best possible instant film camera to acquire in 2013..

Discussions on the Polaroid® back : Holga (Holgaroid), Hasselblad, Mamiya ...
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Inscription : jeu. 10 janvier 2013 / 16:04 pm

best possible instant film camera to acquire in 2013..

Messagepar ftngrave » jeu. 10 janvier 2013 / 16:07 pm

I've been reading about instant film cameras and wow is it a complicated subject and history.

there's the discontinued production of polaroid film, apparently fuji has discontinued ?certain or all? instant film, and the impossible project's film seems too rough and unreliable.

there's the apparent flagship model of polaroid's, the sx-70, where the 680 and 690 seem to be the best. doesn't seem like fuji or kodak ever topped these cameras.

then there's polaroid backs, which i can find no history of. did polaroid specially make these backs? other companies? are all polaroid backs taken off of previously used polaroid cameras? is there only a certain list of cameras these backs can be put on, or are the possibilities endless? there's holga backs, hasselblad backs, mamiya backs, graflex backs, i think another brand i can't think of at the moment.

my question is basically the title of this post, but i should clarify a few things. well i basically have three questions.

1) what is the best camera, or camera with back, ever made that can use instant film in terms of manual features? that is to say, which camera in terms of different shutter speeds, aperture control, manual and/or auto focus, flash, etc.

2) what is the best instant film ever made in terms of best photo quality/chemical process?

3) this is my main question, which could vary from the answers to questions 1 and 2. let's say i want to use the best instant film available in 2013 which can be most likely assumed to continue being made. what camera and/or back with what film (that is made in 2013 and will continue being made) would produce the highest quality instant photographs?

There's a lot of parameters to consider to answer these questions, and I think it would take me hours of research to answer them myself.

I'm also open to the best possible instant film camera with back that uses the best instant film that is NO LONGER made. that is if it's worth it, to possibly buy the film in bulk from someone who hopefully's kept it in the freezer. that's why i asked question 2 on its own. and even if the answers to these questions would be quite expensive, it'd still be interesting to know if i ever have that kind of money lying around. i can always get the polaroid big shot in the mean time!

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Messagepar xya » jeu. 10 janvier 2013 / 21:41 pm

you posted the same questions on the apug forum. you can read my answer there. :)
matos : mamiya universal avec tout (même dos instax); 360 100 propack; mp4 optiques div en 100 + 4x5; sx670 one600pro; 8x10 processor; multishot 84; bigshot; spd360; cu-5 3" et 5", en 100 et 4x5; daylab + copy pro; instax 500af 210 100 50 sq10 liplay; lomo instax wide; mint RF70; superwidestax option; dos instax wide 4x5; lomowidestax; dos coyote sq rb67; pinstax wide; diana diana square holga lc-a lc wide instax escura 60s. beh oui, c'est moins qu'avant.
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Messagepar 3rdTrick » mer. 16 janvier 2013 / 23:16 pm

I think the best possible instant camera for what you are asking is the Polaroid 110B converted to pack film. It is fully manual and has a good lens and does not use batteries at all. Best of all, it uses the full print unlike a back for a smaller format camera. I use the Fuji FP100C in mine and it is quite excellent. I have not tried the 3000B but I hear that is good too. My suggestion would be to look for a regular pack film camera, I like the 250 and spend some time with it and the Fuji film to see if you like it before investing in a converted 110 or other high end camera.

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Messagepar Greg Miller » jeu. 17 janvier 2013 / 04:59 am

You can go a couple different ways with this since there are some distinct differences between the formats that are out there now. It all depends on why it is that you choose to love instant analog cameras and what makes the "magic" for you.

A great semi-manual camera that uses the relatively cheap and readily available Fuji FP100C and FP3000B packfilms is the Polaroid ProPack. You can find a nice one with an electronic flash and timer for between $60-$80 most times. Only major downfalls with this camera are battery corrosion and light leaks in the bellows near the corners. Out of the 6 that I have, one doesn't work and one has leaks. The other 4 are beautiful cameras that I keep loaded with different films at all times. They just happen to my first choice. There are plenty of other good ColorPack cameras out there, both folding and solid bodied, if peel-apart film is your thing.

You can find a Mamiya press body fitted with a Polaroid back and that (I'm rather certain) will yield full-size prints, but you'd have to buy lenses and add your own flash. These things cost some money, too.

Fuji and Konika made instant "press" format cameras as well that shoot the same Fuji FP-series films, but the price tags I keep seeing on them is that of a small car.

If you're looking for simple, but not much room for manipulation or manual control, get a Fuji Instax 210. Good, consistent picture quality and fairly cheap film. Works so nice and easily, it's almost... boring. The Instax Mini works well too, but I find the pictures are just too small for most things.

Classic Polaroid SX-70/600 cameras, both folding and box style, are still really the camera you want to have in your hand when your thinking of analog instant cameras that are practical and easy to use. This, of course, limits your sources for film. The most recent Impossible films are really not bad at all, but they are still a little finicky and are far from cheap. Unless you have some instant film discipline and experience, not to mention some room in your budget for film that costs roughly $3 per shot, you'll piss yourself off with this more often than not. I've been playing with instant film and cameras for almost 30 years and it still beats me sometimes.

You could always do what I have done: acquire several of each type of camera and be ready for whatever film you happen to get! :toctoc:

FYI: Frozen film is most likely no longer any good! Avoid buying film that was kept frozen as the chemicals in the pods will crystallize and separate, causing them to either break down or rupture the pods. Film should be kept in a refrigerator and protected from freezing at all costs.
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Messagepar sfoonsfo » lun. 04 mars 2013 / 09:31 am

Polaroid 180,185,190 and 195 were considered "professional" models. A company called NPC made Polaroid backs and a limited edition model 185 up until 2000. NPC was started by a man who worked with Edwin Land.

The film I like are the Fuji FP100c and FP3000b. I missed that Fuji stopped making the FP100b and FP400b film.

If you are ok with not filling the entire frame of the film, a Polaroid back on a Medium Format camera seems to create the nicest images.

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Messagepar Nomad » lun. 04 mars 2013 / 23:31 pm

I vote for a Konica Instant Press camera + FP 3000B film.



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Messagepar marisamoon » jeu. 18 décembre 2014 / 20:01 pm

Nice conversation here, but I still Think Fujifilm does a good job

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