Letters to Diana Mini, My Constant Companion


I’m sharing with everyone a collection of letters addressed to my first film camera, a white Diana Mini. These letters detail how a year has passed, the events in my life in Japan, and how Diana Mini has been my constant companion.

March 2011

Dear Diana Mini,

The first time I saw you at the Lomography Gallery Store in Tokyo, I knew already that it has to be you. Your beauty cannot be doubted and your size is just perfect to carry out and about. But, our start has been quite difficult. I wasted 2 rolls already just by incorrectly loading the film. See, I am new to all of this, I never had a film camera before.

Then, I took my time loading the Lomography CN 400 film, and managed to do it properly. Then, for the first time, we went for a walk at Yokohama Chinatown area.

You have given me remarkable results for a beginner. For this, I would like to thank you for letting me know that all I need is to be patient and everything will be fine. I hope and pray the everything will be fine for the people of the devastated region of Tohoku.

May 2011

Dear Diana Mini,

I know, I know. I am truly sorry. I should not have done that— removing your lens cover for the whole day just because I was so afraid of forgetting to take it off whenever I take a shot. Yet, with my stubbornness, you still managed to pull through and taught me a thing or two about “unintentional multiple exposure.”

How can I forget this magnificent shot of the Great Daibatsu Buddha of Hase?

I promise that I will always put your lens cap on whenever not in use.

June 2011

Dear Diana Mini,

Summer is here.

I don’t know how to surf and I am missing home terribly. Instead of going to the beach and seeing how happy others are, I decided to took you for a hike and get lost in the solitude of towering trees.

With this picture, you have said it all. I know I will be alright. Thank you for being my summer companion in this foreign shore.

November 2011

Dear Diana Mini,

Autumn is here.

The colors of the leaves are turning gold and I am heading to Yoyogi Park to enjoy every minute of this day.
As we are musing how beautiful autumn color is, someone commented about how “kawaii” you are. I don’t know much Japanese words but I knew it means you are “cute!”

By the way, today is my birthday.

March 2012

Dear Diana Mini,

I never taught I will use you for such purpose. But sometimes, unexpected things happen and it will be a waste not to capture those moments, especially if it brings global awareness.

Remember when we went to Shibuya for a window shopping and suddenly there was this noise and commotion outside. I hurriedly loaded you with Fomapan400 black and white film and experienced first-hand how to do street photography.

It was an Anti-Nuke protest.

A year has passed by, and now, the whole nation remembers the tragedy of 3/11. Let’s continue to pray for the lives perished and for the recovery of those who survived.

The Diana Mini is the ultra-compact, petite version of the Diana F+. This camera takes soft-focused, lo-fi images in 35mm and allows you to change between half-format and square shots with a flick of a switch. Get your own Diana Mini now!

written by orchid on 2012-04-10 #lifestyle #lomography #japan #fomapan-400 #diana-mini #fujifilm-100 #analogue-lifestyle #lomo-cn400-film #letters-to-diana


  1. mademoisellemarie
    mademoisellemarie ·

    Beautiful story, I just order my first Diana Mini Tonight I can wait to have it here!

  2. orchid
    orchid ·

    @mademoisellemarie, thanks! enjoy your diana mini !

  3. ekeupratama
    ekeupratama ·

    i do still meet trouble with turning the wheel..
    i'm so frustated because my first roll was (it can't be describes with words) :D
    one frame with another was overlapping
    what should I do? :(

  4. pangmark
    pangmark ·

    Ah the mini! Good article and happy birthday,. Previous to the mini I had a holga ( or 2 ) which are bulletproof dropped them on the tiles, in the toilet and even had a motorcycle accident where I was broken but the trusty holga wasn't ha ha! So just having my gold mini in my bag was enough to dislodge the internal mechanism and the famous result of not progressing past 15 frames. This has been a bit of a fault of mine through rough handling but the Lomo store is so good! They just give me a brand new one ( I'm up to my 4th ) . As far as overlapping just turn her till you can't. Lomo on!

  5. orchid
    orchid ·

    @ ekeupratama , i am so sorry for replying to your comment just now.. been super busy with work :(
    how is your diana mini now? still having trouble turning the wheel? i know how you feel, very frustrating isn't ? but look at the brighter side, you might produce great multiple exposures/.

    hmm.. advise..what i usually do is to carefully turn the wheel until i can't do it anymore. i try to "feel" the film as it rolls inside the camera. before i click the shutter, i try to move the advance wheel again to see if i can't turn it anymore.

    but to tell you honestly, up to now i still get nervous when using diana mini. :)

  6. orchid
    orchid ·

    @pangmark, thanks for the comments! LOMO on Indeed! :)

  7. lauragemalucas
    lauragemalucas ·

    so cuteee! i love my diana mini as well :)

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