Having done some research I knew that when buying the Diana+ 35mm Back I should also buy the 38mm Super-Wide Lens. After trying both together my advice is: if you are going to shoot 35mm film on your Diana, you really can’t go by without this wonderful lens!
When I was thinking of buying different Diana+ lenses I researched alot to be sure they were really worth it. Did I just want them? Or did I really need them? After all, there are so many wonderful Lomography and analogue items out there that if you can’t afford to buy them all you have to be selective.
The 38mm Super-Wide Lens is one of those must-have Diana accessories that every Diana F+ owner should buy, especially if you are going to use the 35mm Back. The Diana is an amazingly versatile camera what with all the different accessories. However, in its core it is a medium format camera, made for medium format film. What this means is that when using the 35mm Back or the Instant Back you can’t just shoot like you normally would with 120 film: you have to adapt the way you frame your shot to the format you are shooting with, or else your photos will come out looking completely different than what you wanted them to.
For example, consider this photo I took on my Diana with the 75mm standard Diana lens, using 120 film. I framed it by looking through the viewfinder and it came out just like I wanted it to:
Now imagine I wanted to shoot the same scene, but instead of 120 film I had the 35mm Back on my Diana F+ and I was using the 75mm standard lens. Because the 75mm lens that comes with the Diana is calibrated to shoot what you see through the viewfinder taking up the available space on 120 film, when you are looking through the regular viewfinder and shooting with 35mm film, what you will see will look much lke the photo above, but because 35mm film is smaller what will come out when you develop the negatives is something more like this:
Not quite the photo you are aiming at right? Of course you could walk further away to be able to fit more in your photo, but most of the times that is not convenient. The best solution is to use the 38mm Super-Wide Lens which will let you fit alot more in your photos than the standard Diana Lens does. It really is an amazing lens and you will notice quite a difference! Just so you can get the picture. When shooting my cat on 35mm film, what I saw through the standard viewfinder of the Diana was something like this:
But the photo came out like this:
When you buy the lens you also get a Lomography pouch and a great handy Viewfinder that let’s you see what the lens sees, so that you don’t have to look through the innacurate standard viewfinder and guess what you are going to get.
However, your problems aren’t all solved with the 38mm Super-Wide lens and its viewfinder: we are all familiar with Diana’s parallax errors wen shooting up-close and they are heightened when using this lens. This happens because of the way you position the viewfinder on the camera (on top of the regular viewfinder and to the right) so it takes some effort to frame the shots correctly when shooting closer to your subject. To make matters worse: the viewfinder is square and what you see is what you would get when shooting 120 film. With 35mm film you should position your subject right at the center of the viewfinder as you have to consider that the top and bottom areas of what you are seeing are going to be cut out in the actual photo.
It is not easy and you will have to practice and think alot before you shoot. Most of the photos I shot while standing closer to the subject did not come out framed like I wanted them to:
However, that is the beauty of lomography, right? Not knowing what you are going to get and developing a closer relantionship with your cameras while learning how they work and what works best through trial end error. And it really is worth all the the bad and wasted shots when you finally get it right! :)
In conclusion, the 38mm Super-Wide lens is definitely worth it. I’ve only used it once and I love it already. I can’t wait to try it with 120 film!
The classic super-wide perspective is a favourite of street photographers and photojournalists the world over. Make your images scream with detail and get the distinct Diana+ look of vignetting and dreaminess with the Diana+ 38mm Super-Wide Angle Lens! Don’t wait – get your own Diana+ lenses in our Shop now.