Friday, January 04, 2008

lomo schlomo

In recent years, the digital revolution has exponentially and essentially wiped out film based cameras. My first camera, a Pentax PC-303S lies dormant, though not forgotten (so rare to find a developers for film). It was with immense surprise and delight to simultaneously receive a kool digital cam (thanks heaps bellas!), and the more curious, a plastic toy, the Diana camera (big cheers to cammers and mike!).

Revived by the lomographic society (of the reinvented Russian lomo camera fame), the Diana camera recreates the 120 film camera which originated from the Great Wall Plastics Factory in Hong Kong during the 1960s. According to the accompanying booklet , this camera appears to be somewhat of a sleeper hit. Although upon immediate release, the Diana failed to find a market and was discontinued a decade later, lo-fi and experimental photographers have sustained a cult following of the Diana and its many 120 film cousin cameras.

It's been so much fun to be introduced to a medium film format and the resulting photographs have a gorgeous vignetting on the edges. The camera itself is lightweight, a little bit fragile and extremely bulky by today's standards. There are basic aperture and shutter settings, although there are some light leakages (got myself some electrical tape jaye!). The updated version includes a panorama or pinhole function and a tripod mount.

I loaned the camera to jaye who took some great shots on a jaunt to st kilda, and who sadly returned to SA before the prints were developed. Great photos jaye ;)

These were printed at the glorious Vanbar (excellent service, well recommended) and the suggested glossy finish results in a striking contrast between the grainy / tactile /slightly fuzzy quality of the image with the smooth shine of the paper itself.
If you're interested, you might be lucky to find one in an op shop or elsewhere on the internerd.
Can't wait to take some portraits with this!


Jaye said...

I'm so impressed with the pics!
I'm telling you know.. I was dubious.. VERRRRRY dubious..

yossarian said...

pwoargh! gorgeous pics and a gorgeous camera .... didn't realise that film processing is so hard to find these days! if vanbar keeps it as some sort of niche market, then very well - bless 'em and especially the guy who safely retrieved my camera film when it got stuck in my (now de-funct) camera ;p

Serenity Later said...

Wow! These are phenomenal pix jaye! There's a really dreamy quality to the way they've come out isn't there. You've got a good eye for picking great shots!

i'm going to sound like the oldie that i am but for what its worth i reckon there was always an element of excitement getting film processed - not quite knowing what to expect, coming across the odd suprising shot (and in my case, the many dodgy and blurry pix). Me want a diana camera now!!! thanks for posting these jfox!!!

jfox said...

hello jaye> i think it's time to get on the lomo bandwagon!! ;D your pics look great!

hi yoss> i do love vanbar, you even meet photography folk who offer 120film camera advice in there - how nice!

hello serenity> you're so right! i had forgotten how exciting it is to develop film. jaye and i were full of beans waiting to see the negatives, and then to see the prints themselves!
you should get one too, definitely have a look around op shops. your folks may well have one floating around at home ;)

M's nemesis said...

Wow those pics are awesome- the grainy/shiny finish gives them an nostalgic/ethereal look- looks like melbourne but taken from a different dimension/time?

Hey serenity> we stillhave dad's old camera don't even remember the brand but it was from Japan- found the manual (very 60's) the other day too!

Very nice!!!