Instagram’s Mother, Diana 0

With the recent Instagram outpourings and offsprings we’ve been exposed to (and most likely participated in — I know I am guilty of being an Instagram addict now that it has finally been released on Android)  I can’t help but wonder if anyone out there has actually pondered the inspiration behind Instagram? If you were originally a film and/or a medium-format camera user like me, you probably love Instagram for its simplicity and retro square-like frame.

One of the popular cameras back in the day that could be dubbed as the film version of Instagram would be the Holga/Diana camera.  With its entirely plastic body and lens, no mirror, and limited f-stop selections (f/11, f/13, f/19), the Diana camera was far from complex. It was the camera in one of the simplest forms.  It held 120mm sized film, lacked focus control and suffered from light leaks and film advance problems. Nonetheless, this camera produced photos with an artistic, dream-like quality that has developed for it a cult following.  Currently, the Diana+ camera can be purchased for $49.00, or $99.00 if you want the version with the flash.  If you check out there are a ton of different types of Diana+ cameras, all in different colors too.

What I find interesting about Diana cameras is all of the different names it has been marketed under. Never before have I heard of a camera being called by so many, quite literally, names — Anny, Banner, Pokey, Rover, Snappy, Tina, and Zodiac just to name a few. So I have to ask: Is there anyone out there who has actually collected all (or most of) the Diana camera models?