Diana Exposure Pointers (I could use some.)

Discussion in 'Lo-Fi Cameras' started by Adams, Jun 11, 2010.

  1. Adams

    Adams Member

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    While out this afternoon I shot with my Vintage Diana and I figured I oughta hold the shutter open a bit as the slowest speed I ever shot out of 50 or so rolls of film, was 200 ISO and I thought if I remembered correctly (and I obviously didn't) they were a bit underexposed.

    Well to make a long story short (I know, too late) I burned up a perfectly good roll of PanF+ (grossly overexposed.) Not to mention wasting the chemistry.

    Any of you Diana Shooters got any spiffy tricks up your sleeves to shooting this slow a speed of film.
     
  2. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

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    To operate toy cameras, your best way of manipulating exposure is picking the right film speed for your lighting situation. I've found having a hand-held light meter (doesn't have to be expensive or fancy) helps you make the best decision on film speed choice for the situation. The book Plastic Cameras says the Diana camera apertures are f/11, f/13 and f/19 and I'd guess most are around 1/100th of a second shutter speed since most box cameras are. Work out what you need for film speed from those constraints.

    Good luck!
     
  3. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    My strategy with my Holga is simply to let the camera adjust the exposure automatically. :rolleyes:

    Seriously, exposure accuracy is not high on my list with this camera. I just leave the camera set for cloudy, put 400 speed C-41 film in, develop normally, and then use my enlarger to adjust.

    Sure, I have had some thick negatives, but they have all been very workable with plenty of highlight detail, even from full sun shots in Death Valley on the salt flats.

    I guess my advice would be a switch to C-41.
     
  4. Shangheye

    Shangheye Member

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    Agree with Mark, auto exposure mode is ver effective ;-) In fact the sutter speed on the Diana is 1/100th, but the f number changes depending on the lens you have fitted (unlike the Holga which comes fixed lens so is not an issue). I believe the f number Akki mentions are applicable to the 80mm. I recommend you use a flexible film if you are on B&W...e.g. Trix 400 has the same development time for 400 and 800. In my experience I have called on more speed than less in the past, but you can always use a filter to cut the light if you experience otherwise (I hand hold ND or coloured filters to do this). BUt that is a rarity, because I find the Diana and Holga just love being out of control ;-))) Rgds, K
     
  5. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

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    He did say he's talking about the vintage Diana cameras which, I don't think, have changeable lenses unless you physically break it and turn it into a pinhole camera. At least I've never read of any other lenses for the vintage Dianas (not the Lomography modern ones).
     
  6. nickrapak

    nickrapak Member

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    Yeah, the original Diana is a single-lens system. Whenever I use mine (which is rare because I think I have the only Diana without light leaks or much vignetting), I use Plus-X and the actual recommendations on the bottom (sunny/partly cloudy/overcast). As it generally compares to "Sunny 16", I have had decent exposures for the most part, and those that weren't were easily correctable.

    However, if Pan-F is coming out overexposed, you might want to just make sure the shutter doesn't stick, and has a crisp action.
     
  7. snay1345

    snay1345 Member

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    I use mine with 400 speed film with a red lens. I have an old weston master light meter I use to make sure I am choosing the best out of the three apuratures with filter adjustment and my exposures are usually perfect. I don't have a vintage diana, so I don't know what the shutter speed is on it. But on the newer repo's it is 1/60. I usually have shot in the bright sunlight with mine with no clouds and it works great.
     
  8. Shangheye

    Shangheye Member

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    I had not spotted the vintage word....does physically breaking it improve the photos? :D
     
  9. Rolleiflexible

    Rolleiflexible Member

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    Tri-X and Diafine are your friends.