I did some tests to compare the Diana MINI field of view to the field of view of some other well known cameras. I also tested how much of a difference focus really makes with the Diana MINI.
I shot some pictures from the exact same location using first the Diana F+ with the standard 75mm lens, then the Diana MINI, then the Diana F+ with the 38mm Super Wide-Angle lens, respectively. These are the results. Ignore the differences in exposure. I was using slide film in the MINI. I also didn’t fix any of the composition by rotating or cropping, so that I could make a good comparison of the field of view
You can clearly see from these pictures that even with a much smaller frame size than the Diana+, the Diana MINI has a larger field of view than the Diana+ with the standard lens. You can also see that it vignettes strongly and naturally and that it has similar distortions to the Diana+.
You can also see how nicely the Super Wide-Angle lens works with the Diana+.
The MINI has a 24mm lens which is extremely wide-angle for a half-frame camera. The only half-frames of which I know with a wider angle lens are the Golden Half which has a 22mm lens and the Pen F for which there was an available 22mm lens.
I’ve done a lot of comparisons with my other 35mm cameras now and it looks like the 35mm equivalents are as advertised. That is, 30mm equivalent in square format and 35mm equivalent in half-frame format. I took these pictures using the Diana MINI and the LOMO LC-A+ from exactly the same spot.
The LC-A+ has a 32mm lens. It is a little hard to compare because you’re comparing a square format against a rectangular format, but you can see the that MINI is pretty close to the same from side to side and includes even more from top to bottom.
The focus on the my MINI is very soft. I’ve done extensive focusing tests and you can hardly tell the difference when you adjust the focus. This is partially because of the smallish aperture, partly because of the wide angle, and partly because the focus is soft at best.
This is an animation of different shots of the same scene where the focus changes from closest to farthest and back again:
You can see it makes a difference with the closest objects, but not much.
Here’s another one doing the same thing:
Again, you can see the closest stuff going in and out of focus, but everything else isn’t affected too much. Moral of the story? Go ahead and focus, but don’t sweat it if you forget. Often, I leave the focus on my MINI right in the middle and just treat it like a fixed-focus point and shoot.