Portraits of stuff

Idea for a new project: still life portraits of things that are important to me, taken with the Diana on fast film to enhance grain.

Here are some proof of concept shots of some of my cameras on Delta 3200. The first hurdle that needs to be overcome is that the closest the Diana focuses is 4 ft. I am going to rig up a diopter to get closer to 1 ft. The other hurdle is that the viewfinder for the Diana is wildly off, so I’m never quite sure what is in frame. Will have to play around with that one.

Duaflex IV
Agfa Silette Pronto
Canonet QL17 GIII
Ansco Shur Shot



Trying D-76H

I took a walk down 9th street today with the Diana and a roll of Ilford Delta 3200. Thought I would try a different developer, something simple. I had all the ingredients for D-76H, which fit the bill.

I like the forms in this one
A still life in my living room
I accidentally had the shutter on bulb. I like how precarious the watermelons feel.

1600, 3200, 6400, whatever

I’m continuing my experiment with Delta 3200 in the Diana camera. Testing film is a bit tricky with this camera since your exposure options are limited. Basically, you need to find lighting situations that fit the single shutter speed and 3 available f-stops. Here’s what I’ve tried so far:

  • Metered at 1600 assuming 1/30 sec shutter speed and stand developed in HC-110 for one hour: results were meh. A lot of underexposed frames. Clearly needed an EI higher than 1600
  • Metered at 6400 assuming 1/30 sec shutter speed and developed in HC-110 dilution a for recommended 6400 speed: similar results to the first try. Clearly underexposed.

Before I go any further I wanted to check my shutter speed assumptions. I just assumed mine was 1/30 since that is pretty standard for other box cameras I have. However, the shutter speed in the Diana is reported to vary from 1/200  to 1/30 sec due to the springs that operate the shutter. Those springs can get weird with time and temperature, not to mention sloppy manufacturing.

As a test, I shot the following scene using the Diana’s three apertures–f11, f13, and f19.  I figured keeping the lighting the same and varying the f-stops would help me figure out my shutter speed.

Meter reading from Pocket Light Meter app

Here are the three frames. I developed them in HC-110 dilution b for recommended 3200 speed. I’ve seen recommendations that metering at 1600 and developing for 3200 is the way to go with this film, some even suggest shooting at 1000. I probably should have kept to one of the other developing recipes I already tried, but whatever.

Shot at f19, assumes 1/40 shutter speed

Shot at f13, assumes 1/100 of a second
Shot at f11 assumes 1/160 of a second

It looks like the f11 shot has the most shadow detail. That would suggest the shutter speed is somewhere around 1/150 of a second. I like the f13 shot as well, it’s got some nicer blacks.

I also did one shot with my daughter Nora just to get a sense of how skin tones work out. This was metered at f11, 1/50, iso 1600. But clearly, that was off. The negative was thin, again looks like I needed at least another stop of light.

Given all this, I will assume 1/100 for now and see how that works.