Out and about with the Diana Instant Square Camera

Back in July 2018 I decided to back the Diana Instant Square Camera by Lomography on Kickstarter.

At the point of backing this project, I already owned my Leica Sofort and absolutely love instant photography but also wanted an instant camera with a larger photo size too.

It seemed like a fun instant camera I could do some exciting photos with. I also liked the fact it was fujifilm since that tends to develop more quickly than the current Polaroid film.

At the point of backing this project I didn’t own a Polaroid camera. At the time, my dream instant camera that I wanted to own was the SX-70 Alpha 1 but it was quite an expensive camera to buy so I felt the Instant Diana on Kickstarter was more affordable.

I backed the camera and opted for the Adriano edition instead of the standard Diana design and the flash along with some gel filters.

Not long after backing, I kept getting more offers and deals from Lomography on the accessories which, were a really good price that I could add to the current package. I viewed this camera as a fun arty instant camera. I therefore ended up getting the full works as follows:

  • Diana Instant Square Special Edition Camera
  • Diana F+ Special Edition Flash
  • Diana Flash Color Gel Filters
  • Diana Instant Square Flash Plug
  • Diana F+ Flash Hotshoe Plug
  • Diana F+ Flash to Hotshoe Adapter
  • Diana+ 20mm Fisheye Lens
  • Diana+ 38mm Super Wide Lens
  • Diana+ 55mm Wide Angle & Close Up Lenses
  • Diana+ 110mm Telephoto Lens
  • Diana+ 75mm Glass Lens

The kickstarter project was a success and was fully backed which meant that I would receive the finished camera around January 2019.

In the meantime, I came across some Pink and Black Duochrome Polaroid 600 film which I loved the look of and ended up buying a cheap Polaroid 600 camera on ebay (which I blogged about in 2018).

For all Polaroid’s film faults, I still really liked the size of the film and in the end was able to save up enough money to upgrade to the SX-70 Alpha 1 which was the model I’d really wanted.

I purchased the SX-70 in September 2018 and now wonder if I had purchased this earlier on, if I would have even backed the Kickstarter project?

Fastforward to January 2019 and my Diana Instant Camera (and all the accessories) arrived.

When I opened the package I was completely overwhelmed by all the components I had added onto the intial package and quite frankly, I didn’t know where to begin!

I briefly looked through everything but I was very disappointed by the camera design itself. I stupidly hadn’t realised just how large it would be and I had been spoiled for the past few months using a gorgeous, well made SX-70 and also my Leica Sofort which are both stylish and cool looking in their own right.

The Diana Instant Camera in comparison looked like a cheap child’s toy (which I suppose is the point of the Diana camera’s) and once I added on the very large flash, you should have seen my husband’s face! In fact, I should have taken an instant photo!

He looked quite alarmed at my purchase and thought the design was horrible in comparison to my other two instant cameras.

I initially wondered if I should just sell it on but I really wanted to experiment with this camera and see what it could do with the various accessories.

I took the camera down to my boat and left it there with every intention of using it through the spring and summer of last year.

However, everytime, I went to use it around people, I suppose I just felt embarrassed by it. It really did feel like a toy and it’s certainly not subtle! In the end I just kept using my other two instant cameras.

However, I still really want to try out the accessories and I do like the instax square instant photos.

Last weekend, I finally brought the camera back home from my boat and have decided I’m going to use it for some of my daily walks, like I normally do with my Leica Sofort.

I’m going to make a journal of the photos taken using the different accessories and rather than be overwhelmed and try and use everything at once, I’m going to make a plan and use one accessory at a time and finally see what photos I can make using these accessories.

I then plan to blog about each accessory seperately and will give my views on what I thought and sample photos.

I started this week and decided to try out the 75mm glass lens. However, I didn’t have a great start. The film got jammed in the camera when trying to release the camera sheet so I removed the film and some plastic broke off and fell out but thankfully it was from the film packet and not the actual camera!

I re-inserted the film but it was damaged with light exposure.

I had some more film so put that in the camera and initially thought I had broke the camera as the photos were coming out blank still (very frustrating!).

I then realised there was an exposure button underneath the lens and I had it on Pinhole mode and it needed to go down to f/11. Once I did this I managed to get the following photos:

I also must have accidentally hit the double exposure switch on the side instead of just the on switch and I got this trippy shot of my dog:

I thought the pictures came out quite well using the glass lens.

I also feel more comfortable carrying the camera over my shoulder like a handbag rather than round my neck as I really do look a bit strange because it is quite big and toy like. It’s more subtle when carried to the side.

Here are the camera specifications:

Cable Release ConnectionNo
Battery Type4 x AAA
Available AperturesManual settings, cloudy (f/11), partly sunny (f/19), sunny (f/32), pinhole (f/150)
Shutter SpeedsN (1/100), B (Bulb Mode, Unlimited)
Focal Length75 mm (Kit Lens, 38 mm equivalent)
Film advanceAutomatic
Film FormatFujifilm Instax Square
Flash connectionDiana Flash plug & Hotshoe adapter
FocusingZone Focusing
Focusing Distance1-2 m / 2-4 m / 4 m-infinity
Frame CounterAuto Frame Counter
MaterialPlastic
Tripod MountYes
LightmeterNo
View FinderReverse Galilean, detachable

Lastly, I forgot to mention the viewfinder….you have different ones for different lenses and they are another large piece that stands out on the camera so again, another thing that really isn’t subtle.

If you want some funny looks, then wear this camera around your neck! Otherwise, you may want to consider what other instant cameras are out there.

If I had paid full price, I don’t think I would have purchased this camera. I really did get caught up in all the hype of the Kickstarter project and it’s a lesson learnt that I will try and never repeat again.

On the plus side, I’m really going to try it out over the next few months and see if this camera grows on me since I’ve not really given it a chance.

I’m hoping I will get some cool effects from it that I perhaps could never achieve with my other two instant camera’s so we shall see.

I look forward to updating you all in my little adventure with the Diana Instant Camera.

Instagram: natalie_smart_photography

9 thoughts on “Out and about with the Diana Instant Square Camera

  1. I think this might be a conversation starter camera for a living room shelf.
    I meant to look at instant cameras when I went to Seoul last week, but I spent all my loot on a Fujifilm zoom lens and forgot about it. Maybe next vacation . . . .

    Liked by 1 person

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