First Impressions: Diana Instant Square

Diana Instax Square Albany Ny
Diana Instax Square albany ny

Good: Bullet proof instax film works well with the Diana’s quirks.

Bad: Controls are not intuitive and it is easy to make expensive mistakes.

I was supposed to test my new Lomography Diana Instant Square by spending an elegant weekend in New Haven, CT but at the last moment, my trip was moved to the triumph of Albany, NY.

Look at all the important settings on the Diana Instant Square lens.

Exposure and focus are easy using the dial on the front of the camera and if you have ever taken a properly exposed photo with a Diana camera before you should be able to do it with this camera too. I used the stock plastic lens for these photos and although the vignetting is severe I sort of like it. This is the New York State Bar Association building and someday soon I’ll need a lawyer so I figure this was a great place to start my Diana test.

New York State Bar Association in Albany, NY
New York State Bar Association in Albany, NY

Allegedly, the capital building in Albany was the most expensive capital in the entire country to build and I believe it. The building is extremely classy and looks like a castle. I tried to catch the skateboarder in mid-air and I’m impressed that the shutter on the Diana Instant Square is fast enough to freeze motion. I also like that the Diana Instant’s lens isn’t super wide angle and I could get the skateboarder in the shot without getting too close.

This is The Hellscape. I believe that the official name is “Empire State Plaza,” but I prefer hellscape because it captures the mood. I’m actually a huge fan of the architect and the architectural style but it just doesn’t work here. The saddest part of luxuriating in the reverse triumph of The Hellscape is that the buildings are clad in some beautiful material but it all looks like concrete.

Happy Accident in the German Expressionism of The Hellscape

I guess this is a happy accident because I accidentally opened the shutter when the camera wasn’t turned on which exposed the film without ejecting it. In order to eject the film and start the development process, I had to expose the film a second time with the camera on which created a double exposure. This isn’t the look I was going for here, but it probably does accurately document the psychological trauma of bureaucracy.

Lomography Diana Instant Square Tips

  • Before you take each shot check the settings because dials can shift and not all accidents are happy.
  • It is easy to overexpose the film so try a brighter setting than you might think is appropriate.
  • The viewfinder is surprisingly accurate.
  • Be careful how you store the camera because you can accidentally exposure the film without and loose a frame.

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