Not Bad for $12: Diana F+ lens adaptor for Canon SLRs

Canon Rebel xsi with Diana+ 75mm lens

(All images in this post, as with my Diana+ shots, are not digitally processed.)

When I first heard about the Diana F+ lens adaptor for Canon and Nikon SLRs, I was skeptical, at best. But after seeing some photos online, I realized that the adaptor does not create a copycat of the Diana+ film images. For $12, I thought it would be a fun way to play more with my lenses. The adaptor is a small black plastic ring that twists into place on your SLR camera.  Then you mount your Diana+ lens on the adaptor.

Canon Rebel xsi with Diana+ Super-Wide lens

The first thing I realized was that I haven't been that into my digital camera, because I do so much shooting with my Diana+ and the digital images don't ever feel like my style.  So immediately I was enjoying the dreamier images coming through my SLR.

But when I switched to a different lens (besides the original Diana+ 75mm lens that fits pretty snuggly), I started having issues with the lenses staying on the SLR.  On the Diana+, there are white dots guiding you in the mounting, but there aren't any guiding marks on the adaptor to help line up the lens properly.  That isn't the biggest deal, but then the lenses don't lock in well.  I have to really hold the lenses in place when twisting to a different focus setting, otherwise they fall off in my hand.  Walking down the street, I keep the lens caps on in case they jiggle off as I'm moving.  This is my biggest complaint about the adaptor.

Canon Rebel xsi with Diana+ 75mm lens

On the Diana+, you adjust the light coming in primarily by adjusting the f-stop with the sunny, partly sunny, cloudy, and pinhole settings.  On my Canon, I couldn't adjust the f-number with the Diana+ lenses on, so I had to adjust the lighting with the ISO and shutter speeds instead.  The above image is before these adjustments, the below image was taken over my daughter's head after the adjustments.

To get vignetting, it's fun to play with the Diana+ Splitzer, which allows you to open or close pie-piece portions of your lens.  With the Diana+, it's a fun way to play with multiple exposures on a shot, but since that's not possible with a digital camera, I used it instead to create vignetting.  Outdoors I left it open about 1/4 of the pie:

Canon Rebel xsi with Diana+ lens and Splitzer

Indoors at night with a flash, I left it open only about 1/8 of the pie:

Canon Rebel xsi with Diana+ lens and Splitzer, indoor at night with flash

Another popular feature of Diana+ photography is shooting with the fisheye lens, which takes a 180 degree circular image on a square print.  The way the digital image crops, you don't get the circular image, though if you look closely you can see some subtle curving at the edges:

Canon Rebel xsi with Diana+ Fisheye lens

Here's a telephoto shot, on a cloudy day:


Canon Rebel xsi, Diana+ Telephoto lens

And here's a shot with the Diana+ Close-Up lens:

Canon Rebel xsi with Diana+ Close-Up lens, indoor at night with flash

I've found indoor night photography the hardest to do with the Diana+.  I'm likely to use the Canon adaptor and Diana+ lenses when I'm shooting indoors at night.  And if I'm really wanting to shoot something digitally, I'll use the adaptor and my Diana+ lenses because I prefer the look.

But I'll make sure to hold the lenses carefully so they don't fall off when I'm moving or adjusting the focus.

The bottom line: This won't duplicate or replace Diana+ photography.  You don't get the full fisheye view, multiple exposures, or the cool effects of different films and processing.  But for $12, it buys you a few more options and a little more fun.