Saturday, December 5, 2015

Best Way to Use the Final Stock of Fuji FP3000B? Party!

I have a beautiful old Polaroid 250 instant camera. This is a pack film camera, which uses FP3000B or FP100C pack film from Fuji. While the FP100C is still being produced (fingers crossed for the future!), FP3000B has been discontinued. That's really too bad. FP100C is 100 speed color instant film, while FP3000B is 3000 speed (!) black and white. Neither of these films can cover for the other.
Anyway, I'm not going to get down about the fact that no new FP3000B is being made. I have a few packs left, and plan to use them well.
Last night, I used two packs of FP3000B at my company's holiday party. Knowing that it would be pretty dark at the party, and understanding that Polaroid cameras have relatively slow lenses, it was clear that flash was going to be necessary. So, I put the Polaroid camera on a flash bracket, on which I mounted a modern Nikon SB600 flash. Using a cable that I cobbled together from an old Polaroid flash bulb mount and an accessory hot shoe, I got the whole contraption to work. Testing it out ahead of time, I found that full power manual flash from the SB600 works very well with FP3000B at about 5-10 feet distance. Perfect for the party.
Now, this is harsh, direct light. That's the look I decided to go for, since the theme of the party was "sock hop," reminiscent of the days when someone would have photographed it with instant film and a big, bright, direct flash bulb. I got exactly what I wanted. Here are the results.
I can't think of a better way to use up what's left of this awesome black and white instant film.
People loved posing for me, and especially seeing the results. My catch phrase was "by the time your eyesight recovers from the flash, the print will be ready."