Comparison Test: What is the Best ISO Film to Use with the Diana F+?

Shooting with the Diana F+ Camera & Flash challenges you to work with some fixed settings: shutter speed, ISO, and limited apertures. For this reason it is important to choose the right film. We have tested three film stocks with ISO ratings of 100, 400 and 800 for a side-by-side comparison, to determine the optimal ISO for the Diana F+.

All of the three ISOs have their unique strengths and weaknesses. A low ISO will show finer grain but it also has less adaptability in low light. A higher ISO is optimal in low light situations, but it gives us more grain in the final images.

We shot during a bright spring day, with full sun, to see how shadows and highlights perform in contrasty situations. We wanted to determine which of the three films could be the best option for a full day shooting. None of these films had a bad performance; they are all delivering good quality images that can also be further retouched in post production if a photographer wishes.

Lomography Color Negative 120 ISO 100

At ISO 100, we have a dense negative. Colors have a tendency to have darker tones with deep saturation. The highlights have details that are defined without any loss of information. Unfortunately we start to lose shadow details as a dark, definitive separation is cast between light and shadow areas.

Lomography Color Negative 120 ISO 100 Photo by Elisa Parrino

Lomography Color Negative 120 ISO 400

A sweet spot between a low ISO and a high ISO, the 400 is versatile and trustworthy. Brilliant in the highlights with enough shadow details still visible. Grain is not yet noticeable, and images are clearly defined. Colors are faithful, and the hues and saturation are brilliant, granting energy and dynamism to the elements with a good range of color reproduction.

Lomography Color Negative 120 ISO 400. Photo by Elisa Parrino

Lomography Color Negative 120 ISO 800

This is the highest ISO we have tested, and we were pleasantly surprised to get this wide latitude to work with. The sunny day caused some worries about the highlights, but we still got perfectly usable photos with plenty of room to work with them in post production if we wanted to. The jump from light to shadow is less drastic, with a greater amount of detail visible. The defining saturation that characterises the Lomography Color Negative family shines with this stock.

Lomography Color Negative 120 ISO 800. Photo by Elisa Parrino

Overall, all of the films have performed well. As expected, at 100 ISO we get more moody images, and strong shadows define the overall look of those photos. With the 400 ISO being a trustworthy companion to the analogue shooter, you can rest assured that it will deliver good images that will not fail when exposed to harsh light conditions.

Lastly, the 800 ISO is perhaps the stock that will have you dreaming the sweetest dreams at night. There is not much to worry about with its performance as it has demonstrated great versatility and latitude. This stock leaves plenty of room for photographers who wish to have the last word in post production, for minor adjustments if desired.


Which is your favourite ISO to shoot with? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

written by eparrino on 2024-05-14 #gear #tutorials #testing #diana #comparison #iso #baest-iso

Mentioned Product

Lomography Diana F+

Lomography Diana F+

Take timeless and dramatic photos on 120 film with the Diana F+. Create stunning soft-focused images and customize it with sweet lenses or even an instant back for additional effects and flexibility.

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