toy camera

World Toy Camera Day Is This Weekend

Diana-F 162B camera If you follow the world of Toy Camera or Low Fidelity photography, you probably know that this weekend is World Toy Camera Day. In fact, this year WTCD is actually two days and spans October 9th and 10th. In anticipation of that, I dug out my old Diana-F 162B camera and got it ready for use.

It's been a long time since I used this camera. One of the reasons for this camera's temporary retirement is that there was a large triangular light leak on all the photos. This was interesting at first but after a while I got bored with it since the leak was on every photo. You can see the leak in this old photograph taken in 2005.


I never did get around to troubleshooting the leak but my theory is that it is coming from one of the two holes at the top of the camera where the flash would normally go.

Diana-F with flash holes on the right.

Well, that is the theory so today I taped up the holes and I guess we'll see if my theory is correct when I get my film back in a few weeks.

Taping up light leak on Diana-F camera

This year I have decided to load the camera with color film and have a few rolls of Kodak Portra 160NC available that got thrown in with my Mamiya 645 eBay purchase a while back. The film expired in 2004 but I don't think that will cause any problems.

Here is the camera with the film wound on ready to go.

I also plan to bring my trusty Harrow camera (which is a Diana clone) and that one is currently loaded with some Foma black and white film.  And I may bring a Holga : forty year old cameras are not all that reliable so bringing a backup or two is always a good idea.

Stay tuned for some WTCD 2010 photos in a few weeks and if you have taken some, post a link a comments.

Holga Dog

Holga photo of a dog (Chocolate Labrador Retriever) This photo of my dog, Sassy, was an experiment in using a Holga plastic camera and an off camera flash (Strobist style). The flash is camera upper right and is shot through a white umbrella and there is a silver reflector camera left to bounce some light back. I was using a Holga 120N which has a hot shoe and the flash was triggered remotely using an Elinchrom Universal Skyport radio trigger. The film stock was Fomapan 100.

What you see here is a crop of the actual negative. I compensated for the viewfinder alignment by composing the dog slightly to the left in the frame but the field of view was just too large and I got a lot more of the surroundings in the photo than I had intended.

Also noticeable is that I am off with the focus. Yes, I know the Holga is supposed to be soft but next time I think I will measure the distance and focus appropriately.

I developed the Fomapan in Kodak HC-110 dilution H. Unfortunately, my negatives were extremely dusty. What you see here has been cleaned up in Lightroom but the dust is baked into the emulsion so next time I will need to do more for dust control. I don't normally have this problem so I wonder is there something especially soft about the Fomapan emulsion.

Scanning the negatives was not straight forward this time. Because the images are very low key, I couldn't use the auto-everything exposure mode and had to tweak each scan manually.

Overall, the experiment was an interesting one. I'll post a few more images from the shoot once I get time to play with the negatives. Next time, I'd like to try the Holga off camera flash with a human subject but the people I know are not as easy to bribe with treats than Sassy is.

By the way, you can see the digital test shots that I took to check the light here .