Fun: it’s what many of us millennials think about when we think about instant film. Scenes of parties and some truly wild times in the summer that we wish that we’d forget often come to mind. But you should know something–in fact you should know a bunch of things you knowitall! Specifically though, we’re talking about how instant film is really a lot more than just what you take photos of with your iDevice and put onto Instagram for all your friends to check out.
Oh no–the sweet lady known as Instant film has quite a bit more about it that you should become acquainted with.
Fujifilm Instax and the Polaroid SX70 Aren’t Everything
Chances are that if you’ve gotten into the modern day instant film world, all that you know is Fujifilm Instax and the Polaroid SX70 along with everything that the Impossible Project offers. However, you may know about only one or the other. Just know this though: those two camera types aren’t the end all of the format. There are many beautiful Polaroid Land Cameras that you can have a look at that use a larger format of film than either of these cameras. Plus they have full manual control–so if you actually want to take your aspirations of being a photographer any further, this is just one way of expanding your artistic borders.
Both Fujifilm and the Impossible Project Make Instant Film
Instant film was originally something developed by and marketed by Polaroid. Then the company decided that they wouldn’t make the film anymore and so the Impossible Project began to reverse engineer the process. Additionally, Fujifilm has made instant film for years but it is now only available in the 3×4 size that fits very well into medium format SLR cameras and Polaroid Land Cameras.
If you’ve got any other type of Polaroid camera, then you’ll need to look for the compatible film from the Impossible Project.
And then there is Fujifilm Instax: which is made in both a wide format and standard business card size.
Film Expires and Gives You a Hipsterfied Look
That really cool look that you really want (otherwise known as lo-fi) is most of the time achieved by using cheap optics and expired film. When film expires, the chemicals and composition aren’t really ideal for usage. But when used anyway, they tend to render your images to be off-color. Contrary to what many film noobs believe (and what marketing states) it isn’t done by the camera. It is done by using expired film and by varying your processes.
If you’re dealing with peel-apart film, sometimes pulling earlier or later can give you a variation on how your image will look.
Medium and Large Format Instant Film is a Thing of Dream-like Beauty
Just like medium format and large format negative film, the larger your negative (or in this case your positive) the more glorious bokeh you can get. While what the SX70 pumps out can be called medium format, the really good stuff comes out when you use a manual camera and a light meter.
We suggest buying a medium format film SLR and using it with an instant back of some sort.
Scanned Instant Film Can Yield Incredible Detail
Though many of older folks will say that instant film doesn’t give you much detail once scanned (and in some cases they’re right) in certain situations you can get an amazing amount of detail. For starters, we recommend using a camera with glass optics and using some sort of strobe/flash. On top of that, make sure that you can also have full manual control (as we really hit home on in this article.)
The more control you have, the better an image you can potentially create.
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