Smooth Operator... The Diana Multi Pinhole Operator


OuroborosX reviews the Diana Multi Pinhole Operator. Read on for a sneak peek at multiple exposures of pinholed pleasure!

I remember seeing an early prototype of the Diana Multi Pinhole Operator a few months ago when visiting Vienna, and naturally I was intrigued. Well, let’s be honest… as a total Lomography geek for the past 6 years, I was salivating and couldn’t wait to get my hands on it, ok? When I finally got to try this new smooth operator out a few weeks ago, I was not disappointed. Seriously, this is the most fun and exciting pinhole camera I’ve ever shot with. First off, it’s a great stand alone pinhole camera. But this would hardly be enough reason to get one because you can of course shoot pinholes with your regular old Diana+ camera. So Lomography has taken it to the next level with 2 and 3 pinholes, each shooting an image out of phase with the others, which with the addition of the multi-colored filters creates effects that can only be described as psychedelic. All you have to do is look at the amazing results to see that this camera is no ordinary pinhole machine… this is camera psychedelic! This is truly an analogue trip of epic proportions!

Shooting with it is a snap. You can change filters in seconds, adjust pinhole settings like you would aperture on the Diana+, and it’s a simple one lever shutter that opens smooth and efficiently. Shooting square images allows you to use any surface for a stable shot, even sideways, and the wide body allows for holding the camera still between fence posts, railings, or any other opening big enough for your tiny pinhole to squeeze through.

I shot with several different films at different speeds, and the camera was very generous with exposure times. Using dark filters allows for a much longer exposure. And the light filters, shot with 400 speed film, only required 2-3 second exposures in the sun. The camera comes with a nice exposure guide, but I would feel comfortable stretching those times out for real prolonged pinhole effects, because you’re not likely to really burn out your frame with 1 or 2 seconds of extra exposure because of the diffusion with the filters.

All in all, I can’t recall ever having more fun shooting with a pinhole camera. The Diana Multi Pinhole Operator is a must have for anyone who wants to experiment with pinhole effects, loves bright bold colors, and gets excited by endless possibilities of creative Lomography.

I can’t wait to try it out next with the 35mm back and Instant back! Too much fun!

written by ouroborosx on 2009-06-11 #gear #pinhole #review #diana-f #pinhole-operator


  1. mandashitley
    mandashitley ·

    Ugh, your fancy products make me hate being a consumer. BUT I LOVE THEM! (EVEN THOUGHT THEY ALMOST ALWAYS BREAK!!!)

  2. ndroo
    ndroo ·

    Argh! Very cool! This must be poison #388492384 from LSI eh? Ok, nevermind. I'll take one.

  3. cinzinc
    cinzinc ·

    this diana pinhole is great. but...but...sigh

  4. mattcharnock
    mattcharnock ·

    sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet! right thats now on the wish list!

  5. breakphreak
    breakphreak ·

    I'd wish I could have double exposures with multi-pinhole lens and Diana fisheye lens (for example).

  6. hanspan
    hanspan ·

    im so glad mine is in the post :D

  7. stouf
    stouf ·

    Great results indeed !!!

  8. ouroborosx
    ouroborosx ·


    i don't think you're understanding the concept of what this camera can do... there is no "pinhole lens"... that's the point of pinhole - it doesn't use a lens... so there couldn't be another lens added that made the original diana a multi pinhole camera... you'd have to create new pinholes... then there would be no way to attach the filters, etc... this camera is 15USD more than one of the diana lenses, and it's a whole new camera! if you want to do doubles with pinhole and fisheye, rewind your film and put it through the other camera... anything can be achieved with some DIY spirit! ;)

  9. superlighter
    superlighter ·

    this is pure madness galore!
    but..why don't implement this function in a "final" Diana model? the Diana T (total)

  10. breakphreak
    breakphreak ·

    @ouroborosx I think I do understand. For me (personally, of course) it makes much more sense to purchase a lens for a camera I already have (it's not about the price). The added value of such a lens to the whole Diana arsenal (IMO) contributes much more then another (sophisticated) pinhole camera. I would like to be able to combine all the stuff from before with the new gear (multi-pinhole lens, for example). I would like to make a double with 3 pinhole shot and a color righflash right after (for example). Going out from my home I would like to carry one extra-lens, not extra-camera. To clarify, I am absolutely _not_ against another pinhole camera, I just say that if it's Diana, then it should conform to the old and good tradition of a transformer camera and it's portable kitchen. Your photos are truly fascinating, by the way.

  11. ouroborosx
    ouroborosx ·

    of course i understand your desire for combining this effect with your old diana... and of course, if this was a simple add on technique, like a splitzer, then it wouldn't be a whole new camera... but this is a whole new camera because this isn't something that can be made into a lens... pinhole means NO LENS! you'd have to drill new pinholes into your diana, which would then only leave you with that pinhole option... this is a camera with multiple pinhole options, that change like the aperture on the original diana... do you understand? this is lensless photography... so saying you want a lens to give you lensless photography options on your diana makes no sense... ;)

  12. breakphreak
    breakphreak ·

    Well, we are not that strict to a concept - the "old" Diana has both pinhole and lens functions. Now, from a philosophy to engineering. In the previous comment to the original article I've proposed an engineering idea that would make it possible. I could repeat or clarify. I am sure it is possible and even explained how.

  13. lomollete
    lomollete ·

    I agree with breakphreak and I think he's talking about some sort of pinhole lenscap not a "real" lens. Still, it looks like a fantastic camera (too bad I'm not good at doing pinholes).

  14. breakphreak
    breakphreak ·

    @lomollete thanks for clarifying in proper language. That's what I mean. Lenscap (for me, anything that mounts on a camera is a lens - should it be pinhole or any kind of transparent stuff :)

  15. bloomingwreath
    bloomingwreath ·

    Oh wow. I want one *drools*

  16. eyecon
    eyecon ·

    No need for LSD anymore - just get yourself this cam and shoot pictures while listening to Sergeant Peppers from the Beatles - Diana in the Sky with Diamonds....

  17. altprocess
    altprocess ·

    Okay, photo number 4 in the gallery is simply stunning.

  18. kylewis
    kylewis ·

    All very trippy, Now the interesting thing to do would be to use the correct colour combinations in order to do 3D. I'm sure this would work and of course I slashed my piggy bank on something else so I'm not going to know just yet.
    @breakphreak and ouroborosx
    I believe I understand where you are both coming from. The ability to have a multifunction pinhole is really an easy concept, it just means adding another switch to convert from 1-2-3 pinholes once the front LENS has been removed. Then of course you have the best of both worlds and the ease of carrying less in your bag!!!
    Reloading your film after shooting a pinhole layer and then using your lenses still means you have less to carry but then of course you'll need to bring a changing bag!!

  19. ilovemydiana
    ilovemydiana ·

    with my diana, on a regular day in mid sun and not shooting too many whites, i give 400 speed film about 30 seconds. due to the extra holes, would that cut the tim in half/a third? i figured it would take around 10-15 at the least.

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