Lomography Diana+ Pinhole Test

When the Lomographic Society International released the Diana toy camera remake, the Diana +, one of the improvements they made over the original was the addition of a built in pin hole feature. Even though I have had my Diana+ for a long time, I have never really tried the pin hole. Last week, I decided to give it a go.

Accessing the pin hole feature is easy. Just twist off the lens.

Lomography Diana+

The pin hole on the Diana+ is supposed to have an aperture of f/150 and you set it by moving the aperture lever to “P”

Lomography Diana+ Pinhole

Since pin hole exposure times are relatively long, the Diana+ needs to be set on bulb mode. There is a “shutter lock” (really a small plastic wedge) attached to the camera strap that can be inserted into the shutter lever slot to keep the shutter open for as long as required without holding it down. I found the shutter lock to be a bit finicky and it would sometimes take a few attempts to get it to stay in place.

Lomography Diana+ Shutter Lock

The Diana+ also has a tripod attachment on the base which helps when taking long exposures.

To determine the correct exposure, I created a table on the Mr Pinhole website. Here is an extract from that table showing the values I used most often.

f 8 f 16 f 150
1/500 Secs 1/125 Secs 1/2 Secs
1/250 Secs 1/60 Secs 1 Secs
1/125 Secs 1/30 Secs 3 Secs
1/60 Secs 1/15 Secs 6 Secs
1/30 Secs 1/8 Secs 11 Secs
1/15 Secs 1/4 Secs 22 Secs

I then used an old Sekonic light meter to determine the correct exposure for f/8 or f/16 and read the f/150 value from the table.

Because it can be difficult to keep the shutter lock in place my method for taking the photos was to first hold the lens cap in front of the pin hole. I would then open the shutter and insert the lock. Once the lock was in place, I removed the cap for the necessary time and replaced it when the exposure was complete. By doing it this way, I reduced the amout of time I had touch the camera hopefully lessening any camera shake.

And so the results…

Most of the roll was exposed pretty well. I did end up with a light leak which was caused by the roll not being wound tightly onto the take up spool. This is a common problem with the Diana+ because of the mechanism used to keep the film in place. It just doesn’t keep the roll tight enough. (See this Figital Revolution post on how to get around that.)

Another thing I don’t like about my Diana+ is that there is a square outline around every photo. This appears to be a internal reflection from the mask but it could probably be reduced by using a matte paint inside the camera. I’ve seen this on other people’s Diana+ photographs too.

Overall, I think the pinholes came out pretty good. You can judge the results yourself below.

Lomography Diana+ Small-1

Lomography Diana+ Small-2

Lomography Diana+ Small-3

8 thoughts on “Lomography Diana+ Pinhole Test

  1. rui filipe

    Hello! I’m Rui from Portugal, and i’m starting to explore Diana+ in this amazing and “intuitive” world of lomography …
    and i think that this question it’s silly, but …
    … well when we don’t know, the best thing is to ask … to kill ingnorance …

    so… here is my silly question ….
    i can’t “read” your table! …
    – what’s: f8, f16 and f150

    – and the pinhole can be used in daylight? or will burn the film?

    sorry for so many questions, very naive but… i’m making experiences and i do want to understand and try the pinhole…

    Thanks for your time, i loved your photos!
    and sorry for my bad english …

    Peace
    Rui
    from Lisbon, Portugal

  2. Dave Post author

    The f/8, etc refer to the apertures (also known as f-stops).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aperture#In_photography

    The pinhole on this camera has an aperture of around f/150.

    I used a hand held light meter to determine the correct exposure for each shot based on the table.

    If you don’t want to get into this much detail just yet, I believe the camera comes with a booklet giving guidelines on the times needed to make pinhole photographs based on the light conditions. So check that out. It should be good enough to get decent photographs.

    But in the long run it is worth learning about apertures, shutter speeds, etc since it will help you with all sorts of photography.

    And yes, the pinhole can be used in daylight.

  3. syntaxfree

    The largest aperture the Diana (at least the Lomography version) does is f/11 (the cloudy setting). That’s because the whole camera is calibrated for ISO 400 film. Boy, my lab must be sick and tired of pull-processing ISO 160 (Provia or Velvia, depending on how broke I am).

  4. Dave Post author

    Yes the largest aperture on the LSI Diana+ is f/11. I normally meter for f/16 and then calculate the f/150 value from that.

  5. Dave Post author

    Lomography software Lover, everything can be faked on the computer but that misses the point in taking pinhole photographs.

  6. Daph Ferrao

    Hello,
    I’m sorry, but a don’t understand the table. I know what f means, but what about each line? Why does the time grow each line?
    I1m new in pinhole matter, thank you if you could help.

  7. Dave Post author

    Daph, the way the table works is this:

    You first use a light meter (handheld or in a digital camera) to work out the shutter speed for a specific aperture (f/8 or f/16). Then you read across the table to get the time (shutter speed) in the f/150 column.

    As an example say we want to meter a seen using our DSLR. We put the DSLR into aperture priority mode and set the aperture to f/8. Then using the DSLR we read what shutter speed the camera is being set to. Say in this example it is being set to 1/125 sec by the camera.

    We then read across the table to the f/150 column and see that this corresponds to 3 seconds.

    So 3 seconds is the actual time we need for our exposure.

    Now, this doesn’t take into account “reciprocity failure” but I don’t worry about that and haven’t seen too many problems..

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