I have a soft spot for 35mm film. It’s where my interest in photography started when I was a teenager, and while I’m easily seduced by Polaroid and medium format these days, I always come back to the 35mm format for its versatility and convenience.
That is not to say I don’t quarrel with my 35mm cameras. A few months ago I had a discount in the Lomography webshop since I backed their film scanner Kickstarter, and ended up buying the Diana Mini. This is a compact, 35mm half-frame version of my beloved Diana+ which I have long wanted to try – it’s so tiny and cute, and I’ve become interested in the half-frame format.
Now, since the Diana Mini is so small, I’ve been shooting with it using only one hand, like I do with my phone. It turns out that this is a recipe for blurry shots; the shutter just isn’t smooth enough that I can keep the camera still enough and shoot with one hand even in (what I thought was) good light. And just like my other Lomography toy camera, the Fisheye, the Diana Mini requires a lot of light. These are the best shots from the first roll, and as you can see, several of them are blurry and/or too dark:
The half-frame format presents challenges of its own, not unlike with the Instax Mini: What kind of subjects best suit such a small frame? I suspect it will take me a while to be able to give a good answer to this question.
The other 35mm camera accompanying me lately has been a Minolta. This is a camera I trust – she is solid, with a metal body, and dependable. And she didn’t disappoint me this time either.
I recently had developed two rolls shot with the Minolta. On these rolls I found memories of walking to and from work in the snow and in the dark – and I’m thrilled by these images now that spring is here and I no longer agonise over how badly I want winter to end and the sun to shine just a little bit longer:
I also found more recent memories, from my wonderfully self-indulgent weekend in London a few weeks ago, when I walked along the streets of London taking photos, visited the Man Ray portraits exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, had my afternoon tea while people-watching in Covent Garden and had dinner with fellow Muse Debra.
What film formats have you been shooting with lately? Let us know in the comments! And if you have ever used a Diana Mini, I would love to see your results, since I need reasons to persevere with that camera. Also, don’t forget to share your results in the Film Friday pool.
– All the best from Jenny.