Diana F+ Update: Trying to Save Money on My Expensive New Hobby

My goodness developing film for these cutesy toy cameras seriously costs $$$$ for what you get. I’ve done three rolls of 120 film so far, and each time it cost about $6 to develop and $7 to print (.60 cents per picture, about 12 pics per roll). Not to mention each roll of film is $4-$6 each! Knowing this I’m trying to be much more selective about what I decide to shoot. Well… sorta 🙂

Perusing accessories and attachments online, I stumbled across back attachments that allow you to use different films with the Diana. I was smitten with the Diana Instant Back, which turns the camera into a Polaroid camera. Still, it didn’t solve my immediate affordability problem.

More research brought me to the 35mm Diana back, which may be the answers to my cheapo prayers. 35mm film is cheaper to buy and develop than 120, and each roll will give me 27-36 photos, depending upon what size frames I use in my camera (panoramic, square shaped, standard). Plus for the most part I can just drop off my photos anywhere to be developed, not necessarily a fancy photo lab. My back came today, and I’m looking forward to playing with it over the next week.

Another way I’m trying to save money is by signing up for classes at RayKo Photo Center , a local photography school and art gallery. Joseph had mentioned the place to me, and while I was pondering whether to join or not, Groupon released a coupon for the center. I took it as a sign that I should do it. Hopefully once I figure out what I’m doing I will be able to develop my film using their facilities. Er… well that’s the hope.

As a more immediate need, I’ve also been looking into purchasing a scanner, so I can finally share the 3 dozen odd photos I’ve been taking over the last month. I am very hesitant about this purchase, because when I was younger my dad purchased a scanner for me that was around 500$. I’ll admit, I had it for a long time, but when it became obsolete I ended up donating it to a local charity, and it made me feel bad. I know that things come and go, I just felt really bad for giving up something that my parents had worked so hard to get for me. Knowing that the best things will become obsolete soon enough, I really don’t want to spend lots of money just to have another bulky electronic around my house.

The one thing that makes the purchase seem like a sound investment however: If I buy a scanner that scans film, I can scan the negatives and choose which photos to print from my computer! I had no idea this existed before today, but it makes perfect sense once you know about it.

Anyways,I’m looking forward to sharing my photos once I get a scanner. So far I’ve been really impressed with the quality of the Diana photos. Using this camera is really hit-or-miss, but the hits make me swoon, and the misses are still dreamy.



My New Diana F+

I have always loved taking pictures for fun. Just like journaling, it’s so satisfying to flip back to something from years ago and instantly be taken back to that moment- a moment that I might not have remembered if I hadn’t taken a picture just for the hell of it.

I’ve only had a few cameras in my life. I think my first camera was a clunky Polaroid, and each picture was a dollar. That didn’t stop me from taking TONS of pictures.

My next camera was a random crappy camera, but it had Keroppi all over it, and so I loved it dearly. I had to wait a little longer for the photos, and though they weren’t a dollar a piece, being prolific was still beyond my elementary school budget.

Starting in junior high I switched over to digital cameras. They were so much faster, took up less physical space, and they were cheaper (in the long run). There was the 1.3 Mpx Fuji in junior high, then the 5.0 Mpx Canon my dad gave me in college, followed by a 10.0 Mpx Canon I got last year. Strangely enough, I don’t even use cameras anymore, I’ve switched over to taking pictures with a smartphone that Ryan is letting me borrow.

I haven’t had an analog camera in a decade. So here is my first entry back into the world:

Pic from the Lomo shop

the Diana F+!!! I received it as an anniversary present and I couldn’t be happier. Well yes there were sentimental reasons for the present that I can appreciate, but really, I’ve always wanted one of these guys. They look like cheap fun. And they are… cheap.  Oh yeah, it’s 100% plastic baby.

For those who aren’t acquainted with this particular camera, it is one among several lines of 1960s toy camera reproductions by the Vienna-based camera company Lomography. The key features of these types of cameras are:

  • They are made of cheap plastic and feel light like a toy, not rough and tumble at all
  • They are overpriced
  • They are unpredictable, which results in crappy dreamy and artistic photos
  • They require out of stock film
  • Everything is super manual, from the film to shutter exposure
  • They are loved by hipsters

Well, that all sounds incredibly daunting, hunh? I don’t care if I look like a giant geek, I just want to play with the thing. I’m almost done with my first roll of 120 film, and I’m really looking forward to sharing the results here (if I can find a scanner)!