Serious Photography with Instant Film

Discussion in 'Instant Cameras, Backs and Film' started by RattyMouse, Oct 6, 2013.

  1. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    As i mentioned in a separate thread, my exposure (heh heh) to instant film via my kids Instax cameras has led me to want to dive into this area. What options are available to me to get serious about instant photography? I am talking about Fuji's "peel apart" film I think as I know most of my Instax options. It's not clear to me what cameras use this type of film, besides large format cameras that use this as an analogue "chimping" before firing off a piece of LF film.

    For travel/street photography, what cameras can use instant film? I'm not interested in IP film due to excessive cost/lowish quality.

    Thanks!
     
  2. WetMogwai

    WetMogwai Member

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    Polaroid cameras are cheap and common. There are lots of options. I'm a big fan of the Automatic 100. I see most of the later models as cheaper versions of that. It was the first in the format, had a glass lens, a coupled rangefinder, and could be attached to a tripod. I've seen them in working condition, except for the battery, for as low as $10. They just need a modification to use modern batteries.

    The Land List contains a huge amount of information about Polaroid cameras in all formats. You would be interested in the packfilm type cameras that take 100 series film if you want to use Fuji film.

    http://www.rwhirled.com/landlist/landhome.htm
     
  3. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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  4. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    Buy an 100 series one , it is serious , converable to film and extremelly beatiful with a excellent lens.
     
  5. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    If I am not wrong there is a polaroid camera with a rodenstock lens , if you can find film , it is even better than Leica lenses , that excellent camera. If you can convert to 4x5 film , they sell it for 2500 dollars.
     
  6. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    Rodenstock - Ysarex 127mm 1:4.7 / Polaroid 110a

    I have just bid for the lens at ebay.
     
  7. David Allen

    David Allen Member

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  8. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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    As a side note, I have a Polaroid 110b (Alpenhause)...Rodenstock lens, ground glass, takes 4x5 holders, mint.

    I guess I'll be accused of hijacking but I'm selling it and for considerably less than $2500!!

    In any case, that's one option but Polaroid 360's take the 100 and 3000 speed Fuji instant film. I've been looking for one myself after seeing what a friend's done with it. Pretty fascinating stuff!
     
  9. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    Thanks everyone! I'm going to the camera mall soon to look at what Polaroids are available. 2 floors of used camera shops, should be something there.
     
  10. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member

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    'Serious Photography with Instant Film' sounds like an oxymoron to me. Back when I worked on instant photographic systems we used to say that 'an excellent instant photo is one you wished you had taken on real film'.
     
  11. bvy

    bvy Subscriber

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    Funny -- that's how I feel about digital now.
     
  12. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    All I can say is that the Instax film my kids shoot with is VERY Impressive. Sharp as a tack, with gorgeous colors. I just wish the images were a bit larger and that Fuji made a monochrome pack to go with the camera.
     
  13. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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    The link I posted earlier is to a really interesting (analog) photoblog run by an American living in Tokyo. He does the kind of street photography exhibitions I want to do and one of his recent directions is a lot of Instax work.

    Look around on that blog for his links to it, goes back about a month or so. I think it's an entirely valid pursuit...and further to the Polaroid 360 camera I mentioned, IIRC it was the one Patti Smith used for many years in her journeys.
    Those images were part of a big exhibition during the CONTACT festival in Toronto: http://www.ago.net/patti-smith-camera-solo/

    Best of luck! I'd love to explore the camera mall in Shanghai with you, and especially to wander the streets with my own camera. I've had a lot of fun (and financial hardship) from my trips to Wukesong in Beijing. :smile:

    Shanghai's a fascinating place. You might be interested in a photobook by a journalist named Howard French, called "Disappearing Shanghai". And of course, a wonderful book by Justin Guariglia named Planet Shanghai.

    Best of luck...
     
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  15. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member

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    My intention in making the comment about instant photography wasn't meant to 'knock' instant images (after all, as I've mentioned here several times, I spent 7 years working on the Kodak Instant Film that Instax film is based) and I know it's possible to make great consumer photo images with Instax film. Rather, it was designed to refer to the 'Serious Photography' issue.

    I consider instant photography to be in the 'point and shoot' digital image category; not intended for 'Serious Photography'.
     
  16. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    Looks like I have 3 choices for instant cameras.

    1. The new Instax Neo. Pros: finally a serious camera from Fujifilm. Cons: Small images. No monochrome.
    2. Instax 210. Pros: Nice sized photographs. Great color. Cons: A joke of a camera, no monochrome.
    3. A Polaroid Land camera: Pros: both color and monochrome. Good image size. Cons: Old camera, hard to find in China, questionable reliability.

    Tough call.....each option has an appeal to me.
     
  17. AgX

    AgX Member

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    What do you mean by this?
     
  18. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    Let's see: It's dopey looking, extremely fragile, flash is on 100% of the time, and has very limited available shutter speeds.
     
  19. AgX

    AgX Member

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    I like the look, but that of course is a matter of taste. The Instax Mini cameras are not different technically except for the latest model.

    What I miss is a SLR that takes Fuji instant films. The Polaroid SX-70 SLR made a virtue of the necessity of its mirror.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 7, 2013
  20. dreamingartemis

    dreamingartemis Member

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    Everyone is wishing the same thing.....
     
  21. dreamingartemis

    dreamingartemis Member

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    Poor lens and features yes, but a joke? No, It's just its a camera that is hard to master at least until you've learned all its kinks
     
  22. bvy

    bvy Subscriber

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    I hope never to turn into a "serious" photographer...
     
  23. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member

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    The last few versions of the Kodak Instant Cameras were flash every time. Film contrast was a little high and adding full time fill-in flash greatly improved image quality.
     
  24. Fixcinater

    Fixcinater Subscriber

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    You could also shoot instant in a "serious" camera. Peel-apart Fuji in my Speed Graphic is a lot of fun, and a lot easier than stuffing Instax into 4x5 holders individually.
     
  25. Theo Sulphate

    Theo Sulphate Member

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    To me, neither the equipment nor the film define "serious" photography; rather it is the intent of the photographer and the images produced.

    In 2006 I was in Yosemite and had my SX-70 with me. I made a photo of El Capitan and of Half Dome that impressed me with the creaminess and tone of the colors - right then I knew I had two keepers (which I later scanned and enlarged to 8x10). These two are among my very favorite photos that I've made over the last 30 years with various formats and media. I suppose if I'd used 35mm, or whatever - even digital, I might be able to tweak the results to look similar -- but I knew the shots had an amazing look right after I took them.
     
  26. rubyfalls

    rubyfalls Member

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    Ratty - did you ever snag an instant camera? I got my oldest a 250 land camera for his birthday and loved his shots so much I found a 360 for myself but am having some issues with it.