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.