The Diana Mini had become a legend before we even got to press her shutter. The Diana Mini is the undisputed Queen of half-format photography. Her good looks and ability to produce double the images per roll than traditional 35mm cameras woo everybody.
While it is true that half-format photography is old and that it was very popular once before, the Diana Mini is such a joy to use, that I prefer it over my other half-format cameras. Small, light-weight, versatile, what can one want more? You can even use it with the Diana+ Flash! Two apertures, bulb setting, square or half-format images, the creative possibilities are endless!
However, I must admit that I resisted temptation when the Mini first came out. I had just bought some other cameras and said to myself ‘Come on, you don’t need ANOTHER half-format camera!‘. But the Lomographic gods didn’t like this one bit. I had committed hubris. Because the Mini is not just another half-format camera. It is the worthy progeny of Diana! Thus it came to pass, that when I embarked upon my photographic journey to Athens with my trusted Nikon D80, I was punished for my hubris by the Lomographic gods. I had deliberately not taken a film camera with me, another hubris! So, on the airport, before I had even left the country, something which has never happened before transpired: I dropped my camera bag. It was as if an invisible hand removed the shoulder strap from my shoulder. I was shocked. I immediately checked the D80 to see if all was alright. It wasn’t. While there was no damage to the camera, a HUGE dust conglomerate had been dislodged and had nested itself on the sensor, blotting out about 50% of every image. I was stricken. Realizing my hubris and my punishment I begged for forgiveness. I remembered the words of one of the great analog gurus: ‘Every time I put a film in my camera it is dustless and fresh and I don’t have to worry about dust on the sensor and similar crap!’.
Thus, I headed immediately for the nearest Lomographic store once I arrived in Athens. First, I meditated. Then, I accepted the grace of the Diana Mini. Those who first deny then become the firmest of supporters. About 20 rolls of expired film (yay!) were to provide adequate nourishment for my Queen. From the first shutter depression I had fallen in love. I could not stop hearing the shutter click. I had been blind, but her viewfinder gave me sight again. Thank you Diana Mini!
The D80? I dropped it off at a Nikon authorized dealer not far from where I bought the Mini, since I couldn’t get rid of the dust myself. Cleaning it almost cost as much as the Diana Mini! Had I not tried to resist her charm, none of the grief would have been mine. Suits me well.