The Diana Mini

I’ve been collecting old cameras for a long time but haven’t tried shooting with any of them. Weird, huh? Then I recently got this Diana Mini 35mm and am officially driving Anderson and Kingston crazy playing with it! It’s not really vintage but delivers similar results as an old toy camera.

The Diana Mini is the smaller version of the plastic Diana F+ camera and takes 35mm film. I like that it has two formats: 36 square pictures or 72 half-frame pictures on one roll. I shot my first roll using the square setting. I also got the retro-styled flash and love using the color gel filters that come with it. It’s been so long since I’ve shot film, and when I walked into my local drugstore to drop off the first roll I remembered the excitement I always felt getting film developed! Since I’m new at shooting with a Diana I thought I’d share a few thoughts I’ve had so far and would LOVE any advice you might have to offer.

1. The flash is a bit harsh up close but works great for indoor shots; otherwise it’s really hard to get a clear image inside.

2. I bought 35mm film from Walgreens and had it developed there too. I didn’t have prints made; just a cd, because I knew there was a good chance that only a handful of shots would turn out and wanted to be able to just print the ones I really liked.

3. Also, I read online that people have lots of issues with the film being off-center and sometimes ruined. So I made sure to mention to the technician that the images were square and needed to be centered, and they came out great.

4. Just enjoy it! The results from these little plastic cameras are unpredictable, but that’s what makes it fun. I’ve started another roll and can’t wait to see how it turns out!

I think we look like extras from That 70’s Show in most of the pics from the first roll:

Double-exposure of downtown Jacksonville.