Monday, March 21, 2011

Diana Mini: A history in film.

When I first purchased my Diana Mini I hadn't used a film camera since I visited China in my final year of high school in 1997 (you do the math!). So when I started back in the analogue world I wasn't sure of the importance of what film to use and almost unaware of the different ISO varieties. 

Now, I'm sure that there are other Diana Mini users who have used more of a variety of film, but I thought it my be helpful for me to share my film experiences with Diana Mini.

Lomography 800 ISO

This was the first film I ever used in my Diana Mini, and it is still a favorite. It's wonderful on dim lit days, winter especially and it carries good colour saturation with a a bit of grain. I have used this in full sunshine and in complete shade and still had excellent results.

Lomography 400 ISO

Possibly my favorite Lomography colour negative film. It captures colour so very well & has a beautiful smooth grain. Wonderful to use on sunny or cloudy days, with or without flash. It's the little black dress of colour negative films.

Lomography 100 ISO

This film is a great basic film to use if you don't know what you want to shoot or when. Good for use in sunny weather, good lighting or with flash. I always keep a roll handy, my spare roll is usually this film.

Lomography Redscale 100 ISO

Oh such a great redscale! It's the only redscale film I have tried in my Diana Mini thus far, and I loved the results. The one downside is that out of all the film I've used, this one is most easily sprocket torn for me. Regardless, redscale is one of my favorite lomo shooting styles.

Lomography X-pro Slide 200 ISO

This is a relatively new addition to my film collection and the first xpro slide film I have used in my Diana Mini (I shoot almost exclusively xpro in my LC-A). I was so impressed by this film in my Diana Mini, I may have over exposed it a little, but the colours are amazing. I will definitely be stocking up on this film again.   

Fuji Superia 200 ISO

A favorite stable amongst photographers, this film will never disappoint. I've used it in both my Diana Mini and my LC-A. Bright true colours and a lovely smooth grain, it is probably the best basic spare roll film outside the lomo film range. 

Kodak Portra 400 VC

Another new addition to my film collection. So far I love the bold colours and good grain. Best not shot in strong sunshine I've found. I look forward to seeing how this film fairs in a Melbourne winter.

Kodak Portra 800 ISO

I fell in love with this film last winter here in Melbourne, since it captured beautiful colours and light even on dark cloudy Melbourne days. I must say I've not used it much over the summer, but when I have it fairs very well in moderate sunlight. The main drawback of this film is the price.

Kodak T400CN B&W (expired 2002)

This film is discontinued, and has been replaced by the Kodak BW400CN. It is wonderful for many reasons, firstly it is a black and white film that is developed in C-41 colour negative chemicals, so can be developed without expense. It is a great quality film, I've never had it sprocket tear in my Diana Mini, it gives a medium to large grain and great image quality. 

I hope this helps out some of you who are new to the Diana Mini or analogue photography in general. I hope I have covered the films well enough, if you have any questions, then please leave a comment or drop me an email. 

❤ Mel


kayla said...

Hi Mel, great sharing of those film types :) oh, I went to Vanbar to look for Rollei Crossbird film, but they didn't have the 35mm film anymore (or at that time), but still have the large format one though. Apparently slide films are a bit pricey, aren't they! Fortunately they were selling expired Fuji Sensia 100 for $5.50, so I gave that a shot. Still waiting for my first roll to finish though.

Could you share and post some tips on using Diana?

1. When is the best time to switch between half-frame and full-frame? I've read that it's probably not so good to switch frames in the middle of the roll. So would it be better to shoot like half of the film in full frame, then the other half in half frame if I want to test out those two modes in one roll?

2. I keep forgetting whether I've rolled the film or not after each shot! What kind of 'system' or rule-of-thumb that's good to use to remember this?

3. Do you find it better to process and scan, or process and print, if the prices are the same?

Thanks! ;)

No One said...

This was incredibly helpful! I just began using a Diana Mini recently and sort of arbitrarily picked film, not really knowing what my best options were. So glad I stumbled upon this. Thanks so much!

Bianca said...

this is such a great site! thanks so much for sharing all your knowledge and info! xoxo

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