Holga and Diana

The Holga and Diana cameras are plastic-bodied cameras using both 120 roll film and 35mm film. T. M. Lee designed the Holga camera in 1981. The Holga camera was mass-produced to provide the Chinese working-class the ability to record everyday family portraits and events. The Diana camera first appeared during the early 1960s as an inexpensive camera sold by the Great Wall Plastic Factory, of Hong Kong. Most Diana cameras were given away or sold for nominal sums as novelties or prizes at fairs, carnivals, product promotions, raffles, or other events.

 The design of both cameras incorporate a crude lens that produces a image circle on the film which often produces vignetting. The poor quality of the plastic lens results in generally low contrast and resolution, odd color rendition, and blurred images. And the crude advance and shutter mechanism can result in images that are not properly centered or exposed. Both cameras frequently suffer from light leaks and film advance issues. The results from both cameras are often blurry with unpredictable results like visions of ambiguous, hazy, and mysterious recollections of prophecies and dreams, which make these cameras so appealing.

“All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.”

― Edgar Allan Poe