shutter lever.
Camera bottom. No tripod socket. Back cover release. On the lens:
The bulb flash.
Seen from the back. It takes a variety of bulbs which are indicated.
open. You have to turn the white plastic ring around the bulb socket to
release. It needs 2 AA batteries, one with the + and the other with the
- towards the contacts as indicated. .
Diana F and F+ comparison. Not much difference at first sight.
Even the flash styling was saved.
Seen from the top.
Seen from the bottom.
And finally the Lomo Diana film camera family: the Diana F+ for 120 film, the Diana Mini for 135 film and the Diana Baby, for 110 cartridge film.
The Diana F isn't a reasonable camera nowadays. It is a basic plastic camera
with only one speed, no automatic exposure, no automatic film advance,
no autofocus, not even a rangefinder, a cheaply made plastic lens that
produce heavy vignetting and random results.
If you want to get into the Dianas, you better get a Diana F+, which
offers a whole system and can be affordable second hand. But as I love
to play with old basic stuff, the Diana F is a nice find for me.