During my very first venture into photography, the Diana Mini has converted me from skeptic to obsessed. Read about it after the jump!
One of my resolutions for 2013 was to take up a new hobby. I had no idea what that hobby would be, but this year, I wanted to venture into something new, to sort of broaden my horizons. A few weeks prior, my brother had mentioned to me that he wanted to get an analog camera and I totally scoffed at the idea. “You wouldn’t stick with it!” “The film and developing cost are way too pricey.” “It’s so inconvenient to not immediately see the results.” Those are just some of the things that my un-enlightened self uttered at the time.
Thankfully, he ignored my advice and asked me to go to the Lomography Embassy Store here in Jakarta to help him pick out a camera. Once I stepped inside and saw all the cameras, I was blown away. These things were gorgeous! I know most are clearly drawn to analog photography due to the actual photographs, but I must admit I am quite a superficial person and I was initially interested just because of how pretty the cameras are. So, my brother ended up getting the La Sardina, and I went home determined to do some research on toy cameras.
About a week or two this first encounter, I had done so much research that I felt I simply deserved to buy a camera. I headed back to the store, and lo and behold, sitting on the shelf was the Diana Mini Gold Edition. It was love at first sight. Off I went with my brand new Diana Mini, loaded with Lomography Earl Grey 100. I finished my first roll in 2 days.
Towards the end of the 2nd day, I began experiencing the legendary Diana Mini film advance problems. But these actually created some happy accidents for me.
After seeing the results of my first roll, I was so happy with it I immediately started on my second roll. But on this one, after about 3 shots, my film refused to advance. I figured that I must have done something wrong so I opened the back and tried reloaded the film. And then the same thing happened, except this time I was halfway through the roll. I tried turning the knob a bit harder and then it felt like something broke. I panicked and the very next day I took it straight to the Lomography Store.
The shop assistant checked my camera, put in a test roll, tried to advance it for about 20 frames, and did not face any problems whatsoever. Then, he told me that I might have loaded the film incorrectly. I died of embarrassment as my noob-ness was totally exposed. The very helpful shop assistant then taught me how to properly load film into my camera.
My second roll was a Kodak Kodacolor 200. I took most of the pictures indoors with flash and they looked quite similar, so I want to try to shoot outdoors without flash more often. I did take some pictures during the flood in Jakarta, which happened last week. I also took a few pics at an antique market, most of which did not turn out very well due to me not properly assessing the lighting and such. I did have some film advance problems, but like the previous roll, it wasn’t really a problem as it actually created one of my favorite photographs so far.
I’m currently on the last shot of my third roll, and my obsession with this camera is still going strong. I love the dreamy images it produces and of course I love how beautiful the camera looks. If anybody is thinking about getting this camera, I totally recommend it. I also suggest looking through the popular photos taken with the Diana Mini on this site, as my amateur looking snapshots don’t do the camera justice.
The “Diana Mini”: http://shop.lomography.com/diana-mini?utm_source=www&utm_medium=magazine&utm_campaign=diana-mini_footer is the ultra-compact, petite version of the “Diana F+”: http://shop.lomography.com/diana-f-camera?utm_source=www&utm_medium=magazine&utm_campaign=diana-f-camera_footer. 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”: http://shop.lomography.com/cameras/diana-f-cameras/diana-mini-cameras?utm_source=www&utm_medium=magazine&utm_campaign=diana-mini-cameras_footer now!