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Carl Kolchak Special: Stalking with the Diana Baby 110

What camera fits easily in the palm of your hand; making it handy for exposing all of your night life? Why, the Diana Baby 110, of course. Although pretty as a button, this diminutive snapper is also an able-bodied camera that lets you focus on your subject and not worry about making all of the proper exposure settings.

In the short-lived mid-1970s American TV series “Kolchak: The Night Stalker,” actor Darren McGavin plays investigative reporter Carl Kolchak. Working for the Independent News Service in Chicago, Illinois, Kolchak exhibits a penchant for mysterious crimes. Invariably, his criminal investigations culminate in a confrontation with supernatural or horrific creatures. While driving a yellow Ford Mustang, he is also typically armed with a Sony cassette tape recorder and dressed in a straw hat with white Adidas sneakers. But for Lomographers, Kolchak’s most endearing trait was his insistence on taking a Rollei 16 film camera along for the ride.

This wasn’t just any camera, however. This Rollei camera used 16mm film. And, at the time, the Rollei 16mm camera was in direct competition with a similar film format that was being “developed” by Eastman Kodak Company. Unlike the bare 16mm film, the Kodak variety had a paper backing (i.e., similar to Lomography 120 film) and it was housed in a convenient “drop-in-place” easy loading cassette. This competitive film was Kodak 110.

Much like the monsters that Carl Kolchak stalked, the Rollei 16mm format faded from view while Kodak’s impressive 110 format took over the market.

Kodak’s world domination with the 110 format didn’t last forever. Likewise, viable 110 film cameras and processing labs all faded away. That is, until the clever folks at Lomographic Society International conceived of the Diana Baby 110.

Bursting onto the analog film scene, the Diana Baby 110 was accompanied by a strong stable of 110-format films and an equally valuable 110 film processing LomoLab. The second coming of night stalking is now upon us.

Dressed in the beloved original Diana livery, this Baby 110 is everything like its mother, but lacking in three significant features: (1) bulky 120 film, (2) light leaks, and (3) focus settings.

Specifications:

  • Film – 110 film
  • Picture Size – 13-x13-mm
  • Focus Range – fixed; ~ 0.4m – infinity
  • Shutter Speed – 1/100 & Bulb
  • Exposure Control – fixed f/8
  • Flash – PC socket
  • Battery – no batteries required (yeah!)
  • Lens – 24mm & 12mm

Before you can shoot photographs with this “baby,” you must prepare it for accepting 110 film cartridges. In order to meet this goal, you simply remove the presentation or Storage Back and slide the Film Transportation Back into place. And that’s it. You can now slip any cartridge into the back and snap away.

There are no settings to master or focusing zones to “guesstimate.” Just point and shoot. If you aren’t looking for multiple exposures (which, by the way, the Diana Baby 110 is extremely adept at), then you must rotate the thumb-operated Advancing Wheel after each exposure. This operation, too, is a no brainer. Hmm, some of Kolchak’s creatures probably loved brains! You simply rotate the wheel until it stops. Furthermore, you can tell which frame you are shooting by viewing the film’s paper backing frame number through the Transparent Pressure Plate located on the Film Transportation Back.

The photographs that are taken with the Diana Baby 110 have just the right amount of softness around the edges. Typically, you could also, occasionally, experience a stray light leak (generally, by bumping the cartridge in the Film Transportation Back). No big deal, those effects are actually what makes monsters look, so, well, scary.

If you’re looking for a way to complete your “night stalking” ensemble, then you might want to consider the Lomography Hipshot Bag". This bag is ideal for holding the Baby 110, along with the spare lens, an extra film cartridge, and a compact PC cord-equipped flash. Plus, having that flash handy is a sure-fire ticket to perfectly exposing all of your night life, something that poor Carl could never achieve.

Stunning images in the smallest scale, that’s what the Diana Baby 110 brings! With two interchangeable lenses, this tiny camera will wow you with its versatility and introduce you to the wonderful world of 110 photography. Put it in your pocket and carry along to your photo expeditions – the Diana Baby 110 makes snapping up spectacular photos super easy!

written by themindseye

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