Putting a circle in a square, bending, distorting, expanding your view – everything a Fisheye 2 can do, but in a separate lens for your Diana F+.
Having been a proud owner of a Fisheye 2 for several years, and only a recent owner of a Diana F+, I wondered whether the addition of the Diana+ 20mm Fisheye lens would really be worthwhile. After all, if I wanted to shoot fisheye, why not pop a 35mm, easily processed on the high street film in my Fisheye 2. Here’s the snag: with the Fisheye 2 you are bound to shooting fisheye format. The interchangeable lens feature on the Diana F+ allows for greater flexibility in the face of the unexpected.
My first exploration into the idea of a changeable lens was with the Diana+ 38mm Super-wide lens. When, on a whim, I decided to get the fisheye lens too I was caught off guard by the dynamism created by a circle within the 120 square format.
Unlike the images created gloriously by the Fisheye 2, the Diana+ lens produces a truly central image in the frame. The textured quality of the 120 film gives a tincture to the colours that’s quite unique. Add into that distortions and light anomalies, especially light leaks, and you can make some shots that are very different. The light refracted inside the lens enhances the feeling of peering down a tunnel. With my Fisheye 2 images I always ‘cookie cut’ out the circular scene, finding the vague distortions produced by the inside of the lens distracting. The Diana+ 20mm Fisheye lens turns these ‘distractions’ into ‘enhancements’ .
Then I got to thinking. I’m a big fan of the double-exposure. With the ability to change the lens on the Diana at will, I wondered how an image with one lens superimposed over an image shot with a different lens would look. I experimented. My favourite combination is shooting a fisheye doubled with a shot using the Diana+ 38mm Super-wide lens. Of course, with the various lenses available for the Diana F+ there is much scope for greater experimentation.
In short, I came to realise the usefulness of this lens, the joy of composing an image using the fisheye viewfinder, or simply by embracing the spirit of Lomography and shooting from the ground up. My Fisheye 2 still has a place, but I’m won over by the circle within a square that is created with the Diana F+.