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Written by Amy Elizabeth I shoot film entirely, so you already know I ’ m a glutton for punishment. But add in my love for the Diana Mini, an overprice 35mm formative television camera that breaks a small besides frequently, and you know I ’ m truly crazy. But I sincerely do love it, and I ’ vitamin d love for you to fall in love with it, besides.
( Find the Diana Mini on Amazon )
My History with the Diana Mini
The Diana Mini has a especial invest in my kernel because it was my re-introduction to film. Being a ‘ 90s high schooler mean I had the privilege of taking photograph classes in the flower of film, spending prison term in the darkroom, and learning how to operate an SLR good before the ascent of the DSLR. In 2009, merely after fully embracing my DSLR and ultimately tossing my run out film, my husband, a youth curate at the time, and I made our room into the Urban Outfitters in Ventura and stumbled upon their film incision, filled with Dianas, Holgas, and all sorts of Lomo film. Film already felt like a long ago relic, and we knew the teens would get a kick out of film shots of them at youth group and camps. We picked up a Diana Mini as opposed to the Diana F+ or Holga for the comfort of buy and developing 35mm. The Mini reignited my love for film, and it was my gateway to an eventual plunge into shooting film entirely. I have since collected more film cameras than I can count, but the Mini remains one of my understudy. I love how I don ’ t have to think, I barely dart. Shooting double exposures is fabulously comfortable, the blink of an eye gives images a nostalgic feel, and the overlapping frames can not be duplicated by any other television camera I own .
Functions of the Diana Mini
The Diana Mini is precisely what its identify suggests, a bantam camera that takes 35mm film. Like its big sister, the Diana F, it shoots squarely images, but it besides has the ability to do half frames ; like to a television camera like the Olympus Pen. But unlike the Pen, you can shoot aside without limitation of having to fully wind between each frame. This makes it easy to shoot double exposures. It besides means you can partially wind from one frame to the future and shoot another photograph, which creates overlapping stories. You can besides switch between these formats in the middle of rolls. With all the frame trade and overlapping frames, your scan technical school is going to hate you. I scan my own film, and I can tell you that scanning Diana Mini frames takes far longer. I spend forever selecting the stories I want to tell, often scanning a certain frame with the one to its left AND right .
The Diana Mini is a pretty simple point-and-shoot because you only get three choices when shoot :
- Normal or bulb. Normal just means the shutter will shoot at 1/60th of a second. If bulb is selected, the shutter will stay open as long as the release is depressed.
- The focal distance, which can be set at 0.6m and further.
- The aperture, which can either be f/8 or f/11.
Because of these limit controls, I tend to shoot film that is ISO 400 for a little latitude, such as Kodak Ultramax 400 or Superia XTRA 400 .
Issues with Using a Plastic Camera
The downfall of the Diana Mini is besides its most adorable feature, which is, of course, the fact that it ’ south credit card. The plastic lens creates vignetting and a dreamy, blurred quality. sol if you ’ re into tack-sharp pixel-peeping, this camera is most decidedly not for you.
The plastic dials and parts besides have a leaning to break, which is my I am presently on my third copy ( see ? I ’ m a glutton for punishment ! ) The dials besides get stick. I ’ ve wound rolls early because I thought I was done shooting the roll, but it was just that the movie promote dial was stuck. If the film advance dial is stuck, and I know I ’ molarity not at the end of the axial rotation, I will place my bridge player over the lens to block out light and depress the shutter to try to loosen the film back up. I do this regularly because it seems to jam about every early frame. If you love the quirks of formative cameras, you can besides check more shoot It With Film articles about toy cameras here !
Shooting Overlapping Frames
I would say my very favorite argue I shoot my Diana Mini is for the overlapping frames. It gives me the ability to tell an stallion floor in a single rectangle. I stumbled upon my love for overlapping frames very serendipitously when the dial was jamming. I thought I was winding amply from one skeleton to the adjacent. I got the roll of film back and fell in LOVE with the shots that overlapped and far preferred them to the perfectly aligned, individual shots . My word of advice when purposefully shooting overlapping frames is to make certain the lighting is similar from one shoot to the adjacent. If you take a shoot in wide sun and then overlap it with a shot in the shade, the balance wheel between the lighting will be off and the scanner can merely figure out some sort of middle compromise. When this does happen, I take a localize brush in Lightroom and try to lighten or darken areas as needed, but this is far less preferable than precisely choosing to overlap similarly alight frames . so run out and get yourself a Diana Mini. Shoot away ! Play around ! experiment ! Feel exempt ! And be certain to show me what you create. Thank you so much, Amy ! Amy is a regular contributor here at Shoot It With Film, and you can check out her early articles here, including tutorials on how to develop film at home and how to create faint leaks !
To see more of Amy ’ randomness workplace, be indisputable to visit her on her web site and Instagram ! Amy besides shares tips and tutorials for shooting film over on her IGTV distribution channel. Go check it out ! Leave your questions about the Diana Mini below in the comments, and you can pick one up for yourself on Amazon here !