Saturday, 18 June 2011

Diana F+ 110mm Telephoto Lens: A Review (I think)

Remember this from a few weeks ago?

Diana

I'd been hearing a whisper or two from friends about how much they love shooting with vintage lenses, especially Lomography lenses, and I knew I had to try it. My beloved Canon only has two lenses, a kit lens and 50mm, and I wanted to show it some love, and to also try out some more focal lengths. I originally contemplated it a few months back but was concerned: would it work? Would it only work on film SLRs? Would it be money wasted?

A few weeks back I tweeted about whether I should, or shouldn't do it, and I decided to go for it. That's what free returns are for, right? I went through Fred Aldous, as I know and trust them for their fab service, and plus, they have too much amazing stuff for sale!

I started my little Lomo lens collection off by buying a 110mm telephoto lens. The most important thing is that, if this is your first Lomo lens, to buy the lens converter to go with it. Else it won't connect, and you'll probably feel a bit gutted.

No, you'll definitely be gutted.

Plus, you only need to buy the lens converter once. When you buy your next Lomo lens, you'll be ready for next time. It's the best £9 you'll spend. I promise.

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The lens showed up the next day! I was super impressed with the delivery speed, and how well wrapped up the box was. Good work, Royal Mail!

After opening the lens converter, I literally twisted it into my camera (Awesome Lady top tip: match the dot to the red dot before twisting the lens converter) and then worked out how to twist my Diana lens onto the converter. It was really hard, as it kept falling off. It felt really loose for some odd reason. After a few attempts I finally got the lens attached properly. I wasn't too impressed with this part, to be fair. It felt a teeny bit flimsy.

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There's a focus ring on it, too, with three different focal points: 5 Metres -> Infinity, 4 Metres, and 2 Metres. When flicking between the three I kept deattaching the lens. That was a pain, but if you hold the lens when changing between focal points, you'll be okay.

The lens promises to produce "dreamy, colourful, slightly leaky photos" - and it does! You absolutely need to be shooting in Manual or Av (Aperture Priority) modes to make this work. You will have an aperture of f/0.0 throughout, and, because it's just a static, plastic lens it won't change. What you see is absolutely what you get, which is the point of Lomo!

From my experiences of film Lomography, the lenses thrive on sunlight. The brighter the better! So, when we had a spot of sunshine today I couldn't resist snapping - the colours are bright, and everything's a bit blurred - bokeh to the extreme! I would have liked some control on the focus but alas, it's not likely to happen. I'm a sharp photo freak, and I guess it takes a bit of getting used to this experimental lark...

Most importantly, you are best using a telephoto in an environment where the view goes on forever and ever amen. I found in an enclosed environment, like my bedroom, the photos didn't come out right. But, on an open road...

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The length is perfect.

I do wish it would focus though. On the website several of the photos shown using the lens are so clear and pretty. But as an additional drawback, the converter doesn't take the lens up close to the sensor, hence why it's not as precisely focussed as a mechancial Canon lens.

I wish I had a telephoto this length for the shot I took of the farm today though!

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But best of all, it's a fab lens if you like dreamy, surreal, almost confusing shots...

I think we're going to get along just fine.

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Psst, Nikon fans! There's also a Nikon lens converter too...

Linkage

Fred Aldous
Lomography Diana SLR photography website


Note: This is not a paid advertisement or review for either Fred Aldous or Lomography. I don't know them personally, and neither do they! :D

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