If the Diana+ is the faithful reproduction of the 1960s Diana, then the Diana F+ is the improved version of the Diana+ – equipped with the talent to ‘flash.’
The 1960s Diana camera was sought-after for a good reason – besides the classic good looks, it made ordinary images a lot dreamier with a soft-focus look and overall lo-fi appeal. However, 35mm instamatic cameras put a threat to the medium-format Diana’s days under the spotlight. As artists and photographers in the West discovered its creative potential, the quantity was fast diminishing. Luckily, the Lomography headquarters in Vienna decided to keep the supply flowing by creating the Diana+ – a faithful reproduction of the ’60s classic, enhanced with more features.
The Diana+ retained the best features – from the looks to the quirks. It was lightweight, with the plastic lens that produces the same dream-like quality as the original. Two shutter speeds – ‘N’ and ‘B’ are available for daytime and nighttime, respectively. You can choose to do multiple exposures, and as for the enhancements – panoramic shots and pinhole photography is also possible (by twisting off the lens). While the Diana+ can be used for nighttime long-time exposures, it doesn’t have an option to use flash. But the hardworking team in Lomography Vienna decided to pimp up the Diana+ with a flash – and the Diana F+ is born.
The Diana F+ camera looks, feels, and functions just like its ancestors. The Diana flash was created to resemble the original – with a reflective silver face, and the body dipped in blue. Simply plug the included hotshoe adaptor into the camera body, and you’re ready to fire the flash. A small packet of color gel filters is included – so that you can slip one in the flash and wash your subjects with color. You can also shoot your subject crisp and clear against a background of streaming lights, if you use the flash with the camera in ‘B’ setting. The flash can also be used with any standard hotshoe camera using the included hotshoe adapter. The Diana+ & Diana F+ camera were also tweaked to accommodate new accessories such as the Diana+ Splitzer, Diana+ 35mm Back, and Diana+ lenses.
The first few times that I used this camera, I was a bit skeptical about it, but when my prints arrived, I was blown away with the vignette and the overall dreamy look. Personally, I would say that Diana works best when it’s very sunny – the colors and saturation pop out most especially when used with slide film. With the Diana Flash attached, expect some compliments – it looks so retro-cool and demands to be noticed!
Because of its lightweight plastic body, sometimes it’s easy to forget that you’re lugging it inside your bag, so remember to handle the Diana F+ carefully! The weather icon switch can move and slide (as well as the shutter) without you knowing, so check your settings before taking a photo – or not, if you prefer “happy accidents”. Recently, I had a whole roll of super-blurry Close-Up portraits because I didn’t notice it was set on Pinhole!
As with other Lomographic cameras, it is best to experiment with different kinds of film to discover the look/effect that you like – Diana can make black & white images look extra dramatic with its’ signature soft-focus look and vignetting, and images taken with x-pro’ed slides express a vintage feel. Slap on a new lens or take it off, slice images with the Splitzer, or load the 35mm Back to use 35mm film – the creative possibilities are endless with the Diana F+.