Those that created a one-dollar Diana in Hong Kong in sixties and survived the frustration of seventies, when the camera was put out of production could never imagine neither the success of Diana+ in the far future, nor the widest range of accessories that would decorate the princess’ crown.
From the first glance, Diana’s features are similar to every other camera in a row: three apertures (“sunny”, “little cloudy” and “cloudy”) two shutter speeds (1/60 and “bulb”) and separate mechanisms for shooting and film forwarding to enable multi-exposures.
But if you look into details, it’s already more then that: two formats (6×6 and 4.5×4.5) are supported, so you can save some film space for the four extra shots. However, the main thing is that the lens can be taken off! What for? There are several reasons: first, you can shoot without a lens to get blurred analog textures; second, there is a special aperture setting that enables you to shoot foggy pinhole pictures, like hundreds years before, and third: currently there are five (!) lenses, besides the standard one! Five different lenses from “macro” to “fisheye” allow you to adjust the camera to any kind of picture you want to shoot!
If this is not enough, the raw of handy thingies includes flashes, 35mm back (yeah, you can shoot “regular” films too), a shutter release and a splitzer that allows you to draw collage on every single frame. And all they are very compact (and packed in cute bags for the road :), so for the price of small space you can always have all the kitchen with you!
Me and my girlfriend are backpacking now (counting second month of our four month Asia trip), means that loads of things are happening around: smiles, mountain scenery, pocket-size classical Chinese gardens, mass celebrations, indoor pubs (yeah, there are some), parks, buildings – it goes on and on. Diana’s versatility perfectly serves the needs: in seconds I can flip the right lens and flash (and splitzer) from the bag to construct the right camera for the right shot: wide-angle for the nature, fisheye to capture all the significant details of a small space, standard lens for the analog dreamy blurred pics etc, always intriguing peoples’ eye :)
My favorite lens is the “super-wide”: the images are sharp and the angle is wide enough to stuff the frame with most of the details I want (and I like details) without significant optical aberrations. It also provides the best focal distance for the 35mm-size frame.
My favorite accessory is Splitzer I like to construct my own picture from the details I carefully choose.
In conclusion, Diana is not a strict product, it’s a platform. The modularized structure and multiple components are able to fit nearly every demand of a creative lomographer. And the best thing is that the accessories’ line always continues to count :)