Diana / Lomography 38mm Plastic Lens Review

Diana 38mm

If you fancy a go with a film camera, and you think 35mm is just way too common to be cool, the Diana 38mm Super Wide-Angle lens might be a good first step. Not only will give you that old-time awful cheap camera look on your digital SLR, but you can also by an actual film camera to use it with, should you desire. The lens is pictured here with the Canon EF adaptor.

Kickin’ It Old School

Like a proverbial blast from the past, the good folks at Lomography have created (or rather recreated) a cheap plastic camera system for shooting medium-format film. Called the Diana F+, this film throwback shoots 120 film and sports interchangeable lenses. But if film isn’t in your plans, you can still make use of the Diana lenses via an adapter for Canon EF or Nikon F mount adapters.

Kinda Awful

Make no mistake, the whole point of Diana cameras and lenses is to deliver the approximation of just how bad the quality of hobbyist film cameras really was. Same goes for the reboot Holga cameras, which also shoot 120 film. The interchangeable lenses of the Diana camera system are a great example of what cheap plastic lenses can produce. The marketing calls the look “dreamy”, but to me it’s more like “soft focused with very poor color rendition.”

Example Photo

This photo was shot on a Canon 6D full-frame SLR, offering a slightly wider than “normal” field of view. The “super-wide angle” designation is in relation to medium format photography, in which 38mm provides a wider angle of view than 35mm (full frame SLR) and a much wider view than crop sensors.

Diana 38mm

The Verdict

Like the Holga 60mm (my review is here), I don’t recommend the Diana lens for general use. It’s essentially a toy and without a lot of prep and practice, it’s going to yield pretty crappy images.