Square Format Tips: Diana Parallax or 'Off With His Head'!


The Queen of Hearts isn’t the only one capable of beheading! Diana is another lady adept at it. Here are a couple of simple tips to help avoid the problem of chopping people’s heads off.

Quite lucky this one, only a small amount of the head is chopped off, not a complete decapitation.

No names mentioned, but it turns out I’m not the only one who, time after time, uses my Diana F+ as a deadly weapon. Anyone who’s used Holgas and Dianas very quickly realises that the viewfinder isn’t accurate. With the Diana, as the viewfinder is above the lens, it’s normally off by being too high — with close ups, this means heads get chopped off.

Bit off the top Boba?

The problem is called the parallax effect—the viewfinder can only be truly correct at one fixed distance from the camera, and as you get closer, it gets less correct. Because the amount changes over distance, there isn’t a truly solid solution. However, what I do, if I know I’m shooting portraits, is put a tiny bit of masking tape over the very top of the viewfinder.

A view of the tape on the camera, it looks like a lot of the view is removed, but looking through the finder you can see it isn’t. You have to judge how much tape to use for your own preference.

This doesn’t solve the problem, but it does remind me of it. Then when I’m about to take a photo I aim, and lift up a little, just a little. You’ll need to practice this!

Just enough lift for this goose (and others) to keep his head!

One last word, this technique also works wonderfully for when you want to use your 35mm back, I use two bits of tape for that to obscure the extra that doesn’t get shot!

The Diana F+ is a new twist on the ‘60s classic cult camera. Famous for its dreamy and soft-focused images, the Diana F+ is now packed with extra features such as panorama and pinhole capabilities. Available in our Online Shop.

written by adam_g2000 on 2012-03-21 #gear #tutorials #camera #square #viewfinder #tipster #120-film #lomography #diana #diana-f #parallax #quickie-tipster #framing #parallax-error


  1. neanderthalis
    neanderthalis ·

    Great tip. I see you have treated your Diana to a case.

  2. adam_g2000
    adam_g2000 ·

    @neanderthalis I always do, I figure that the cases protect them and that in the end it's cheap insurance! ;)

  3. neanderthalis
    neanderthalis ·

    @adam_g2000 the case looks good. I know putting cases on them is something I should be doing more. Looking forward to more of your tips articles.

  4. juliaperalta89
    juliaperalta89 ·

    I'm aware of the parallax effect but I always forget about it when shooting, good idea to use some tape as a reminder!

  5. carlota_nonnumquam
    carlota_nonnumquam ·

    This is a really great tip! Thanks! :)

  6. furn7973
    furn7973 ·

    Good thinking, Batman!

  7. vo1cem
    vo1cem ·

    That's a great idea, and one I'll definitely try. Of all the unique characteristics of Lomography, decapitated subjects just somehow isn't one of the desirable ones. Just last week I was explaining the quirks--including the parallax effect--of the Diana F+ to one of my friends. Then I snapped a picture of her...after forgetting to take into account the very same effect I had been talking about minutes earlier. In the picture, my friend is missing the top of her head. That little piece of tape is a good plan for those of us who don't seem to learn from our mistakes (me especially.)

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