The Diana F+ Tori Amos edition was released shortly before Christmas of 2010. Sold exclusively on Tori’s own site, you could only purchase this camera in a beautifully boxed set. At $180 (now down to $150), it is definitely an investment, but well worth it!
The boxed set contained not only the camera but the close-up and wide-angle lenses (appropriately named “Close” and “Distance” as little lyrical references to Tori’s songs), an autographed live CD set, one of a few photos of Tori taken with the camera itself, a Tori edition Diana book, and a roll of film for good measure. You can still purchase this camera by visiting the official Tori Amos store at her website).
This package provides a gorgeous edition of a standard camera that any Lomographer should own at some point in his or her photographic journey, and in addition to the camera itself provides you with the F+ flash and 2 great lenses to guarantee that you are getting the most out of your Diana. If you are a Tori addict, err, I mean “fan” like myself, you’ll appreciate having the previously unreleased double CD, and probably tack the photograph of Tori up on your bulletin board where you will fantasize about having taken it yourself.
As I said, the package is even packaged beautifully: in a die-cut box shaped like a piano, with Tori lyrics printed along the sides, providing proof of the destiny of Tori’s collaboration with film photography:
“The camera is rolling / It’s easy like one, two, three”
~from “Horses” on the 1996 album Boys for Pele
“Beneath my raincoat / I have your photographs / and the sun on your face / I’m freezing that frame”
~”Gold Dust,” found on Scarlet’s Walk, 2002
“And in the shadow she crawls / Clutching her faded photograph / My image under her thumb”
~from Little Earthquakes (my all-time favorite Tori CD), in the song “Girl”
There are certainly standard Diana features that should go into your consideration of purchasing this: the ability to recreate those lo-fi, alternative 60’s photos that made the original Diana cameras so incredibly memorable; the square formatting and sensuous vignetting, two important features that most Lomographers cannot resist; and the general greatness of shooting with a plastic, medium format film camera.
However, there are a plethora of Diana reviews out there and on this site, so what I hope for you to take away from this review are the reasons why this edition should be a part of your collection: the beauty of combining music and photography, two forms of poetry that Tori brings together seamlessly; the gorgeous physical details of the camera itself, including the golden-orange, metallic shade lining the top of the camera and along the outside of the lens, the “Tori Amos” autograph inscribed to the left of the viewfinder, and the piano keys adorning the winding mechanism.
I firmly believe that while this camera is physically capable of taking the same photos we know and love from a standard Diana F+ (as well as all of the other editions), the intricate details found on the Tori edition will cause you to approach your subjects with a different sort of calm and gentle prowess, inspired by the graceful power of Tori herself. And perhaps most of all, this camera gives you the ability to take your appreciation of Tori Amos to the next level, by welcoming her into your already established world of Lomography.
Note: photos of the Tori were taken with a Canon AE-1 program and Konica Autoreflex TC