July 29, 2012


So, here's the dealio (ok, I don't know why I said that. I don't even say that). Last month I bought a vintage Arrow camera, which is basically one of many Diana camera knock-offs. Mine included the signed warranty from 1976, yo! I call it my Diana-Arrow, since it looks exactly the same as the original. Actually, I call it Lady/Princess Di, because my mom was/is obsessed with the royal family, with a specific proclivity for Princess Diana- something that was passed on to me. That lovely, incredible woman. 
But that's not the point. 
I spent the end of June/early July figuring out how to load the camera (it's been so long since I've loaded film myself, not to mention 120mm, which I've never done, in a TOY CAMERA that I wasn't even sure would work, despite the seller's assurance) and take photos. And wind correctly. So I basically snapped away, hoping the test roll would produce something decent. 
I shipped my first roll to Dwayne's Photo in Kansas (they're awesome, btw. Cheapest development of 120 film I found and they're fast, professional, and so so nice) to be developed...and that was a learning experience, haha. I thought I'd done my research. When I'm in the market for something that I don't know 110% about, like, say,  cameras/film/lenses, I get serious. I read. I price. I ask questions. But hey, no one told me 120 film is SLIDE FILM. Which should've been a no brainer, considering the size of the film, the blocky-ness of it. Duh Jessica. I got a good laugh about that after they called and asked about my order form, because I'd basically ordered slides. But they cross-processed it and something else, I don't know, and were able to get me prints+a cd+exposures for less than $15...that included processing, printing, and s/h both ways. 
Good deal? I think so. 

I know Dianas are notorious (at least the originals...probably the new Lomography ones too) for light leaks, which is why I wanted one so badly. Experiment, ya know? Here's what I learned about my specific camera
-It does well in really really bright light (outside, probably fluorescent light)
-A naturally lit room is probably too dark for a decent shot 
-My film may have something to do with that, but it expires in 2013, so I highly doubt it
-120mm film is slide film and now I want a film projector (well, I've always wanted one since my grandpa's pooped out, but ya know) 

Overall, I'd say the test roll was a success. Only 10/16 came out BUT again, I had very low to no expectations, and was reallyREALLY pleased with the results! I'm hoping to buy a Diana by Lomography at some point, but Lomo brand film is just so expensive, ya know? I bought a lot of 5 rolls of 120mm Fujichrome Provia 100F on Amazon for crazycheap and now that I know the camera works, I still have 4 to have fun with! Heck yeah! Here are some of my faves PS iheartdoubleexposure! Eep!
Ok, I want to hear your thoughts on all of this, because I'm still pretty new to analog and despite my research there are OBVIOUSLY things I overlook, haha. Do you own a vintage/new Diana or other Lomo camera you're completely in love with? Any 120mm brands I just HAVE to try? Tell me everything! I wanna know! 
PS the title of this post is actually straight from the camera's mini manual, spelling and all. I mean. This.is.love.

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You're so sweet (: Thanks friend!


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