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LOMO’s New Mystery Camera

@lomography has been all (ahem…) atwitter about a mystery camera announcement this week. The folks at Tongue in Chic seem to have blown the lid off of the announcement of the Diana Mini, a half-frame/full-frame 35mm version of the cult classic Diana plastic camera.

Half-frame cameras like the Olympus PEN were popular in the 1960s as a lighter, smaller alternative to full-frame 35mm. They also allow you to shoot double the images on a roll of 35mm film.

The Soviets got into the game, too, on their side of the iron curtain – releasing the Fed Micron , Chaika and AGAT 18K half-frame cameras (among others)

The Diana Mini resembles its medium format predecessor, with zone focusing, traditional layout and a film advance wheel. There’s a half-frame/full-frame switch to allow you to change the format on the fly. One of the mystery product announcements showed what looked like a Diana F+ flash, a dedicated strobe flash that looks just like the old bulb flash attachment on the original Diana F.

I like it – it looks small enough to tempt you to take it everywhere, pictures show the same dreamy soft focus and vignetting, virtual trademarks of it’s larger sibling, and shooting skinny, tall photos compels you to think differently about composition.

PowerShovel beat the Lomographic Society to the modern half-frame game, however, with their Golden Half camera a few months ago. The Golden Half looks like it’s smaller than the Diana Mini, probably because it’s half-frame only and doesn’t have to look like a Diana.

Plastic film cameras are a LOT of fun and I bet both would make wonderful bring-with-you-everywhere lo-fi cameras or suitable fashion accessories, depending on which way you swing.

[ tongue in cheek via four corners dark ]

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