Visit my new blog

I´ve decided to split my blog in two. I will continue to post DIY projects and musings here, but (serious) pictures, taken on film of course, will be posted in my new blog "Silver Halides"

I now consider Caffenol to be a developer like any else. As such the new blog will focus more on the pictures, rather than the process.

Sunday 5 February 2012

Polaroids - yes instant film

I´ve recently started trying out instant pack film. Though Polaroid no longer make film, others do. Fuji make pack film for 4x5 and the 100 type film (3 1/4" x 4 1/4"). The Impossible project make another variant of films for the 600 type cameras including the SX-70 family and for Polaroid backs (for a number of MF cameras - the 600/600SE pro cameras amongst others).

I blame Michael Raso at the for this, its his fault and his alone ;-) He´s an advocate for all things Polaroid. Making a long story short I got hold of a Land Camera 250 in original case with #268 M3 bulb flash and portrait lens kit. I first converted the camera to use 3xLR03/AAA batteries instead of the arcane #531 4.5V battery. I then removed the #268 flash from its mount and screwed on a hot shoe with PC sync chord. I can now use the kit with any electronic flash I choose. So far I´ve used the Sunpak 1600M, but due to limited output I will be trying out an SB26 instead. What about M vs X sync you say? And you would be right. The X sync flash should have finished it´s cycle when the M sync shutter opens making the flash redundant, but for some reason or another it works.

This is what the camera looks like:
With Sunpak 1600M
With case and accessories

It´s winter and for the most part not much daylight. So Fuji´s FP3000B B+W film has been put through its paces. At 3000 ASA, it can be used both indoors and out handheld, without flash (at least that´s what the ads say) - even if the Land Camera 250 (and all its automatic brethren) has a max aperture of f8.8). Indeed it does work outdoors in rather poor light, indoors however I´ve been using flash.

Indoors, with portrait kit and Sunpak 1600M
4 TLRs shot with Land Camera 250, FP3000B, Sunpak Flash
Outdoors in overcast low light, adjusted camera to +1 (lighten) exposure
Land Camera 250, FP3000B +1EV

This is fun, lots of fun. Its immediate, yet old school. I´ve ordered more film, including a few cases of FB100C 100ASA colour film.

Background for those unfamiliar with Polaroid pack film Land Cameras, and instant pack film:

The Land cameras are named after their inventor, the Polaroid mastermind Edwin Land. Read up about him, he was a brilliant mind, and one of Steve Jobs´greatest inspirations. He invented not only polarising glass, and founded the Polaroid company, at one time a massive company in any right. He also invented instant film photography. Pack film applies a method where a negative and positive are co-developed. After exposing a frame one pulls the pair out of the camera through a set of rollers which squeezes chemicals out of a sachet and in between the negative and print (positive) and development starts. Wait for a number of seconds and peel the print from the negative and you have a ready image. Its as easy as that. The negative can in some cases (some films) be kept and used for scanning. And others even for regular enlargement printing. The FP3000B B+W negative can be scanned as a negative reflective media, and then inverted in post processing. The TLR picture above is such a scan.

With regards to technical quality Polaroids do not exactly make claim to the top spot. But that is besides the point. Its immediacy is its party trick. I indeed intend to use it a parties and give away the prints, keeping the negatives for scanning.

Good Polaroid film resources: , The land list , Jim´s Polaroid Camera Collection , Fuji Film (note that Instax films are not traditional Polaroid type, but another instant technology) and The Impossible Project films