She's tiny. She's Cute. She looks so much like her older sister at a much younger age. Everyone loves her and she just steals the spot light on so many occasions. The Lomography Diana Mini, the little camera that stole my heart on day one and my Diana + has been so incredibly jealous.
On January 19th, 2010, I received my first Lomography Camera for my birthday. Diana +. she changed the way i looked at the world, and how I looked at photography, hell, she is what brought me into photography. 8 months or so later, the arrival of her little sister came. Diana Mini, she stole the show and my heart.
The arrival of Diana Mini was much unexpected. I had wanted to enrol in an alternative processes photography class in my last semester of college, but was unable to due to not having the right classes under my belt to continue on to this one. The class dealt solely on film cameras, mostly of the lomographic persuasion. Once the semester started, I could only look in through the window to see the things i was missing out on. but one day, one glorious day, the teacher of that class, of whom I had a pretty good connection with, called me to his office after seeing me sneak a peak on the class. he sat me down and expressed his apologies for me not being able to take part in the class. He then went to his cabinets, and pulled out a square box in the most beautiful blue color. He sat it down in front of me, and told me “its yours”. I had just become a proud owner of a Diana mini. His reasoning behind giving it to me was simple. over the last 8 months he saw some potential in my work, and my growing interest in photography. we exchanged words many times over my lomographs. he gave me tips and help on shooting and how to shoot, and in the end he felt bad that a student so interested in a subject couldnt particapate in the subject. every student in the class I was unable to enroll in received a diana mini as well. it was almost like i was in the class.
For me the mini, or “little sister” as i refer to her as, has continuously shown up her big sister. I had constant trouble adjusting to medium format, it was expensive and too few frames. when I had bought the 35mm adapter, it still didnt get the results had been looking for. but mini showed up and gave me the affordability, accessibility , and results I was craving.
One of the best features of this camera is the amazing ability to shoot half frames. I had never seen this in a camera, so when I saw this, I flipped.
I mostly keep my mini on the sunny setting as it produces the results I’m looking for when outdoors.
the B setting is also great for my night time exposures.
Because of her petite size, this little princess of a camera is perfect to bring around with you on the sly, and allows you to get the most candid shots.
and finally, once of the best experiences I had with this camera, was the amazing ability to do multiple exposure panoramics.
I only saw a few things I dint like with the little one.
1. occasionally my film would snag and mini would get hungry, causing tears in my sprockets and trouble advancing. i counteracted this with making sure the film loaded perfectly and I shoot of the shutter with the lense cap on (so I don’t over expose the frame) until the advance mechanism corrects itself, this usually works.
2. the b/n switch was extremely sensitive , this might just be mine, but I found my camera in bulb mode more times than I liked, so I taped it in the N mode with painters tape to make sure I always got clear results.
I found particular success with the Lomographic Red scale XR film. every frame shot with this and my mini was brilliant and just as i had hoped.
its true that my teachers generosity and my little camera have changed my lomographic life. i cant think of a better gift for any lomographer, so spread the love, because she’s FULL of it