Now that the holidays are over it’s time to return to What’s in my Camera Bag?
Today I wanted to tell you a little more about the Diana Mini toy camera.
Blogged a bit about the camera already here.
I don’t know if you can tell from these photos but this camera is pretty small. 3.5 x 1 x 2.5 inches according to the Amazon listing. And awfully light (since it’s all just plastic including the lens). EASY to fit in a purse or maybe even a pocket. And since it’s just a film/toy camera there are not any batteries or power source needed so you can carry it around as long as you need to to finish a roll.
From the Wikipedia description:
As a bottom market camera intended for novelty use, the Diana frequently suffers from light leaks, film advance issues, and other problems. However, its low-quality plastic lens has been celebrated for its artistic effects in photographs, normally resulting in a slightly blurred composition that can provide a ‘dreamlike’ quality to the print
And another point of view from an Amazon review:
Be aware: this is a lo-res camera. Plastic lens. Plastic body. It is designed to give over saturated pictures. It has a zone focus that works but IT’S A ZONE FOCUS. If you use it, nothing is out of focus, but things are rarely IN focus either…. The film can be tweaky to get to move through the camera correctly – lots of little eccentricities….
I got this camera beginning of April 2011 and finished my first roll of film mid-2012. Partly because I was shooting 2-images-per-frame which effectively doubles the number of photos to take. And partly because I knew that the film would be expensive (relatively) to develop and replace, so I wanted the images to “count” …
I’m now partway through my second roll (which I’m hoping to finish soonish). But, as I learned from the first roll, the camera likes light – and since I spend SO MUCH time inside for work (and we haven’t gone on any trips recently) I don’t have a whole lot of outdoors time.
From reading this post from Elise, I decided to shoot the entire first roll as half-prints (2 images per negative frame). The second roll I was going to try the other square format, but I was having a difficult time moving the little knob that controls the setting, so rather than risk breaking it off (totally my luck) I thought I’d just go with the half-frame size again.
This camera is very easy to use, but when I very first got the camera I wasn’t 100% sure how to load it. Part of that is because I was nervous about doing it wrong and ruining a roll of film (done that before. Feels so wasteful). But I found this video on loading a Diana Mini that was very helpful.
So, all in all … it seems like a little finicky to get to know, but I really love the way the images have turned out. The good ones, at least. Really lovely saturated color. And the side-by-side diptych is fun to play with too.
Image examples from the first roll: