My Fujifilm Instax 90 is turning into my go-to camera anytime I’m going to hang out with friends. I had so much fun last weekend camping and being a beach bum for the last warm weekend of the year. I took with me both my Instax 90 and my vintage Super Shot Polaroid camera and it was surprising how in comparison I enjoyed shooting with the Instax more. I really noticed the difference in using a vintage camera over a modern camera when I was in the middle of cooking bacon over the fire or on a windy sandy beach and didn’t want the hassle. I just love taking a photo with the Instax and tossing it in my bag to dry and peaking at it as it developed, plus the size and weight really makes a difference. The one thing that occurred to me on my trip though that I don’t like about the Instax 90 is how frustrating it is to frame a shot. The viewfinder is not accurate at all. I always feel like I’m adding in the correction as the viewfinder is to the left of the actual lens but my correction seems to only make it worse. Had several shots where they didn’t turn out right because the subject was either half cropped out or completely cropped (example the photo of my delish bacon on a stick, 3rd from bottom). I don’t want to have to frame my subjects to be center frame in every shot so it’d be nice to have a camera that had a proper viewfinder! I should probably do my review for the Instax 90 soon. I’ve used it quite a bit at this point, but there are a few of the ‘scene’ options I haven’t used yet. It was fun shooting in instant film, regardless of camera. It is just so satisfying and that immediacy of instant photography is something I am really enjoying right now. I’ll be showing the shots from the Polaroid next week on Tuesday as well if you want to see the different results.
Polaroid Land Model 80A
Today I’m sharing with you my vintage Polaroid Land Model 80A camera that was made from 1957-59 by the Polaroid Company. The Model 80a land camera uses Type 30 series roll film that hasn’t been produced since the 1960s. It’s a metal and plastic camera with a glass lens and three shutter modes 1/25, 1/100 and bulb. The 80a has 3 exposures mode that use the EV scale system instead of the usual f/ stops but it translates to f/8, f/11 and f/16. It also has a viewfinder at the top of the camera and has a metal cover that extends to exposure the lens in an accordion style. To take photos you use the metal tab to the right of the lens when extended. Like other accordion cameras it has a metal stand that extends down when the bellows have been moved out so you can balance the camera vertically. It also has a hot shoe flash which isn’t common in many Polaroid cameras. I don’t know if the camera will work with modern hot shoe flash as I haven’t tried. The main reason I actually bought this camera is because of the amazing bellows and the lens plate that is shaped much like juke box (or at least I think so). It has a really unique retro vibe about it that I just had to have it even though it can’t be used any more to take instant photography. There is a tutorial here, that shows you how to convert it to use 120 film but I doubt I will ever do that as this camera is a beast (it weighs so much) and I’m not a big fan of permanently destroying a camera even though there will never be film available for it again. In fact it’s one of the few cameras I own that isn’t able to be used anymore but again who could resist its amazing design?
Guess what I got for my birthday present from Victor?
A Fujifilm Instax Mini 90!
I’m in love with this camera, it’s really lived up to my expectations and I had a lot of reservations about getting a newer style of instant camera. Even though I’ve wanted to try a Fujifilm camera for a while I have never been able to shallow the expense of the camera on top of getting film when I already used Polaroid land cameras for instant photography. The Instax 90 with its control options, retro styling (not a fan of the Mini 7s or 8s) and double exposure mode really makes the Instax series a whole lot better and higher end. It’s been hard to resist, so it was really nice that this was my birthday present. I may have known Victor was buying me this camera since he always lets me pick out my presents so I was prepared when it arrived with film, photo albums, stickers….really the complete set of accessories to go with it. He even got the camera at such a good price that he allowed me to pick out a case for it as well (usually the Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 is priced around $180, he got it for $140 on Amazon on sale). I picked out a chocolate leather bag that’s big enough for the camera and a few other things at the same time.
My first opinions on the camera are that it’s just so nice having an instant camera that I can take with me when I want to take silly, non-serious photos. Its way more reliable so far than using an older Polaroid camera and even experimenting with the double exposures you can get usable shots very often. Its way smaller than my vintage Polaroid land cameras as well this is convenient for bike rides. I cannot wait to do a review of the camera after the summer is over. It’s definitely not going to replace my vintage instant cameras with its mini photos but it’s really fun for casual photography. Here are a few of the mini instant photos I’ve taken already!
The last set of Polaroids from my amazing trip to Vancouver. These were taken on my second to last day there when I met up with a few friends (and meet some new friends too) to have a piknic at Trout Lake. Trout Lake is such a lovely park right in the middle of Vancouver – I highly suggest going there if you are ever in Vancouver it’s just very relaxing. It was a great time, we had an assortment of snacks thanks to my friend Pang and everyone seemed to have just randomly brought with them goodies for everyone to enjoy. I got to hang out with my brother for the second time that trip. He lives in Calgary and was travelling for the summer and decided to come to Vancouver to see me which was so amazing of him because we don’t see each other enough. We all just sat on the grass and watched all the dogs go by and enjoy each other company and chatted. It really made me miss Vancouver….honestly in that moment I realized how much I missed being around people I love. I tend to forgot how nice it is to be lost in conversation with people… My Polaroid Colorpack wasn’t agree with me much that day and ate a few shots but I love the ones I managed to get and wished I had brought more film. Enjoy!
Ana was so nice to take a photo with me and my cute friend Pang-Pang (who is so adorable).
I wish my trip to Vancouver was longer!
I wanted to show some of my instant film that I shot with the Polaroid Colorpack II while in Vancouver. All of the shots were taken at Wreck Beach. If you aren’t from Vancouver, Wreck Beach is my favourite place to hang out while there. It’s a great beach and just happens to be a nude beach on top of that (nobody I knew got naked however but that’s why the beach is so cool, everyone is welcome) I had a blast, being able to swim in the ocean is always a good time. Not to mention we brought peach cider coolers to enjoy and I got pretty tipsy. We enjoyed food too and had a mini piknic with fresh fruits and sandwiches care of my brother Corbin. We watched the sunset and just really relaxed and enjoyed ourselves. It’s one of the few places I miss living in Montreal and being able to spend the day there with some friends made my trip. Hope you enjoy the silly shots that follow. The one of me in the ocean swimming and in front of the sunset were captured by my brother!
It`s been a long time since I’ve used my Holgaroid, the last time I posted about it was when I did my review (here if you haven`t read) and I finally thought about picking it up again. It`s quiet a frustrating camera but I had some Fuji black and white film laying around and am a bit bored of the Polaroid Colorpack so I thought it`d be nice to try my hand again… every time I use the Holgaroid I feel like I’m wasting film. I remember with the colored Fuji film that it always had to be very sunny and since it was a great day outside on Saturday I thought it’d take it with us on our walk around downtown. The first 6 photos were too over-exposed to even make out what was in them, even in the shade. I waited until it was getting darker and then the shots were underexposed. I’m sure it worked better using the original intended film for it by Polaroid (that isn’t made anymore) however I think this is my last time using the Holgaroid. From my previous negative experiences to my frustrating day today, I think this guy is going back on the shelf. But I thought I’d share the shots that kind of turned out.
Butter of the Week today is in theme with Vintage Tuesday`s Polaroid portrait shots. I’ve only taken a few shots of my cat with the Polaroid Colorpack as I don`t use the flash with the camera and Butter is an inside cat. I always crank the light setting but there is still not enough light for a really good shot but I love them none the less. It doesn`t help that she moves way too much, her eyes are always ghosts like which is freaky. I hope to grab a good one of her in the summer when she goes outside a bit more. Hope you like these, have a great weekend!
It’s starting to be a bit like Spring here in Montreal. Spent Sunday walking around with my Polaroid Colorpack in our neighborhood. It was really nice and we went to a mini-fundraiser as well as our old house to visit our roomie (cos I accidental shipped my new yoga mat there, oops). I’m getting more and more use to my land camera, its fun waiting to get home to see the results. Its always a surprise. The blurry photos of Butter are my favourite, she couldn’t stay still for anything. She’s getting really comfortable with the deck and even walked across what I like to call the pirate ship plank. The neighbor’s have an indoor cat and I think there is a little bit of a love connection happen. :) So excited to spend the summer taking photos and going for walks on the weekend. Hope you are having a great week!
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)