Instant Film: Frustrations!

Camera: SX-70

Impossible Film Project BW film For SX-70 (Expired film, bought of eBay)

Instant film! I cannot even begin to explain the frustration that I have had over the last week when it has come to mastering this medium! That said, I have walked away with one conclusion! There is no mastering the instant film! At least not now, with my current skill set! Side note: if buying Impossible Film Project instant film, make sure you stay away from eBay... buying fresh film from their Impossible's site guarantees you fresh and better results! 

Polaroid Land Camera 450 (Pre-Modification)

FujiFIlm FP-100c

Ok.. maybe I am over exaggerating when it comes to the statement above. But in reality, I have not found a medium to be more frustrating then that of instant film. To have expectations when it comes to shooting instant film is somewhat pointless in my mind, especially when comparing one's results with that of old stock polaroid films! what I believe we need to expect is the unexpected... the spontaneity that comes with shooting instant film. Also, FILM IS NOT MAGICAL by any means! shooting instant film in low light situations will render the same type of photo we get when shooting digital... slow shutter speeds and a lot of motion blur. 

Mamiya RB67

FujiFilm Instax Mini (Loaded into 120 film back)


That said, given we are limited in the types of film sensitivities we have when shooting instant film, I ran into a solution when shooting this evil medium! The above is an experimental shot taken. What is different from this shot and the first photos within this post is that it was loaded into a film back and taken on a Mamiya RB67. What makes this approach different is that unlike many of the Polaroid land cameras you see in antique stores, was that I had full manual control over my exposure! For those that do not know, Land cameras with the exception of a few expensive models, are more like point and shoots. The only real control you have over them is your focusing and a little dial that lets you lighten or darken your photograph and it does the rest as far as shutter speed and aperture settings go. The photo above was taken on Fujifilm's instax mini film and was then processed in my darkroom through a pair of rollers I dismantled from an old box polaroid. =)

Polaroid Land Camera 450 (Post-Modification)

Ektar 127mm lens

FujiFIlm FP-100c

Other then my experimental take on Fujifilm's instax mini film, I also was able to modify my Polaroid Land Camera 450 into having manual controls by gutting the stock lens and replacing it with an Ektar 4x5 lens! I recently took it on a photoshoot and other then a few exposure calculation errors, it worked like a charm! But your going to have to wait for those photos in a future post! Alright thats it for now! Make sure to come back, I will be posting some awesome urban exploration photos and the photoshoot that was done in that location! 

William HarrisComment