Tagged: instant

Week 21 – Recital

Skipping ahead to the present. . .

This week was Beth’s year-end band concert. She and her classmates did great.

I packed along my SX70 and my Instax Min 90. I figured there wasn’t much point in trying to get shots of her across the crowded auditorium, so I concentrated on portraits.

The SX70 was loaded with expired Impossible PX680 with an ND filter.  I didn’t expect much from the film, but I did get one decent portrait of Ericka and Beth.

The Instax did a more predictable job.

All dressed up
Beth & Jasmine

After the show we always go to the Agawam Diner for pie with friends. Jasmine’s brother Walter had never seen an instant photograph before and was mesmerized by the Instax.


Rescue Dog

Rescue Dog

I don’t often photograph people on the street. I’m just not comfortable approaching them. Today Beth and I went to Gloucester and Rockport with the Greater Boston Film Photographers meetup group. I met this man and his recently-adopted dog at Halibut Point State Park.

One of the nicest things about Instax is that you can shoot an extra to give to your subject. We parted with a smile.

Shot on the Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic.

Week 76 -Polaroid Time Zero OneStep


For week 76, I chose the last SX-70 in my collection. This Time Zero OneStep was my grandfather’s. It was cooler than ours because it has the 2359 flash instead of a flashbar.

Unfortunately the 2359 is its primary handicap. It often fails to fire and locks up the camera. Oddly it works fine on my other OneStep, and the Mint flashbar works fine with this camera.

The camera works fine without the flash, though. I loaded a pack of Impossible Silver Frame and took it to the Fairchester Hose Haulers muster this past weekend.

201408 OneStep001
1965 GMC/Sanford
201408 OneStep002
ALF 500 Series
201408 OneStep003
1949 Oshkosh
201408 OneStep004
Business End

Instax 90 – Week 71 results

The Fuji Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic is a nice little camera that seems smaller than its name.

I found it to be “point& shoot” easy to use. It has two shutter buttons, one on top and one on the front such that one is always in easy reach regardless of the orientation of the camera. The shutter fires quickly with a soft click, and the images are ejected with a soft whir. There is none of the loud drama of an integral Polaroid.

I experimented with the various shooting modes and really enjoyed the double exposure feature. (See Cricket below.) The film develops in a minute or two, and the images do not need to be shielded. Fuji has Impossible beaten on this score.

My jury is still out regarding the neck strap. In general I find them to be a good idea, but this one seemed to be always in the way.

I took a while to warm up to the size and experience of Instax, but I really love the Mini 90.

201407 Instax90_003Beau
201407 Instax90_004Soul of a Dog II
201407 Instax90_005Macro mode
201407 Instax90_002Cruise Night

Week 71 – Fuji Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic

The newest addition to my collection is the Fuji Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic. This latest addition to Fuji's Instax line has a more refined look and better controls than previous Instax models, and it has the advantage of film being available in major discount stores.

It features multiple shooting modes including portrait, sport, landscape, bulb, macro, and double exposure. Flash can also be manually controlled. I've been shooting with it all week and will post as soon as I can scan some images.


Fuji website

They are in production and available from many sources.


Polaroid Colorpack II – Week 64 Results

The Colorpack II is a cool Polaroid, if a bit quirky.

The scale focusing is simple to use, and there is a mirror arrangement which makes the setting visible in the viewfinder. There are two apertures, marked 75 and 3000 for color and B&W film respectively.

When shooting 3000 ASA B&W film, the depth of field is so wide that the camera can be focused at 5 feet and forgotten. Alas, Fuji took that option away from us this spring. (BRING BACK FP3000b!)

The camera features a large plastic handle on the strap, which Polaroid advises to hold while pulling the tabs. This is necessary as the spreader bars provide more resistance than the rollers used on more expensive pack cameras.

Some users complain about the shutter release being located on the front standard and its causing camera shake. I feel this minor issue is offset by its use of regular AA batteries.

Although a cheap entry level model, the Colorpack II is still capable of beautiful images. It’s small and tough; I’m not afraid to carry it around. My only complaint is that I miss the ringing sound made by the rollers of the more expensive units.





All shot on Fuji FP100c, which is sadly the only film currently in production for these cameras.

Week 64 – Polaroid Colorpack II

Introduced in 1969, the Colorpack II was the first color-capable Polaroid camera to retail for under $30. It features a rigid body and uses spreader bars instead of rollers. Focus is strictly via a distance scale.

Today was a nice sunny day, so I loaded mine with a pack of Fuji FP100c and took it along on some errands. I'm very happy with the results and hope to have them scanned soon.


The Land List

Camera Wiki, which seems largely copied from The Land List



Week 38 – Polaroid SX-70 Model 2

In 1972, Edwin Land and his Polaroid Corporation introduced a revolutionary camera. The SX70 was potentially the iPod of its time, a whole new way of doing things. A press of the button produced a color image with no photo lab, no timing, no cracking and peeling. The picture simply happened automatically.

It wasn't cheap, but ol' Ed made you think it was worth it. The camera was a masterpiece of industrial design, a futuristic leather and stainless steel folding wonder. When closed, it was not much larger than a paperback book. (There are reports that Mr. Land had his suits tailored with extra large breast pockets so he could whisk an SX70 from his jacket like a magician.)

The SX70 system would be the father of a series of folding cameras and lesser box cameras, many with auto focus and all with automatic exposure systems. Though its descendants would still be in production 40 years later, their immediacy would eventually be eclipsed by the digital camera.

My example is the less expensive Model 2. Introduced in 1974, this folding manual-focus SLR gave up its stainless steel in favor of white plastic and a slightly more bargain price. I bought it locally via Craigslist, and it still has its original leather case. This is a good thing, as early SX70s lacked both strap lugs and tripod sockets.

I've loaded it with Impossible PX680 Color Protection, and I've installed a neutral density filter on the pack to compensate for the faster modern film.


The Camera Wiki page is slightly outdated as regards current film alternatives, but it has a brief history and photos of the folding variants.

Mike Butkus has the manual, along with manuals for many different versions.

As of this writing, there are over 1400 of them available on eBay. If you are patient and smart, you can get a good example for short money.


Week 33 – Polaroid Spectra II

And now for something completely different. . .

The Spectra System was probably Polaroid's last great idea. It uses a slightly larger format than the SX70/600 series cameras, and it produces a rectangular image rather than square.

My Spectra II is a $6 thrift store find with sonar autofocus, autoexposure, built-in flash, and a self timer. It folds up nicely, and I've fitted it with an Impossible frog tongue. It has become my “go to” instant camera for integral film.

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with The Impossible Project. I love that they are making film to keep these old Polaroids alive; I haven't had good luck with a lot of it, at least the color versions. To be fair they have been working to perfect their products, and they do keep getting better. I loaded my workhorse with their fabulous PZ600 Silver Shade black & white film and took it to Deerfield Fair one evening.

Good morning from the Chair Car Division


Mr. Ferris' Wheel

Time Vortex

The Spectra can be used to easily make double exposures via a bit of trickery with the self timer. After using the self timer, the camera will not eject until the switch is turned off. If you close the camera before resetting the timer the electronics “forget” and the camera will behave normally when reopened. Take your second shot and Voila! double exposure.

If you want one, your best bet is a local thrift store. They tend to be loaded with these cameras, and they still work. Barring that, there's always eBay.