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  1. #11
    MDR
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    That Polaroid was used as proofs is a proof that it is a pro tool, furthermore Polaroid materials were used for forensic photography, passport photography, Scientific photography (many Scanning microscopes used Polaroid), this indicates at least to me that Polaroid was a serious tool and not a toy.
    Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Joyce Tenneson (prefered Polaroid for a long time) and Paolo Roversi (mostly used Polaroid) are some of the big name artists who used Polaroids for more than just a gimmick.
    Regarding the Leica it's considered by many a rich men's toy, before WWII only the rich could afford a Leica and it was not really considered a pro camera far from it in fact. The SX70 Alpha is a superb camera the Polarid Sonar system was lightyears ahead of many other camera mfg. so far from at toy it's also very durable.

    Is it maybe that the Toy camera moniker is used for things that are different than the norm or what most people use. It can't be a serious tool or I would use it and so would the majority of people.

  2. #12
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    Some folks prefer "lo-fi" cameras as a more accurate definition to describe cameras that have limited controls for exposure and a plastic lens, and the Polaroid cameras that spit out the picture like the could probably be described as "lo-fi" in that they have somewhat limited exposure controls, but I'm not sure it the lenses are necessarily plastic. Of course, all my cameras are toys to me!!

  3. #13
    MDR
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    Thank you Suzanne Lo-fi sounds better though this isn't true either I have to admit I always hated the toy camera moniker not only for Polaroids but also Holgas and the like. I also agree that all cameras can be considered toys for personal enjoyment. Polaroids have shortcomings so do Holgas Dianas and the like but in the right hands they are absolutely not toys (aside from personal enjoyment and for fondling purposes) but pro tools same applies to every Nikon, Canon and Leica ever made. I personaly always thought that the picture counts in photography not the camera name or the camera's limitations. The Big Polaroids (20x24) are big toys with manual control

  4. #14
    AgX
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    If a toy camera would be a camera typically not used for commercial photography nor for snaps but just just for the fun of using it, then practically all film cameras fall under this definition...

  5. #15
    MDR
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    Danke Agx that's exactly what I mean. There is no such thing as a toy camera (aside from non working plastic toys and probs for children) or every camera is a toy camera.

  6. #16

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    Another

    Let me say this another way. Millions of people believe Polaroid camera are toys -- rightly or wrongly. Personally, I have to wonder what makes a camera a "toy." I have a photograph I took of an old fashioned steam engine, pouring out tons of black smoke and looking like it is going 90 miles an hour. I took this photo in 1947 when I was a nipper with a cheap Brownie Reflex camera. A toy? The camera has one slow shutter speed but I got the shot as the locomotive was trying to get up speed but was barely moving. It is a fine photo and was not made by a toy. I suggest you not worry about what others think and enjoy the things you enjoy.

  7. #17

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    Being considered a toy isn't a bad thing. All my cameras are toys. A tool is something that does the job adequately. A toy is something that does the job way better than necessary and cost way more than a tool.

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by momus View Post
    It's hard to work w/ a medium that is not archival. Not sure if that's your answer though ... . But the use of non archival mediums is problematic for serious artists/photographers, for obvious reasons.
    this is a bit of a red herring.

    Art does not have to be archival. The ephemeral can be art. There is nothing inherently permanent about photographs, any more than a painting or a sculpture is inherently permanent. It is an accident of the media involved in photography that makes it possible to make some of the resultant pictures "archival".

  9. #19
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    I've always thought we should split them into separate subforums myself. Suzanne is right that there is overlap in the categories among users looking to make "lo-fi" images, but that seems to me just one a segment of instant imaging, maybe an increasing segment as the medium has been winding down. I used to love Type 809 for its unique color palette until it just got too expensive to shoot, and that was hardly a toy or lo-fi medium.

    I have seen Instax cameras "in the wild" recently where people were using them unironically to make snapshots that they wanted instantly as prints. With printing stations at copy shops, drugstores, and such, it's not too hard for an ordinary consumer to enlarge these or scan them for family and friends.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  10. #20
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    I'm not bothered with the terminology used to describe a specific camera. I am bothered when I read that cheap cameras can't produce compelling images, or that you need a Leica to produce quality photographs.
    The differences between a "toy" and a "real" camera are completely dependent on the hands they're held in.

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