Shooting High Speed with Diana F+


If you have discovered the wonders of the 35mm Diana Back, I’m sure you have also come across a bump or two in the road along the way, especially if you do not scan your own negatives. Now, after months and months of using this convenient contraption, I have discovered its quirks and, in discovering these, how to work around them!

First off, not everyone can scan their own negatives, making exposing over sprocket holes a lot less fun. Included in the 35mm back package, are 4 inserts. One being a traditional 35mm exposure or the 24 × 36mm insert. If getting negatives scanned by a lab or a scanner that does not produce a sprocket hole scan, this will be the most logical choice considering the scan you would get otherwise will cut off a considerable amount of the exposed negative.

When using this insert, I have discovered that shooting 100 or 200 iso does not produce the results I would desire from my shots. This is because when shooting a low rated film, you have to keep your aperture as large as possible to expose the it correctly. In doing this, there is a far better chance for the subject you are focused on to be sharp, and everything else to be out of focus. Because of this, you have a very limited range of what you are able to focus on. Also, the edges of the picture will take on quite a blur.

In discovering this, I decided to try shooting 800 iso film with my 35mm back to see if being able to use the smaller aperture would fix this problem, and it did! With the 800 speed film, the F stop range that our fine Diana F+ is so very famous for seems much more useful, and being able to use the smallest F-stop enables you to have a much wider depth of field. Especially when using the stock lens of the Diana, solves any 35mm back blurs you may have had!
The 400 iso film also works well in very sunny conditions, but if in shady conditions, or on not so sunny days, using 800 iso film will produce sharper, crisper, and all around more satisfying pictures from your Diana 35mm back.

written by ilovemydiana on 2009-07-29 #gear #tutorials #tips #35mm-film #tipster #diana-f #diana-35mm-back #800-iso-film


  1. stouf
    stouf ·

    God job ! And super shots !

  2. ilovemydiana
    ilovemydiana ·

    hey guys, side note: the shot of the bike and sign, the shot of the guy sleeping and the shot double exposed with the window are 800 iso. the rest are 200, and you can pretty clearly see the difference in the shaprness of not only the subject, but the sides background as well.

  3. ilovemydiana
    ilovemydiana ·

    @stouf thanks a lot <3 there are more in my 35mm back album labled with what film also.

  4. eyecon
    eyecon ·

    Especially # 4!

  5. dogma
    dogma ·

    Great tipster!

  6. sicily
    sicily ·

    very helpful indeed!

  7. moochie_lomo
    moochie_lomo ·

    Very cool. Your shots don't seem to be too grainy at all. What 800iso film did you use? Thanks for posting!

  8. ilovemydiana
    ilovemydiana ·

    @moochie_lomo just fuji 800 iso color negitive film. and thats because fuji is amazing film.

  9. rhymeslikedimes
    rhymeslikedimes ·

    do you scan your own sprocketed-negatives? i am having a bit of a problem scanning and processing (mainly the latter) with my canon scanner. it won't process the whole film strip because the sprocket-holes put the software off-balance in the crop. if you do scan, could you tell me how? please email me at

  10. ravingsockmonkey
    ravingsockmonkey ·

    This is very helpful! I have the 35mm back and I just got my first two rolls of film in... I've found out that it's easy to make a lot of blurry pictures :( I was using 400 iso film, but wasn't sure about how well it would pick up indoors light without the flash.

More Interesting Articles