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  1. #1
    VoidoidRamone's Avatar
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    Diana toy camera

    A couple of weeks ago I found an old Diana toy camera in an antique shop for $8, I immeaditely picked it up and have been shooting around with it. My question is why are these so "treasured"? I know that they are not made any more... but they are pieces of plastic! I've seen these things go for $100 on ebay! After shooting several rolls with it I have come to the conclusion that I prefer the Holga. To me a Holga is the definition of toy camera photography (heavy vignetting, light leaks, soft focus...). The Diana is a very clean image in comparison to the Holga (perfect squares, not much vignetting, no light leaks). I'm just a little confused as to why Dianas are being cherished, but Holgas aren't... yet. -Grant

  2. #2

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    If you want your money back I'll buy the Diana for $8.00 plus shipping.
    The Diana was made to be given away at carnivals around 1967. There were very few controls in the production and the cameras vary from camera to camera. If your diana makes good images then your are one of the lucky ones. Mine has a plastic lens and several light leaks. Making for a unique picture each time.
    The friends of photography, now gone, had a major show featuring Diana images made by photographers from arounds the world. It was a major success. The Diana has gained cult status for reasons that escape us all.

    My offer still stands.
    BTW, do you have the box and carrying strap that comes with it?

    Gary

  3. #3
    Leon's Avatar
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    VoidoidRamone ... why dont you have a look at www.toycamera.com - I think you may understand the hype a little better there.

  4. #4
    Andy K's Avatar
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    Dianas are cherished because they are no longer manufactured and are now quite unusual (and becoming rarer) vintage toy cameras.

    Holgas on the other hand can still be bought brand new for about 25 euro. There is a very large Holga community around the world. There are two versions of the Holga, the original with a plastic lens and the Woca with a glass lens. They are very popular among lomographers who prize the vignetting and light leaks.


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  5. #5
    VoidoidRamone's Avatar
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    Gary, sorry but I don't think I'll be selling my Diana any time soon. I think I worded my post oddly, which gave the assumption that I wasn't happy with my Diana... which isn't true at all. I am already very familiar with Toy cameras, in fact the only photos I have sold so far have been made with a Holga. My question is, aside from the fact that Dianas are not being produced anymore, why are images made with a Diana more "special" than images made with a Holga. I find a Holga to be much more difficult to work with, since it only has 1 working aperture and 1 shutter speed (I do know that Holgas can be modified to give you a bulb setting, and if you buy one of the Holgas from www.holgamods.com you can use both a bulb setting and a normal 1/100th in the same camera... the spring is not ripped out). Whereas the Diana has 3 apertures and 2 shutter speeds, 1 of them being a bulb setting. The only technical advantage, in my opinion, a Holga has is the hot shoe. Also, Andy, in addition to the basic Holga and Woca, they make both with built-in flashes. Thanks. -Grant

  6. #6

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    I found a box of these things packed way in the back of a closet that had not been opened since 1978. This turned out to be the school's darkroom. They all seem to be in fair shape but when I used them with my students they were highly unimpressed as was I. If I leave the school they will most likely go into the bin. I just don't know what to do with them. We have "digital" cameras (said with reverance around public schools these days) so no one wants to even think about using manual stuff.
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

  7. #7
    Andy K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mark
    We have "digital" cameras (said with reverance around public schools these days) so no one wants to even think about using manual stuff.
    How sad. That's like learning to write using a keyboard in place of a pencil...


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    Anáil nathrach, ortha bháis is beatha, do chéal déanaimh.

  8. #8

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    If you could, you would hear me weeping right now....
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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by mark
    I found a box of these things packed way in the back of a closet that had not been opened since 1978. This turned out to be the school's darkroom. They all seem to be in fair shape but when I used them with my students they were highly unimpressed as was I. If I leave the school they will most likely go into the bin. I just don't know what to do with them. We have "digital" cameras (said with reverance around public schools these days) so no one wants to even think about using manual stuff.
    Mark, which cameras are you referring to? Holga or Diana.
    Gary

  10. #10

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    I recall teaching a photo course to younger kids in Boston in the early 1970's using Dianas and Polaroid Swingers. Simplicity in photography, forcing them to concentrate on the subject and minimize extraneous subject matter (you couldn't decipher it anyway!). I think the Dianas have a dual appeal - the five stop exposure range was pretty high tech for a box camera and the durn things are just so ugly that they have become "cute" in retrospect.

    Andy

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