Today’s Vintage Tuesday is Polaroid shots taken in November from a walk to Parc La Fontaine and in our back balcony. I love the first shot of the man-made lake, it’s so calm and the smearing of the ink on the side make it almost looks like a water color. I haven’t shot any film with my Colorpack in almost a month now, I’ve been trying to get my other land camera polaroid to work instead so I’ve been holding onto my film. I am actually going to do a How To for my land camera because I need to convert it from a speciality battery to AAs. However ever place I ask about buying a converter to install I just get blank faces but I haven’t resorted to buying it online yet so it’ll take some time to track it down locally. I did watch a few videos last week about making double exposures with Polaroid film. I am very curious to test it out so maybe I’ll load my Colorpack up again soon and see if I can. It’s freezing here so not the best time of the year for taking instant photos. Let me know if you’ve tried taking double exposures with Polaroid cameras and if you had any luck!
I just had to feature more of my Polaroid Colorpack instant shots from Vancouver today even though I did last week too (I spend a lot of time organizing and making sure I don’t repeat camera too much but I couldn’t resist). Seeing my best friend Ana was magical and it was so nice of her parents to let me stay at their place while I was in town. These were taken on my last day just hours before jumping on a plane. The one thing I love about the Colorpack is how simple it is to shoot with, although Ana and her mom were both terrified to take photos with it so what I did was setup the shots and frame it and then have either Ana (for photos of me) or her mom (photos of me and Ana together) click the button. It’s really becoming one of my favourite vintage cameras.
I am getting better at controlling the distance and judging for myself instead of relying on the metering tool on the camera. I feel like I am really improving, although I still tend to mess up at least 2 shots out of a roll of 10 which frustrates me but this guy tends to jams or I don’t double check settings. I cannot wait to pick up a modern Fuji instax camera and be able to have it on a tripod and with timer, it’ll make group photos so much easier. I love spending time with Ana and miss her already so much. I want her to visit Montreal so badly, it would be incredible. These photos just put a smile on my face.
The Polaroid Colorpack III is a rigid-bodied camera with a glass lens that came out in 1970 to 1971 and toke type 100 Polaroid instant film. The great thing about this camera is that it takes AA batteries and is compatible with Fuji FP-100C (color) and FP-3000B (black and white) which means it easy to find film and use it today without any issues. One of the only downsides is that it doesn’t have tripod mount so you cannot use it with a tripod (not a common features in instant cameras) and it uses flashcubes for a flash. Mine came with a pack of flashcubes and you can buy them readily online for a reasonable price so it is not impossible to use this camera with a flash but your limited because flashcubes do run out. It does come with a lot of cool features that I will explain more below, they are all a plus to me, even the ones I don’t use all the time and I love that its not an automatic instant camera. I found taking photos with this camera has really given me joy and it doesn’t frustrate me at all like the Holgaroid, when a photo doesn’t come out perfect its always due to human error not the cameras fault. And the best way to learn is just buy a few packs and play around, even the bad shots will feel rewarding. I really love my Colorpack and love taking photos with it, and its nice using the large Fuji film instead of the newer smaller instant film for modern Fuji Instanx series.
1) A darken and lighten dial to change the exposure for the film allowing you on bright days to make the film not become over exposed and the opposite effect in cloudy weather or indoors. Its fun to play with however I recommend to leave it on the default settings as it works best. On the lightest settings its easy to overexposed shots if your not shooting inside.
(example of me accidently leaving it on the brightest setting outside, and what it looks like when you use it to capture indoor shots)
2&3) A timer for development so you can actually set the camera to ring to tell you when you should pull your film apart and cold clips so can put the clips in your pocket to warm up and then put the film against the warm clip so the photo will develop correctly on colder days. I don’t use this much because I wait until I am home to pull my film apart because you can scan the opposite side of the Fuji film as a negative and scan it as well. Its impossible to do this if you dont wait until you get home because the developer is so sticky so it will get ruined by being touched or get covered in dust. The cold clips also keep the film straight.(this is what the negative side looks like when you pull apart the fiilm)
4) A focus ring that allows you to change the focus from 3.5meters to 50+ (which is Polaroid’s version of infinite), this ring is manual so you do need to move it for each shot. The closest is 3.5 meters which doesn’t work very well for self-portraits. I’ve tried a few times and the photos are always blurry no matter how far I stretched my arm out and since the release is manual there is no way around that.
(examples of me trying to take the photo with my arm)
5) And the last thing is a viewfinder and a distant measure. The viewfinder works great at showing you what your taking a photo of and is fairly accurate unlike a lot of toy cameras, and when you look through there is a red line going across that helps you can measure the distant in combination with the measuring dial on the right side. I found that all these last two features work really great, and I love the measuring dial. It actually is so perfect for me because I am terrible at judging distant so it takes the guess work out of it. I wish more modern toy cameras had this simply tool in them, it blew my mind when I first found out what it did and it is very accurate. Of course you need to check this on every shoot, which I do forget to do sometimes but when I remember I am rewarded with focused shots.
My Top 10 Polaroid Colorpack Photos:
Holgaroid: A Review!
The Holgaroid is an attachment for your Holga camera that converts it into a Polaroid and costs around $200. The original attachment used Polaroid film that is no longer available however its easy online to get Fuji FP-100C and FP-100B instant film which is black&white or color respectively. I got my Holgaroid attachment this summer locally and used. I have always wanted to get this attachment for my Holga, so I picked mine up used for $100 including a Holga 120N camera and the shutter release attachment included. It was a really good deal considering, even though I already had a Holga camera. I’ve taken about 3 rolls of film with the Holgaroid however, and I am not really satisfied with the results. The best way to show you what this camera can do, and what it doesn’t do very well is with examples.
The Holgaroid attachment will turn your medium size Holga camera into a monster. Its almost the same width of the Holga excluding the lens and it taller then the Holga so the Holga hovers if you have it sitting on a counter. The attachment will also make your Holga much heavier. Personally though I don’t mind the size unless I have to carry it in a bag, as its almost larger then my NikonD7000.
Its really…really dark. This shot below was taken in the shade, but on a really bright summer day. I wasted about half a roll trying to figure out what lighting works with the Holgaroid. The lighting from what I found is no shade, no overcast, and no indoors shots, only on bright sunny days otherwise you will get very dark shots or completely exposed film. And even once you figure out what lighting works you still end up wasting film with shots that are too dark to look any good, and this is not cheap film. For every shot that worked, I got one that was black. Even on the bright days, the shots that came out were still dark in appearance.
3. Light Leaks
Now for some people this will be a pro. And definitely on some shots it looks cool but for others this will be a con. I like the light leaks but on some shots its definitely very distracting and I got frustrated that its completely random and I cannot control it. Another thing to note is that you CANNOT leave film in this camera. After the summer, I put away the Holgaroid for a few months because it was much darker outside and I was worried about not getting any shots…..well the light leaks exposed all of the film that normally would be protected. Wasting a whole package that I had just put in.
This is another thing that some people may consider a pro instead of a con. Because the Polaroid back was made for another type of film that is square and the Fuji film is larger then the square image of the Holga, you will get a whole section of your film that doesn’t get an image. I’ve cropped certain images shown below to show you the different but this is what your images will come out as. I really like the cropped images more and from what I’ve seen of people who either had the Holgaroid before Polaroid stopped making the film or purchased expired film it looks really different in its intended square form.
5. Flash Shots
Flash is really tricky with the Holgaroid. If your too close, its usually over exposed and if your too far away the shot will be too dark. You’ll also get the circular exposure. I don’t know what causes this but all my flash shots had this when my regular day time shots did not. It is nice that you can use the Holga flash with the Holgaroid though considering most lighting situations will require this.
These are the common features and concerns with the Holgaroid attachment that most people have so I thought I’d share my experience with it. I think I am going to retire my attachment as its not very fulfilling even when it does take good shots. For $200 and $10 a pack of 10, you’d probably have much better luck just buying a Fuji Film Instanx camera (one version even has a Holga lens attachments) or if you want that vintage feel what I suggest is looking on Etsy, or your local vintage store for an old Polaroid camera. This isn’t to say the attachment doesn’ t take good photos, its definitely possible but the amount of work I had to put in, and the amount of film that was wasted fustrated me. I got my Polaroid Colorpack III for under $50 on Etsy a month after getting the attachment, and have not experience any of the fustration with it, like I did with the Holgaroid – its been love ever since (which isn’t to say there wasn’t a learning curve) . So if you want to save yourself some cash to put towards film and some grief get a Polaroid camera that’s either compatible with Fuji film or film made by the Impossible Project and make sure it doesn’t require a speciality battery to function and you’ll be on your way to getting great instant shots.
Click below at all my shots taken with Holgaroid attachement:
(and if your thinking to yourself, wow that’s only 8 shots – I KNOW.
Out of 30 shots I toke and only got 8 shots that even turned out)