The Debonair: The Different Diana Clone


I have quite a lot of sixties Dianas and its clones. They all look similar and yet they are all a bit different. I like all those plastic vintage cameras, not only because they look good, but also because they all have their own little quirks and features. However, one stands out, and it is the Debonair. I am really crazy about this one. Let me explain you why.

Credits: gauthierdumonde

The Diana and its clones

There are a lot of Diana clones made in the sixties, too many to name them all, and I have quite a few of them. There is Anny, and Rand, and Samtoy, etc. They all look alike, and they are all a bit different. Some have rather flat plastic lenses, other have convex lenses, some have a real slow shutter speed, like my Anny, some give real low-fi pictures, like my Rand. That’s why I like them so much, but beware, it is not because my Anny has a slow shutterspeed, that your Anny is the same. It is commonly known that those speeds show great variation, even within the same model.

A pic by Anny
Rand my lo-fi master

Debonair the one that you want

One of those clones however is really different, at least mine is. It is called the Debonair. First I have to warn you, there is more than one camera out there called Debonair and I am talking about the sixties Chinese Diana clone. So what’s different? Well, mine has a really wide aperture. The actual size of the widest aperture is about 1 cm, where the other clones only have apertures between 4mm and 6mm. I will spare you the math but the Debonair shoots at F/6 where the other Diana clones only shoot at f/11 to f/13. This changes a lot. The pictures become softer, it’s more difficult to focus, and you can use it under not so bright conditions. Which is great when you live in a northern country.

Credits: gauthierdumonde
Credits: gauthierdumonde

I love fat rolls and my Debonair does too

My Debonair loves fat rolls, every single roll shot with this camera is loose on the spool. So when you take it out, light will leak in through the sides creating real nice light leaks.

Credits: gauthierdumonde

When I checked the pictures other community members take with this camera, I noticed they had light leaks too. So it appears to be a typical feature of the debonair. All toy cameras produce from time to time a fat roll, but this camera always gives fat rolls and that is quite exceptional.

Credits: adi_totp, opon21 & mattystevo

If you don’t want the light leaks, just unload the film in total darkness and tighten it on the spool. But to be honest, I like the light leaks and their unpredictability. Not ever frame is affected and you’ll never know in advance how the leak is going to look like. If I don’t want leaks I just take another camera.

So my camera loving lomography friends, I have only one advice for you left, if you like these soft light leaked pictures, put the Debonair on your wishlist! And keep spreading the LomoLove !

written by gauthierdumonde on 2013-03-29 in #reviews #sixties #diana #clone #chinese #debonair #vintage-camera #different


  1. gauthierdumonde
    gauthierdumonde ·

    In the meantime I have a second Debonair, and yes it has also a wide aperture.

  2. ohlordy
    ohlordy ·

    @gauthierdumonde i just measured my deboanairs large aperture and alas it's only about 5mm! but love her still i do.

  3. wuxiong
    wuxiong ·

    Cool camera...^..^ Mine is a little different from yours. It is also named Debornair, the biggest different lies in the shutter press, the same with Holga's, and it takes 16 frmaes instead of 12.....^..^

  4. gauthierdumonde
    gauthierdumonde ·

    @ohlordy Strange, I have two of them and both have that wide aperture. Is your exactly sthe same? I have seen models with different lens numbers (not that it matters :) ). Mine are Super Lens No. 809

  5. ohlordy
    ohlordy ·

    Exactly the same! Love it, so many clones... But none alike!

  6. segata
    segata ·

    I'd love to get my hands on a Diana clone but they currently seem to go for quite a bit on ebay :(

  7. gauthierdumonde
    gauthierdumonde ·

    @ohlordy meet the family
    ------ @segata My most expensive was the Diana F, I paid 30 euros, al the others were cheaper, between 7 and 25 euros.

  8. segata
    segata ·

    Last one I tried for was one with Future scientist on the lens and it ended at something like 41 pounds, Im not sure how much that is in euros but it I thought it was way too much.
    What clones would you say are the cheapest to find?

  9. syhash
    syhash ·

    It looks great! Do you have any idea where I could find one?

  10. kylethefrench
    kylethefrench ·

    cool stuff

  11. gauthierdumonde
    gauthierdumonde ·

    @segata @ syhash samtoy, dories, rand, anny, sinoflex etc. you should find them for 15 bucks. They pop up on ebay in waves. Sometimes you can't find a single one, sometimes ten at a time. 41 pounds is too much :(. You have to search on those crappy names and add 'camera' to it. They have been made under numerous names. I know at least 15 names and I have a "Linda" which I never saw in a list.

  12. segata
    segata ·

    Thanks, I will keep an eye on ebay and stick to that limit :)

More Interesting Articles

  • Registering Moments With the Lomo'Instant

    written by bgaluppo on 2015-05-02 in #gear #lifestyle
    Registering Moments With the Lomo'Instant

    Some people say instant photos bring about a feeling of nostalgia. Although I often use the Lomo'Instant Camera with different crazy accessories such as the Splitzer and color gels, I have to agree there is something about it — dreamy vignettes maybe? — that always makes me want to go back in time and experience it all over again. In the name of analogue photography and good old memories, we passed by some classic spots in Vienna and took one shot after the other. Take a closer look at our gallery.

  • The Diana F+ Metropolis: Urban Adventures and Pretty Pinholes

    written by Wessel de Haas on 2015-06-08 in #gear #reviews
    The Diana F+ Metropolis: Urban Adventures and Pretty Pinholes

    I have used my Diana F+ Metropolis for a couple of rolls now, and I am starting to get the hang of it. In this review, I will show you the quirks and capabilities of this beauty.

  • Petzval Lomographer of The Week: Golfpunkgirl

    written by anamartaml on 2015-08-10 in #people
    Petzval Lomographer of The Week:  Golfpunkgirl

    Our Lomographers love their Petzval and, as a result, they have taken it to the most amazing places: gardens full of green, immensely busy cities and breathtaking landscapes. Yet, sometimes, all you need is what you have right at home. Keeping family memories with the Petzval Lens never looked this good, and golfpunkgirl does it well.

  • Shop News

    Standard Photo Development Services

    Standard Photo Development Services

    Done shooting and want your films to be processed? We can process your colour and black & white 35mm, 120 or 110 films! Development, prints and scans are also included. (Service availability depends on your markets)

  • Awesome Albums: Purple Horizon by Weleasewoger72

    written by lomographymagazine on 2015-05-01 in #world #lifestyle
    Awesome Albums: Purple Horizon by Weleasewoger72

    If this view looks too sweet to be true, it's because the gable houses, spindly bridges and docked boats are all miniature! Using Horizon Kompakt, one Lomographer turned the make-believe village of Babbacombe into a life-size vista.

  • December Workshops and Events at Lomography Soho!

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-11-20 in #world #events
    December Workshops and Events at Lomography Soho!

    Dust off the mistletoe and get the fairy lights out because it's December! Lomography Soho have got some festive workshops and events for you all this month, including the Lomo’Instant Wide launch party on 3rd December and a Winter Wonderland Diana Mini workshop! Don't miss it!

  • Black and White Photography: The Forms of the World

    written by lomographymagazine on 2016-01-19 in #world #lifestyle
    Black and White Photography: The Forms of the World

    Colors may be amped to look unreal, like nothing of this world. Shots may be doubled, cross-processed, post-processed, mixed up into collages. The possibilities are infinite, yet some photographers still prefer black and white. Even in 2016, it is an ode to classic values of precision and balance. Light and shadow must be one pleasing dance. And just like in a well-choreographed piece, forms are obvious or playing coy. It all depends on how you're looking.

  • Shop News

    Shoot recognizable images with the Petzval

    Shoot recognizable images with the Petzval

    You want your subject be the center of attention? Petzval lens photos are recognizable for sharpness and crispness in the centre, strong color saturation, wonderful swirly bokeh effect, artful vignettes and narrow depth of field that will make your subjects stand out!

  • The Instant Project

    written by suizidekid on 2015-06-23 in #world #lifestyle
    The Instant Project

    It was a cold and cloudy winter day in 2012 when I came up with the idea of compiling photographs of people's faces. I decided that the most personal way to do it is through instant shots. They are one of a kind and you immediately have something in your hands.

  • Analog By Nature

    written by Cameron Jean-laing on 2015-04-17 in #world #lifestyle #videos
    Analog By Nature

    It's late October in Copenhagen and summer was well and truly behind us. With the nights drawing in, the chances of going out with one of my cameras was slim. All was not lost at this time of year, however, as it allowed me time to focus on my own personal music projects—I am a professional composer/musician and audio engineer at my own studio by day.

  • Select Holiday Shipping Deals for Last Minute Shoppers!

    written by Lomography on 2015-12-17 in #gear #news
    Select Holiday Shipping Deals for Last Minute Shoppers!

    Have you been searching for the perfect gift for your loved ones and have yet to find it? Or maybe all of your shopping is done and it's time to treat yourself? Whatever the case may be, you're in luck — we've got awesome holiday shipping deals available around the globe! Depending on what country you order from, any order over €150/£150/$200 may qualify for free express shipping before the cut off dates. Scroll down to see more details!

  • Shop News

    the perfect surprise for every analogue loving enthusiast

     the perfect surprise for every analogue loving enthusiast

    Let your loved one pick the gift of their dreams. Lomography Online Shop Gift Certificates are the perfect present for every analogue devotee on your gift list

  • Vintage Gallery: Stunts and Balancing Acts

    written by lomographymagazine on 2015-07-14 in #world #lifestyle
    Vintage Gallery: Stunts and Balancing Acts

    In 1963, a couture-clad model in a bubble capsule floated through the streets of Paris. Melvin Sokolsky, the mastermind who dreamed it all, photographed her as strangers looked on. Stunts and gravity-defying acrobatics have this effect on people. The sense of danger or impossibility is the attraction; one cannot help but look.

  • Top 5 Remarkable Sunset Views

    written by lomographymagazine on 2015-07-01 in #world #lifestyle
    Top 5 Remarkable Sunset Views

    Like a quick-changing siren, a sunset has fantastic showmanship. It may come in a costume of luminous yellow one day, and a daring paint canvas the next. And of its various looks, five have been getting the loudest applause from all over the community.

  • Escaping Reality with Nathalie Daoust

    written by Lomography on 2016-02-11 in #people #lifestyle
    Escaping Reality with Nathalie Daoust

    Born and raised in Montreal, Nathalie Daoust is a Canadian photographer who uses her camera to explore hidden realms around escapism and female sexuality. Her projects have taken her to obscure places all across the world, from the US to Brazil, from Japan to China and currently to North Korea.