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Saturday
Apr162011

Rand Diana Plastic Toy 120 Film Camera Video Review

(If you can't see the video, please click here.)

Lomography, or the use of simple cameras to explore the world of analogue film photography, is an expanding and vital part of the photographic world.

Hundreds of thousands of people of all ages are putting away their digital cameras and instead they're using toy cameras, probably loaded with 120 Roll film, leaking light like mad and having so much fun it's unreal.

One of the classic Lomo cameras is the Diana. An incredibly cheaply made give-away camera built in Hong Kong in the '60s and '70s. The Diana came in a few different names and guises - check out this article on diana-cameras.com for photos and descriptions.

I picked up my Rand at a car-boot sale (no surprise there then!) for a couple of quid, and I've shot some black and white 120 film through it -Ilford XP2, which can be processed in ordinary c-41 colour processing, which most photo labs will use.

My Diana:

 Its Time To Go Lomo!

The Diana creates a lovely square format photograph. Focussing and exposure are simple enough. You turn the front lens element to the selected distance, and choose your exposure from sunny, cloudy, or partly cloudy. Thats it. No batteries, no worrying about f-stops or bothering about shutter speeds. Simple photogrpahy that simply works.

bw beach 3

 I love the look of these photos. Perhaps it's the square format, maybe its the vignetting or the edge blurring. Maybe it's the joy of seeing the photographs from this simple camera actually work, when I'm so used to digital cameras that are a hundred times more complicated. The Rand / Diana is a great camera and I love shooting with it!

bw beach 5

Remember that these cameras are fragile. Carefully turn the catch to release the base plate to load the film. Gingerly rotate the film wind-on knob. Treat it with respect and care - the Diana / Rand wasn't built to last, but with a bit of pampering you will get years of faithful service. If the camera has lasted this long, it's gotta live a bit longer!

bw from top

 So keep your eyes open at the car-boot sales and thrift stores for these old cameras, or head on over to lomography and buy a new one.

bw me

 Thanks, Rob.

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