j a m e s  e d g e

Plastic 'Diana De Luxe' clone toy camera.


Film type:

Image size:





'Great Wall Plastics' Hong Kong 1960 - 70's

120 roll film

6 x 6 cm, 12 shots per roll

Fixed 'Placision' 1:8 (roughly 28mm equivalent)

1/50 th second

Sunny, cloudy, overcast! 3 hole swivel type.

4ft - infinity


The story goes that while these cameras were available for sale, many were given away as prizes at funfairs in the 1970's hence the 'toy' title. It is also why they are so hard to find nowadays and fetch a very high price on the toy camera collectable circuit. My particular model is an old clone of a 'real' Diana. They were also sold using other names, Banner, Arrow, Colorflash to name a few.

Due to its extremely light, and surprisingly sturdy plastic construction, I can and do take it everywhere I travel. The plastic lens gives beautiful vignette exposures across the negative, resulting in dark falloff in the corners, and an overall softness that evokes photographs of an earlier era.

I love full frame printing and the square format is getting rarer and rarer of late, so I enjoy the unique qualities that I can only achieve with this camera. I get great looks and reactions from people when I use it. Especially from the 'sproing' noise the shutter makes when pressed.

I bought it for the pricely sum of $25 AUD (about $12 US, £8 GBP) at an Op Shop in Daylesford Victoria, complete with box, instructions and flash (for which I sadly have no bulbs)


Buying Tips:

The only place you will find these now are op shops, car boot sales, fetes etc. You can get them from collectors through, but you will pay a hefty price for one.

So, if you ever see one, don't hesitate - just buy it. Even if you don't like photography, there are literally thousands of people who will buy it from you (including myself).

If you are lucky enough to find one, simply open the back, hold it up the to light and press the trigger. You will see and hear if the shutter still works, it has an unmistakeable sound. The shutter can be pressed repeatedly without winding the film on, (creating multiple exposures) but they all do that - its not broken.


More Information:

Toy Camera Ring - A web ring dedicated to toy cameras

Google - Type 'diana toy camera' into any web search engine. You will get heaps of results

Camera Museum - An interesting website showing different toy (and other) cameras.