Over the last couple of days I shot my first few rolls with my newly acquired Diana F+. I haven’t shot film in over ten years. I’m using expired 120 film that I’ve had in storage since the early to mid 2000’s. Results are so-so, thus far, both in terms of the photos as I shot them, and in terms of the development of the film. I’m pretty much already out of 400 speed film in 120 format (only had 3 rolls), but I’ve got a few dozen rolls of Tmax 100, and about a dozen of Iflord Delta 3200, so I’ll be shooting with those next. I’ll certainly have to push the 100 a couple of stops, and possibly pull the 3200, depending of course on what I wind up shooting with it. I also don’t know if the 3200 will be fogged after all of these years, and I suspect the grain will be ridiculous. Guess I’ll find out soon enough.
I haven’t been sure how to develop these to get the best results — I read somewhere online a suggestion to develop old expired black and white film at colder than usual temps, so that’s how I developed my first two rolls: 16 degrees and I extended the development time. I’m developing in Ilford Ilofosol 3 because that’s pretty much the only developer I can get my hands on for a reasonable price. Hopefully I’ll quickly find a temperature/time combo that works well enough with the TMY 100 and 3200. I’m not looking to get high quality results or high acutance — I’m shooting with a toy camera, after all. Just stuff that is consistently sufficiently exposed, and not excessively contrasty (or excessively lacking in contrast, either).
I’d forgotten just how much light is needed to shoot indoors handheld, even with 400 speed film. I shot a few random portraits in quite bright indoor light and the shots were unusable. And the Diana F+ doesn’t give much help in terms of shutter speeds and apertures — I found this online :
Diana F+ aperture settings:
“Cloud” setting: f/11
“Partial Sun” setting: f/16
“Sun” setting: f/22
And the one and only shutter speed is apparently around 1/60th (one can either shoot at this shutter speed, which is simply called “N”, for Normal, or in bulb mode). You need quite a bit of light to get a usable exposure at 400 ISO, f/11, 1/60 sec.
Anyway, it’s fun to play around with this toy camera. The lack of any real aperture or shutter speed control means you just pretty much point and shoot, which really makes me approach photographing differently, and there’s probably some useful lessons to be gained from using this camera more often.