Before this past April, the only time I’d used the Diana Mini that my husband gifted me was immediately afterward, when I took it to the family Christmas gathering and took some square photos. Those were mostly indoors, long exposures steadied against a table, and they came out well enough for a toy camera.
I decided to run another roll through the Diana Mini this past April, to try out some different conditions and to use the half-frame feature, since I took square photos last time.
General impressions: It’s a plastic novelty camera. To expect anything more of it is unreasonable. It’s super cute, hides in a pocket, and is the perfect size for my four-year-old to play with (sans film). It doesn’t have a very sharp focus even in the best of situations, and creates some fascinating lens flare effects in the right (or wrong) light.
Taken at the kitchen table in the evening, I think. Horribly underexposed, but I love what came out, anyway. The underexposure reminds me of old photos of me as a little kid with my Mom’s Instamatic.
We played at the park on a cloudy day, so I set the camera to f/cloudy and left it there. I attempted to focus and frame appropriately, but the parallax error is evident, and the “dreamy focus” is more of a nightmare. (OK, it’s not that bad, but I couldn’t let that play on words go to waste.)
Do I still like it? Sure, in the right situation. Will I use it very often? Probably not, but it’s super cute on my camera shelf in its little blue box — and my son really does like to play with it. Maybe one of these days I’ll load it up with film for him — it probably takes as good of pictures as his Fisher-Price Kid Tough Digital Camera.