Maybe for a really long time, we’ve been going about trying to get manual control over Instax Film totally wrong. Instead of trying to hack medium format cameras and camera backs to accommodate the film, why haven’t we tried hacking the cameras to start with? Well actually, the folks over at Camera Film Photo have been for a while. Indeed, a Fujifilm Instax Wide 300 camera can be hacked to take a Schneider 65mm f5.6 lens and apparently even other lenses. The lens has both the shutter speed and aperture control on it just like some of the higher end medium format cameras and pretty much all large format cameras.
This isn’t new, per se. Many photographers have known about this for a while, but not all of us. Perhaps we can attribute it to marketing–with Fujifilm, Lomography, Polaroid, and Impossible project being the juggernauts they are, it’s easy for a company like Camera Film Photo to get caught up in the mix. But indeed, this is the camera of many photographers’ dreams.
It’s been the ambition of so many photographers to find a way to use the larger format film with some sort of manual control. But the closest thing you can get in a readily available camera is the Lomo’Instant Wide. Sadly, it also seems like Fujifilm may be discontinuing Instax Wide sooner or later according to rumors on the horizon. But according to the Camera Film Photo website, the camera can be modified and you’ll even get manual focusing abilities depending on which lens you’re using. You’ll probably want to use something maybe 6×7 or 6×9 sized as the 6×7 format almost fully covers the same size as Fujifilm peel apart film in 3×4.
So what do you lose? Well, the slightly more compact nature for one. Plus you also lose the ability to use the flash–which is a big bummer for studio shooters like me unless you’ve got super duper bright LED panels. Luckily the lens has a PC Sync port though.
Unfortunately, the pair already hacked together isn’t available anymore. But if you’ve got the camera and the lens, Camera Film Photo can do it for you.