“I feel that it’s important to try and resurrect older cameras,” says Swedish photographer Ian Bakke. A lawsuit some decades ago meant that Kodamatic cameras haven’t had usable film for some time now. After being cooped up indoors during last year’s lockdown, and with access to a 3D printer, Ian Bakke might have come up with a solution.Continue reading…
The HVSQ Ver. 2 is an interesting contraption to consider if you want to shoot instant film, specifically Instax Square film, with your medium format camera.
Instant photography is very much alive, albeit with limited film options. Because of this, we’ve been seeing some bright minds coming up with accessories like instant backs to help increase our options for cameras that can accommodate the instant films available today. Instant backs that allow you to shoot Instax films using Hasselblad cameras have been particularly popular in recent times. The latest of these is the HVSQ Ver. 2, the second version of the Instax Square film back made by Shenzen-based photographer John Yang for the Hasselblad V-System.Continue reading…
With the curious-looking Instant Magny 35, you won’t need an extra instant camera; your trusty 35mm film SLR or rangefinder camera will do!
With the popularity of the Fujifilm Instax Mini and Instax Square photos, everyone seems to be going after Instax cameras these days. They are definitely loads of fun to use and make swapping photos easy, but they don’t really give you much control over your photos. The analog answer to this has always been instant backs for film SLR cameras. The latest of these is the curious-looking Instant Magny 35 currently being funded on Kickstarter. Continue reading…
The NPC ProBack was a pretty nifty idea, if not a waste of film
Once in awhile, you come across a photography contraption whose purpose or use eludes you. Some of the ones that occasionally still pop up on eBay and photography forums is the NPC Polaroid ProBack, a camera back that was designed to take Polaroid peel-apart instant films for checking exposure, lighting, and composition on the spot. Back in the days, Polaroid films had a different purpose in photography than what most of us today use (and love) them for. They were very helpful for photographers who needed precise exposures for demanding projects. For those who wanted or needed to do this without an actual Polaroid camera (or wanted to get a preview of their camera setup), there was the bulky and unwieldy Speed Magny for those used Nikon F cameras. The cool factor of this was that the back essentially turned the 35 mm Nikon F camera into an instant or large format camera.
When it comes to having fun in photography, some of the most can be had with Instant film cameras. Not only do they bring us back to a totally different time where images were tactile objects, but they print a single moment that can’t be duplicated. Modern Instant film cameras have largely forgone the manual controls of many of their predecessors and are mostly focused on the photographer being as non-technical as they can.
Again, it’s about fun: seeing what will pop up, doing the work to get the image right, and looking at the images together with someone else.
Here are five modern instant film cameras you’ll want to get your hands on.
In the spirit of making things more fun, Lomography has created the Instant Back for its Belair X 6×12 medium format camera. The Instant Back substantially increases the size of the Belair, which makes it feel like a large book against your chest. With a pack of Fujifilm Instax Wide inside, the Belair + Instant Back has a three step shooting process and necessitates a great deal of patience. Shooting with it isn’t easy, but when you get a shot that’s roughly along the lines of what you intended, you do feel a measure of success.
For the full review of the Lomography Belair X 6×12, check out our review.
For many medium and large format cameras, it is common to equip them with an instant photo back so you can take test exposures. This is especially true for those models that don’t come with a light meter, or when you’re doing professional work or your film sheets cost a small fortune. Even though the Lomography Belair X 6-12 is neither a pro camera, nor especially expensive to run, you can now equip it with an instant film back that lets you expose Fujifilm Instax Wide film.
Lomography being the prime supplier of photography hipsters, it was only a matter of time really until they would come up with something like this. But in the end, Lomo cameras are all about the fun of it, and we’re pretty sure the new instant back for the Belair will provide loads of it. Especially at parties, when you equip the camera with the wonderful little Diana Flash and some color gels.
For the more experienced of us, this may all sound a tad familiar. The camera already looks like many of Polaroid collapsible Land cameras–many of which were totally automatic with the exception of the 185, 190 and a couple of others. Granted, there are many more ISO settings on the Belair and the rangefinder also isn’t coupled. Instead, it’s more like a viewfinder.
Now, the Belair all by itself already isn’t quite a small camera. With the instant back added, it becomes even more of a beast, as it adds quite a bit of additional bulk to the camera. But if you don’t mind the extra size, we’re certain the instant back will add quite a bit of extra fun to your Belair experience. It can be yours for US-$ 89.
Additional product shots and sample images courtesy of Lomograpgy after the break. Also, there’s a video.