The Debonair Super Lens is a curious camera. It’s a very usable cross between a Diana and a Holga that has some unique features and a nice signature.
Debonair seems to be a popular name for cameras.
There’s the Imperial Debonair:
There’s the Debonair Diana Clone:
And, there’s the Debonair 127 camera:
This article is about the Debonair 120 camera with the 1:8/60mm Super Lens. It looks like a cross between a Diana and a Holga. Mine doesn’t have any additional markings, but I’ve seen it labeled as the Plastic Filmtastic 120 Debonair camera as well.
Looking at the front, you see the 1:8/60mm Super Lens.
The plastic lens is the same focal length, size, and aperture as a standard Holga 120. Holga slip-on lenses fit the Debonair perfectly. I haven’t measured it, but I suspect that the Debonair actually has an aperture of f/8. A standard Holga is marked as having a maximum aperture of f/8, but it’s actually f/10 unless you do a mod to make it f/8. The Diana has a focal length of 75mm and has a different diameter. So, the Debonair gets its lens from the Holga.
The shutter release works and feels like the shutter release on a Holga, but it’s positioned differently.
Looking at the top of Debonair, you can see that the lens uses Holga-style zone focusing. The Sunny/Cloudy switch is located in the same place as the Sunny/Cloudy switch on the Holga, but it changes the shutter speed instead of the aperture. I haven’t been able to measure the shutter speed, but I suspect the “Cloudy” shutter speed is probably 1/60" and the “Sunny” shutter speed is probably 1/100". The shutter speed mechanism is very interesting. The shutter works by bouncing off of a tab to return to the closed position. To make the shutter speed faster, they move a plate into position that makes the shutter bounce back faster. Additionally, the flash will only fire in the “Cloudy” position.
The Debonair has a standard hot-shoe flash.
When you look at the Debonair from the back it looks more like a Diana than a Holga. The back comes off like a Diana, not a Holga. The viewfinder is similar to a Diana. The standard format is 6×4.5cm like an original Diana and it would be difficult to convert to 6×6cm like a Holga.
The Debonair does not have a “B” mode. The Debonair does not have shutter release or tripod threads. I’ve seen a fairly simple modification to add tripod threads.
Even though we’re stuck with a 6×4.5cm frame size, the Debonair vignettes very pleasantly. The Debonair is light, but the fit and finish is very good. The Debonair has a solid feel and is a joy to shoot with.
Here are some results using Lomography Lady Gray 400 film:
Here are some results using expired cross-processed Ektachrome 64:
Here are some results using Ilford Delta Pro 400: