Thursday, December 05, 2013

New "Diana" lens...

You may be aware of the "Diana" camera. It's an old plastic camera from Hong Kong, super-cheap, with a primitive plastic lens. It makes pictures like this, and some artists are using it for just those qualities:

And now somebody has invented a lens which is supposed to mimick the Diana camera's images, only in the comfort of your own digital camera!

And they've done it a step better! To quote the site:
You’ve had a crush on Diana since you loaded your first roll of 120mm film. But, all that money spent on film developing and time spent with your DSLR has taken it’s toll on your Diana devotion.
It's time to rekindle the old spark with the Glass Diana DSLR Lens! It’s a glass Diana lens that’ll mount right onto your Nikon or Canon DSLR.
This Diana lens is all grown up. It’s comprised of three coated glass elements for higher contrast and sharper focus than the unpredictable plastic Diana lenses of yore.

Here are some results from this lens. Sharp as anybody could wish, practically. But toy-camera-like? I don't thiiiink so.

Although I do actually think that the tones and colors are quite beautiful. Really. I wonder how I could achieve that look, without dealing with a manual-focus lens? How can a lens make the colors more saturated?

(Actually I think a little under-exposure may be responsible too. I've sometimes seen a satisfying increase in saturation when I underexpose a stop, or even simulate it in the computer.)

(I really like these two pictures.)


Russ said...

A couple of other Digital/Lo-Fi adaptations are the Holga:

and Lomography's Experimental Lens Kit:

For a digital user who wants that "Diana" look, I'm guessing that the Diana lens on a DSLR would be comparable, but not identical to a a photo created with a Diana film camera. Film just inherently looks different than digital; especially the grain found in higher ISO films.

Anonymous said...

and some artists are using it for just those qualities:

Yeah. They're called hipsters.

David Evans said...

There are several ways to do similar things in software. One I haven't tried is

There is even an option in Picasa. Try "Lomo-ish" under the 4th tab from the left.

John Smith said...

That seems like more trouble than just buying the camera - if you're going to do a lot of that type.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Thanks, guys.
But what I was longing for was the subtle color and tonal softness in the two pictures I've posted, which weren't made with a toy camera, but with the new 3-lens glass lens.

I might buy the lens, but I dislike having to set focus and aperture manually, and it's a dirt-cheap plastic housing. Also it's meant for DSLRs, and I'm almost only using M4/3 or smaller these days.

Anonymous said...

It would be better to buy the lens. Otherwise, you'd have to either only take one kind of pictures, or carry more than one camera. Since from what I've read street photographers have to be like assassins - you don't want to be encumbered.