Tag Archives: Diana Mini

Surprise from Lomography X-Pro Chrome Film


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I bought my Fisheye together with two three-packs of Lomography film: the Color Negative 400 and the X-Pro Chrome 100. But while the former have produced decent results, the latter has until now been quite a let-down.

The first two rolls of the X-Pro Chrome was shot on a Diana Mini, and while this is certainly a toy camera, it has actually resulted in some usable photos in the past. However, for the two X-Pro Chrome films the results have been very poor, as bad in fact that the negatives just sit here in my drawer without having been printed nor properly scanned (the colours got too weird for me to continue).

To test if it was really a poor film or simply a bad combination with the Diana Mini, I decided to load the last roll into an Olympus OM-1. Not excepting much I quickly finished it and went to the developer, who, as an additional experiment, I asked to make small prints instead of scans (same price). Since I’m always a bit embarrassed to hand over a Lomography film for its low quality, my surprise when picking them up was even better: the photos were way better than expected, especially the vivid colours. It doesn’t renders the sky that nicely, but for the Autumn colours of yellow and red it is definitely not too bad.

As mentioned I asked for prints instead of scans, and this might be the strategy from now on, at least when I feel like saving the 5€ extra it is to have both: obtaining a good result from scanning the prints myself are far easier than from scanning the negatives! It doesn’t allow me to change the exposure of course (Under the Bridge, for instance, could benefit from more shadow detail), but given how much trouble this particular kind of film caused it was no doubt worth it. Plus, it’s nice to actually have prints to hold in your hands or even go as far as putting them into frames.

Bottom-line? When the film comes back in stock I’ll be getting a lot more of it, even if it means making excuses and covering my face when I go to the developer.

First Analogue Prints


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We’ve spent a great weekend doing an introductory course on developing and printing analogue film — and it’s been nothing short of amazing! I’ve been wanting to do it for quite a while and finally the opportunity was there.

It was organised by the photographic society at Godsbanen and since it had not made it to our consciousness that we were supposed to bring an exposed black & white film, the first step was to quickly go and shoot 36+ photos of the architecture of this new place with the Diana Mini that I had brought (I had in fact also brought an exposed colour film but it turns out that developing such a bastard is a very different process).

Shooting with my Fish-Eye over the last year I’ve noticed the truth of spending more time on each photo when shooting analogue as opposed to digital: is the composition good, is it interesting, is it worth the 1/36th of a film? And during the weekend I noticed that developing a good print from a negative let me to be critical about it to an extend that would often not be matched in the digital setting: I spent more time picking which negatives to develop, how to frame them, how much contrast their needed, and so on. The slower process of waiting 5min between seeing the result of each new try-out might be part of the reason. So may the general atmosphere in the dark room without distractions to take away your focus. Time stops a bit and leads to an anticipation and excitement every time a print magically appears in the developer bath.

I was actually a bit surprised by how involved the process is. First off, the process involves more steps than I imagined. But perhaps more interesting was that the technique and tricks that one need to master to make good prints seems hard to teach but have to be discovered over time; a lot more hand-waving and good old experience. Naturally, you appreciate the printing even more afterwards, to the extend where it seems you can admire the print without liking the photo.

Finally, the result of a weekend’s work:

I’ve heard before that digital cameras even today have a hard time matching the dynamic range of film, and while it’s perhaps not clear from the digital reproductions above, the prints impressed me in terms of how much details there seems to be in the sky and shadows at the same time.