I’ve had my Diana Mini for a few years now and in my first year of using it, it didn’t really win me over. In fact, it wasn’t until I first tried this film and camera combination that I completely fell in love with my Diana Mini and what it could do with the right film.
Balancing the right camera with the right film is a very personal act. You might love black and white film or you may love colour. You might prefer the unique colour shifts of cross processed slide films or you may prefer the more sedate colours of professional colour negative films. But when you find that perfect combination, you know that you’ve hit jackpot and you often can’t help using it over and over again.
The first time this happened to me was with my Diana Mini and Ilford XP2 – the Ilford black and white film that’s processed with C41 chemicals rather than black and white ones. I took my first roll with the combination on a weekend trip to Liverpool, at the time, I had no idea what the results would be like, I’d never used the film before, let alone in my Diana Mini.
The beauty of this combination is that both the key elements love the light. The Diana Mini needs a higher ISO film to really get great results and 400 is the perfect number I’ve found for it (it also loves the Lomography Colour Negative 400 film) and the Ilford XP2 film seems to glow when the light is lovely and bright, creating a perfect results.
The only downside to this combination is that it can overexpose, the line between enough light and too much light with the Diana Mini is incredibly fine and this combination tests it even further. However, I think its a risk worth taking when the correctly exposed photos turn out so well!
The Diana Mini is the ultra-compact, petite version of the Diana F+. This camera takes soft-focused, lo-fi images in 35mm and allows you to change between half-format and square shots with a flick of a switch. Get your own Diana Mini now!