For the lovers of the Diana F+ and 35mm film. Before you rejoice and appreciate the Diana+ 35mm Back for blessing us Diana fans with a chance at shooting those dreamy and vintage looking pictures on 35mm film, make sure you’re fully educated with the differences between 120 and 35mm film so you can make a better judgment when shooting on your Diana F+ with the 35mm Back.
When I had first ordered my Diana F+ off of eBay, I was ecstatic. I could not wait to start shooting pictures off of my Diana….but then a thought occured to me. The Diana F+ is designed for 120 film! I quickly rushed back online to find the cheapest Diana+ 35mm Back I could find, which luckily I did. When I received both products, I quickly assembled the 35mm Back on to the Diana F+ using the easy instruction manual included with it.
And tada! It was in full shooting condition. I used the standard rectangular frame without exposed perforations, and loaded Fuji Superia X-Tra ISO 200 film. Everything was working smoothly; the film advancer, the exposure counter gears, advance spool….nothing went wrong.
After shooting about 24 shots, I took my film to Costco to get it developed, and received my photos back within an hour. I was so excited to see magnificent Diana pictures, with dreamy focusing and beautiful tones……..
But instead I was shocked to see these.
I couldn’t believe how zoomed in my pictures turned out! Every picture was either a blur of color, zoomed in on only a certain part of my subject, or zoomed in on one of my subject’s body parts or face. To say the least, I was very, very, very disappointed. As soon as I got home I checked my camera to make sure I had installed everything correctly, and according to the manual everything was in the right place. The focus ring on my Diana F+ was set to its lowest focus range, the 1-2 meter setting, and there were no problems that I could find with my 35mm Back or my Diana F+. I searched online for people who may have ran in to the same “zoomed in” problem as me….and boy, did I feel stupid after learning this load of information…
Although this may seem obvious enough, the Diana F+ is designed only for 120 film. The Diana+ 35mm Back attachment is designed for the Diana F+ to only take pictures with 35mm film, but it does not in any way affect the inner components and design of the inside of the Diana camera. Of course there are frames that come with the 35mm back, but this does not change the 120 film design of the interior. After reading a review comment by a very well educated Diana F+ photographer, I am now aware of the problem.
The Diana F+ is designed to capture pictures on 120 film, which is 6 centimeters in width. Compare that to 35mm film which is of course 35mm in width; about a little over half of the width of 120 film. The image reaching the back of the camera, using 120 film, will sort of look like what you see in the viewfinder. But now when you attach the 35mm back and load 35mm film in, you can still see the same image in the viewfinder, except the image reaching the back of the camera is cut off at the top and bottom due to the shorter width of 35mm film. This is what causes the zoomed in effect of 35mm film pictures with the Diana.
Besides suffering from a zoomed in effect, Diana+ 35mm back users are missing the vignette effect around the borders of the picture. The only way to reverse the effects of using 35mm film with a Diana F+ is to buy a wide angle lens.
Wide angle lenses, such as the Diana+ 38mm Super Wide Angle Lens, will help to compensate for the shorter width of 35mm film. It will make your images appear farther away, allowing you to capture more of your subject without having to stand many feet away. Though it doesn’t fully capture what you see in the Diana F+ viewfinder (maybe a couple millimeters off the top and bottom will be cut short) it definitely makes your image appear more normal.
After learning this load of information, which should’ve been a little obvious at first, I was eager to share this with all you Diana camera and 35mm film lovers. I hope that before you purchase both products you are aware of the design of the Diana F+ and the fact that buying the Diana+ 35mm Back will not adjust the size of the images exposed on to your 35mm film!