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    Entries in 35mm film (4)


    Thrift Store Find: Lomography Fisheye 2

    I had a good week finding cameras at my local thrift stores. This time, it's a Lomography Fisheye 2 camera. It sports a fisheye lens, with a built-in flash and multiple exposure capability.


    Where do you get your 120 film processed?

    120 film is a little more difficult to deal with than 35mm film, since there are fewer labs that can process it. Ask around at your local Walmart, Costco or other 1-hour labs. While they may not be able to process the film on site, many of these labs can send the film out to be processed for you.

    The next option is to find a local pro-lab. These are labs that specifically cater to professional photographers and will be able to process your film on site. As you might imagine, it can be a little pricey.

    Another film processing option is to send out the film to be processed. Google for a list of photo labs that can do processing by mail, or check out these processors:

    Then the best of all option, process the film yourself. BW film processing and even color processing are not too difficult to learn and also not very expensive to get into.

    If you think that 120 film is too much trouble, you can try a 35mm camera, like the Holga 135BC. While I find that something gets lost in the smaller negative and rectangular format, it might work for you.

    Related post:
    What film should I use for my Diana or Holga?

    DIY 35mm for Holga and Diana Cameras

    Here is my procedure for shooting 35mm film in a Diana (vintage or Lomography Diana+) or Holga. This should work for any camera that has a roll film compartment big enough for a 35mm cassette. I have a few older box brownies and folding cameras that use defunct film sizes that I will try this with.

    Unloading the Camera:
    Unloading the camera must be done in absolute darkness. If you don't have a film changing bag (you can get one from BH photo video or Freestyle Photos Supply), you can use a dark room. A windowless bathroom is ideal. Throw a towel across the bottom of the door to block out any stray light.
    Open the camera.
    Remove the 35mm film cassette and rewind the film back into the cassette.
    Take the film to a photo lab and get it processed.
    Tell them you do not want the negatives cut. Give them your 35mm plastic film container to put the film in when they are done. The reason for this is that the negative frames will be unevenly spaced and you will want to trim them so that they fit in a standard 35mm negative page. (also at BH photo or Freestyle).

    You can ask, but they probably won't be able to deal with printing your negatives either, since they will be quite a bit wider than a standard 35mm negative. Even if you are willing to let them crop your image down to a 35mm frame, you will probably also want to include the image around the sprocket holes. Most 1-hour lab equipment won't print these, since it is not part of the normal image area for a 35mm negative.

    If you want the entire negative, including the sprocket holes, your best bet is to get a film scanner. If you are on a budget, and most of us are, look at the Epson V500. The Epson 4490 is also a good choice. It is no longer in production, but if you go to the Epson website, they often have refurbished units for sale.

    Edit: June 5, 2010

    There seems to be some confusion about getting prints from 35mm film shot this way.

    If you are looking for a simple way of getting prints out of your 120 film camera by shooting 35mm film, this isn't it.

    While 35mm film is easier to get processed, the negatives created by shooting them in a 120 film camera are non-standard. Most 1-hour labs can't make prints, unless you don't mind getting parts of the image cropped out. Even so, they may not want to deal with your DIY 35mm film in making prints. They will have to manually set-up each print, because their automated equipment won't work.

    There are labs (usually smaller mom and pop operations or specialty labs.) that can deal with this, but you will have to do the legwork and call or visit them in person to ask.

    The best way of getting easy-to-print 35mm images is to use a 35mm lo-fi camera.



    Update: 35mm film in a Diana+ Camera

    First attempts at 35mm

    First attempts at 35mm in a Diana+

    35mm film mounted to a craft stick

    This is a quick update on how to use 35mm film in a Diana camera. I haven't got all the kinks worked out yet, but this is what I've done so far.

    These photos are from the first roll of 35mm film I tried running through my Diana+. I gave up on the eBay 35mm film adapter. In the Holga conversion, they use foam rubber, but that didn't seem practical because of the Diana's physical design. I used a wooden tongue depressor, cut to the height of a 120 film spool. A popsicle stick would also work, but I like the wider tongue depressor, because there's more area to tape to. I think it makes the 35mm cassette more stable. I taped the film to that, to position the cassette in the center of the film path. I didn't use the 16 frame mask.

    From the first roll results, the first thing you notice is the red circle in the middle of the frames. I had taped up the open window from the inside of the camera, so I thought I hadn't done a good enough job. Then I realized that I had only taped the open window, not both counter windows. The leakage is from the window that was covered by the plastic counter slider. It isn't light tight, so next run, I'll be taping up both windows.

    I had no idea how far to advance the film, but I had read somewhere on flickr, that 2-1/2 turns works for the Diana. That's about twice what you need. The width of each frame is about 11 sprocket holes. 2-1/2 turns is about 21 sprocket holes at the beginning of the roll to about 23 sprocket holes by the end of the roll (it changes as the roll increases on the takeup spool). Next time, I will try 1-1/2 turns. I made a mark with a sharpie pen on the winder knob, so I could tell how far I was turning it. I might have skipped a few details here, but I will write this up fully when I am done. I also will try and figure out how to use 35mm film with the 16 frame mask in the Diana+ and a vintage Diana camera.