Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Instant Photography Today

Winter 2014 (kind of looks like Winter 2015), by Reed A. George
Polaroid 103, Fuji FP3000B Pack Film
I'm still having some fun with instant photography. This was one area I'd stayed out of for several years, but am now in, and really enjoying it. My entry was the Polaroid 103 that my parents sent to me. I converted it to use AAA batteries, found Fuji pack film, and started shooting. Lots of fun.
Then, I went to the Film Photography Project's Walking Workshop last spring, where I was introduced to the new Fujifilm Instax Neo Mini. I now have one, along with the wireless Instax printer. These are fun, but they're really just party toys. The images are nice, but quite small.
Next, my friend Dennis Gallus sold (nearly gave) me his Mamiya Universal Press (MUP) outfit. I added a pack film back, and now I have a very capable, high quality instant imaging system, complete with full manual control and interchangeable lenses. Awesome.
And now, I've picked up a higher grade Polaroid (the Model 250), complete with several hard-to-find accessories, including the portrait kit, closeup kit, remote release, and timer. That camera is on its way to Seattle for a shutter replacement. What makes the 250 higher quality than my 103? All metal body, Zeiss finder, tripod mount, some exposure control. All pretty nice.
I was reading about the current state of instant photography. It's not all good. The worst news is that the venerable Fujifilm FP3000B is discontinued. Still available at this point at twice its normal price or more, but no longer being manufactured. That leaves only FP100C, which is great color film, but no B&W option. The Impossible Project is a great development, making new instant films with a reconditioned Polaroid factory, but the prices are high, and the offering incomplete. $3 per shot is an awful lot. I find myself hoping that they'll make pack film in the future, but I'm not looking forward to the cost.
(Click Here) to read a review of the state of instant photography on polaroidland.net.