Instant ("polaroid") cameras

Discussion in 'photography, graphics & art' started by FridgeMagnet, Nov 13, 2009.

  1. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    Does signing a picture in poo make it more proper art?


    maybe this is where I've been going wrong
  2. quimcunx

    quimcunx protestant traybake

    You are like superman, VP, only slower and less useful...

  3. chainsaw cat

    chainsaw cat Tea. Biccies. Happy now?

    I have 30 packets of Polaroid film hahahaha.
  4. Refused as fuck

    Refused as fuck "ethnic pakistani tosser"

  5. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    I was just going to start another thread about instant cameras but I see that I've already started one. Wow, in retrospect I don't think I realised what I was getting into. I didn't buy any more instant cameras at that stage but I did dip my toe in later on, maybe 2014?

    Nowadays I have, er... let's see... for Instax Mini:

    * Instax Mini 10 (old and pretty basic) and Mini 90 (looks better, also has lots of options)
    * Lomography Automat Glass (superwide, fast and sharp lens - this is cool)

    for Instax Square:

    * Instax SQ6 (the one without a screen - this is a good point-and-shooter but not very flexible)
    * Lomography Instant Square (the one with the big foldout lens, which looks fantastic and takes great photos but is unfortunately pretty chunky)
    * Diana F+ Instant (this has changeable lenses but it is an absolute pig to expose properly with as you have to do it manually)

    and for Polaroid:

    * Polaroid Originals OneStep+ (the one with bluetooth and the app which lets you do all the custom stuff - I never seem to be able to take good pictures with this thing)

    and I'm thinking of buying an SX-70 :facepalm: My flat now has lots of piles of random Instax pictures on every flat surface which I keep knocking over. Makes a change from books I suppose. Though they're there too.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2019
    Pickman's model and editor like this.
  6. editor

    editor hiraethified

    Polaroids (or similar) are bloody great. I've been fighting an urge to buy one for ages. Love the fact that you can just take a pic and stick it straight into a scrapbook straightaway.
    FridgeMagnet likes this.
  7. Crispy

    Crispy The following psytrance is baṉned: All

    How much is the film these days?
  8. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    I think you used to be able to get a polaroid back for a 35mm slr. At least years ago when I hired a photographer he shot a polaroid, to get my approval, before shooting on film. Does that sound right?
  9. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    That was what I liked and still do, being able to put them in journals. I also take pictures of people at work and stick them up - this has now turned into an archival board, with lots of folk having left it preserves a lot of memories.

    Also everyone loves to look at them. It's something that's not mediated through the usual channels of digital photography, looking at things on FB or Insta or Twitter, it's right there, it exists by itself.
    editor likes this.
  10. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    Depends on the format. The Instax made by Fuji is... well, not cheap, but maybe 60-80p per shot depending on size and where you buy it from. The usual types of Polaroid film had to be reverse engineered after Polaroid shut down and are around £2 a shot, though they are much larger than the Instax.

    At least the cameras are pretty cheap - even the new ones are loss leaders for the film so don't generally set you back that much.
  11. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    Medium format SLRs often had Polaroid backs, using the pack film (which nobody makes any more). I have one that came with a Bronica that I bought. These would get used for preview shots and to test flash and lighting.

    I've not heard of Polaroid backs for 35mm but they might have existed. They would have made a very small image though. People are designing them now to work with Instax Mini film, there's at least one Kickstarter out for one model and Lomography make instant backs for their LC-A+.
  12. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    I could have been muddled, perhaps it was medium format.
  13. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    If I get the job I'm going for I will buy an SX-70 to celebrate. That's the SLR model that folds flat, the one that Warhol used and was generally popular with any artist using Polaroids. It has an f8 lens though does use slower film (ISO160 rather than 640).

    Actually if I don't get the job I will buy one to commiserate. So really I'm just going to buy one aren't I? Might as well buy one now tbh.
  14. editor

    editor hiraethified

    Always good to take pictures of the Polaroids as a back up though!
  15. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    If they're any good I scan them on my flatbed just in case.
  16. RoyReed

    RoyReed Must fly!

    You could get a Polaroid back for a Nikon F. It did make a very small image on a much larger bit of Polaroid film (I can't remember the actual format) and it was pretty useless to be honest. I used to work as an assistant for a photographer who had one.
  17. wayward bob

    wayward bob i ate all your bees Enforced Holiday

    my warning is they're physically pernickity. i've had several that died different deaths and i've not been invested enough to learn how to repair them (as well as rich enough to afford the film to get to know them, iyswim). if you're looking for a fixer upper i'm sure i have at least one :thumbs:
  18. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    Even on MF the image was pretty small. These are ones I took with the 6x4.5 back I got which had some packfilm left in it:

  19. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    The one I'm looking at is through some people who restore them, so should be okay....

    Somebody from work let me play with one that he has and now I guess I'm going to buy one :facepalm: I mean they are pretty amazing.
  20. wayward bob

    wayward bob i ate all your bees Enforced Holiday

    when you learn how to fix them i can source you some nice bodies :D

    imho they're a lovely piece of engineering, the lenses are decent, and they give a magical look. film quality is the issue nowadays - how reliable/longlasting the new emulsions really are... (whereas fujifilm still has some heft/knowhow behind it, so the folding land cameras are a better bet for image quality now).
    FridgeMagnet likes this.
  21. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    Even now that the chemistry has stabilised a bit I still find that Polaroid Originals film a little unpredictable. One good thing about the OneStep+ is that you can use the app for full manual shooting, but even then, the results aren’t quite what you’d expect from the listed speed, and it varies by pack. It’s okay but it’s not precision stuff.

    They seem fairly resilient to me so far though. I have some shots that have been pinned up for months in indirect sunlight and they’re okay. (The colour emulsion does take a few days to reach full contrast IME.)

    Someone who I gave some shots on Instax Mini B&W to told me that they’d ended up bleached out after being in the sun, incidentally.
  22. wayward bob

    wayward bob i ate all your bees Enforced Holiday

    is that the people who started out as impossible? i'm out of touch these days :D
  23. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    Yeah, they bought Polaroid’s brand ID for 2p and a pickled egg.
  24. wayward bob

    wayward bob i ate all your bees Enforced Holiday

    i came in at the very tail end of polaroid-made 600 film. would be interesting to look back and compare how they've aged.

    i have 20 year-old instax that have been on display and not lost much in the way of colour or clarity (cos there wasn't much to start with :D) up alongside some 7-12 year old sx-70 pics that are barely even there any more. from the date i assumed they were impossible film but marked polaroid on the back :confused: so i'm guessing they were expired film to start with.
  25. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    The older people I know who talk about Polaroids do say that the original film was never thought of as very durable. They have all sorts of tips about storing it out of the light and not in albums with certain types of film and so on.

    One of the things I find fascinating about instant is not only the modern social context but the historical one - how people used this magic system, how they reacted to it when at the time it took ages to get prints made, and prints were all you had, and how that feeds back into how we think about Polaroids now. One guy was telling me about how he used to make money on an air base taking pictures of other people in front of big impressive planes so that they could send them back home.
  26. Stanley Edwards

    Stanley Edwards 1967 Maserati Mistral. R.I.P.

    People keep 'dropping' me these when I'm sketching. Rarely get to speak to the people who take them - I am just as involved in my work as they are. I love them. Sadly my collection went with my passport last summer. Used to be easy to get them scanned, but few places bother with flatbeds these days. They still have a magic even in their washed out colours.

    --// can't upload. Shall try later. Used to put Polaroid in my Bronnies for no good reason other...
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2019
  27. Stanley Edwards

    Stanley Edwards 1967 Maserati Mistral. R.I.P.

  28. 19sixtysix

    19sixtysix Life as viewed from a Gay Gorbals Garret

    I've got a little polaroid zip printer. Prints photos straight from my phone. I just need to remember to take it out more cause I like the physical feeling of having a print and its fun on an evening out. Fits in pocket quite nicely.
  29. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    I had one of those but for some reason I can’t find a cable that fits it now.

    I have a couple of Polaroid digitals with built in Zink printers as well - the best one is the Snap, looks nice and is really easy to use - but I don’t know whether I just have bad examples or not but the quality is absolute dogshit. The colours are weird and awful. It’s a shame because otherwise it would be absolutely perfect for journaling - the paper is way cheaper than Instax and thinner and sticky backed - but they don’t have any life to them. I’d rather take fewer Instax Minis.
  30. 19sixtysix

    19sixtysix Life as viewed from a Gay Gorbals Garret

    My little printer just connects with NFC or wire less. Has a micro usb to recharge as well. You've just encouraged me to go for a walk with the mobile and printer today. :)

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