Vintage Diana: A Yard Sale Celebrity

10

I picked up a vintage Diana 151 at a flea market. It was the best $0.00 I ever spent.

A few weeks ago, I was wandering through a flea market looking for old cameras when I spotted this beauty. I expected it to be extremely expensive, but when I asked for the price, the guy at the booth told me I could have it for free! Here’s what it looks like:

Here are some pictures I took with it:

I was pleasantly surprised that there were practically no light leaks, seeing as the Diana was about 50 years old. From what I know, it was made in Hong Kong during the 60’s by the Great Wall Plastic Company in Kowloon. It has 2 basic shutter settings, the I and B (bulb), with 3 apertures (sunny: f19, partially cloudy: f13, and cloudy: f11), much like the current Diana F+ cameras, except the 2-pin flash gun attachment.

According to the Diana camera's Wikipedia page:

The Diana first appeared during the early 1960s as an inexpensive box camera sold by the Great Wall Plastic Factory of Kowloon, Hong Kong. Most were exported to the United States and the United Kingdom. In the United States, the Diana was imported by the Power Sales Company of Willow Grove, Pennsylvania. During the 1960s, Power Sales Company sold the Diana wholesale by a case of 144 cameras. They were priced at about 50 U.S. cents per unit to retailers and promotional merchandisers.

Most Diana cameras were given away or sold for nominal sums as novelties or prizes at fairs, carnivals, product promotions, raffles, or other events. For a time, the camera was also regularly advertised for sale in various periodicals through mail order vendors. However, with the development of inexpensive, higher quality consumer cameras such as the Kodak Instamatic, together with the declining popularity of film, demand for the Diana — even as a novelty gift — gradually disappeared. Production of the Diana, its clones, close copies, and variants is believed to have stopped in the 1970s, though similar 35 mm box cameras were produced for many years thereafter by various companies in Hong Kong and Taiwan for use as promotional items.

Soon after that, the Diana gained a HUGE cult following with its cheapness, reliability, good looks, and dreamy vignetting (fancy word for dark corners).

If you want a Diana camera, you can always get the Diana F+ from the Lomography Shop!

References used for this review are Diana Camera -- Wikipedia and Diana Camera website

The Diana F+ is a new twist on the ‘60s classic cult camera. Famous for its dreamy and soft-focused images, the Diana F+ is now packed with extra features such as panorama and pinhole capabilities. Available in our Online Shop.

written by robotmonkey1996 on 2011-12-08 in #reviews

10 Comments

  1. syira690
    syira690 ·

    you are so lucky!

  2. bridgetj
    bridgetj ·

    Good find, and well spotted!

  3. gvelasco
    gvelasco ·

    Luckeeeeeeeey.

  4. co
    co ·

    8/9 very cool!

  5. robotmonkey1996
    robotmonkey1996 ·

    Thanks, guys! this was my first article.

  6. jourdanlynch
    jourdanlynch ·

    OMG!

  7. domo-guy
    domo-guy ·

    LUCKY!

  8. bpvarona
    bpvarona ·

    Wow this is just wonderful :) Great find!

  9. taranoia
    taranoia ·

    I'll pay you $1 for it! That's a $1 profit. hahahaa.jk. You are such a lucky dog!

  10. mikeydavies
    mikeydavies ·

    you total lucky person!x

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