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Useful Photography Tip #12: Use an Old Polaroid Land Camera With Your Modern Speedlite Flash

by Chris Gampat on 03/01/2012

As many of you know, we’re fans of film here at The Phoblographer. Pretty much every staff member shoots with film at one time or another and we have a real feeling that all of photography’s faces and mediums should be experienced in order for someone to find themselves and their identity. Personally, I’m smitten with my Polaroid Land Camera 210. But it’s limited in that I have pretty much no manual control over the shutter or aperture. In practice, that meant that I was shooting photos with some weird looks to them.

And then I decided to start using a flash. I’m smacking myself for not doing this earlier; as it’s so easy to use and will immediately improve the quality of your images by tenfold.

Editor’s Note: Thank you so much to my very good buddy Gabe Biderman for the Instant Film.

Gear Used

Polaroid Land Camera 210 (see our eBay banner on the sidebar if you’re interested)

Impact PC Male to Hot Shoe cable

Canon 580 EX II

Chris Gampat Hacked Beauty Dish

Fujifilm 100-C Land Camera film or 3000-B

The Process

First off, attach the hot shoe to your flash with hacked beauty dish. Then connect the male end of the PC cord to the Polaroid Land Camera’s PC female port: which is located on the front end of the camera not far from the lens. The lead image in this photo will give you a better idea.

Set your flash to manual output: usually anywhere from 1/8th to full power is necessary. I usually work with 1/4 or 1/2 power.

Cock the camera shutter, focus, and you’re ready to shoot. Ensure that the cable and the beauty dish aren’t in the framelines when you want to shoot.

Results

These scans aren’t the best, they were done very quickly on my friend’s Epson scanner.

I myself am also not the best scanner. I haven’t done it since college to be honest, but here’s my attempt.

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