When I have some time, I’ll scan the negatives. I got them scanned with processing and the originals are hi-res but super noisy.
Photoworks color print film, ISO 400, expired 01/06. Developed in marginal Unicolor C-41 chemicals. Scanned on a CanoScan 9000f at 3200DPI. A few tweaks obvious in the file names.
They only come on at night.
Not much to show for finished images. I shot three Fuji FP-100C frames but the last one was a test to see if I’d found the problem with the intermittent connection and it’s completely black. I have to be frugal since Fuji has discontinued the last of their pack films.
How can you have a global monopoly on pack film with millions (tens of millions?) of cameras still in use and not make enough money to bother manufacturing it any more?
Seriously, how much profit margin does Fuji need? They don’t have any engineering costs to pay down, it was Polaroid’s design. Maybe a little bit to improve it over the years but they didn’t eat billions (in today’s dollars) like Polaroid did to invent integral film from scratch.
We’re stuck with Instax (a derivative of Kodak’s instant film) for now but if anyone figures out how to mirror-image Impossible film or shoot it through the back, I’m done with these greedy, fickle [bleep]s forever.
Seriously, sell the manufacturing equipment and put the film formulas into the public domain. If you can’t make money with a monopoly, you’re the problem, not the product. Let someone else have a go at it.
Sorry, I had to get that out.
I tested this camera after cleaning the battery compartment and contacts and the shutter opened. To get some justice from the battery that crapped up the camera, I removed the snaps from the ends of it (the 3V batteries have larger connectors than 9V batteries) and soldered them to the ends of a CR123 lithium battery.
I’m glad I tested again before loading because it stopped working. That’s when I traced the battery wire to the shutter circuit, re-soldered the battery connector, and replaced the foam.
The shutter was working consistently now so I loaded film and got a late evening image that was back-lit and too dark.
Try again with the flash gun.
I opened it back up and started doing continuity tests. My meter has a nice diode check function that beeps if point ‘A’ and point ‘B’ are connected. I’d get BEEEEP-BE-BE-[silence]-BEEEEP-BE-BE… Argh! Nothing is a bigger PITA than intermittent connections.
Quote from Brian R: Sometimes it’s intermittent but not always.
I guess was cheaper to manufacture but seeing ribbon cable instead of a proper circuit board made me sad — it can melt before solder becomes liquid and it gets brittle with age. It lasted 50 years so I guess I shouldn’t complain but I am because it made me think and work.
An Instax Wide cartridge is a tight fit vertically but it fits. Side-to-side, I eyeballed the spacing with an empty cartridge and did it by feel with a partially used cartridge in the dark bag.
The last bit is unscrewing some parts in the Polaroid so the back will close over the Instax cartridge.
Converting from ISO 800 Instax to 100 for the camera is done with a minus-3-stop (ND8) neutral density filter.
I didn’t adjust the exposure and the image is a little dark. The cell being 50 years old might have something to do with that too.
My dark bag can’t hold a pack film camera and an Lomo Instant Wide with room to work. I transferred the film from the Lomo to a film box in the bag, opened up and swapped the Polaroid in, loaded the film, took the picture, moved the film from the Polaroid to the box in the bag, swapped in the Lomo, loaded the film, took the Lomo out of the bag, and took a shot with the lens cap on. Somewhere in that convoluted mess, I got a light leak.
There’s a video on Youtube where a guy loaded the Instax into a pack film cartridge and shot into the front of the Instax film. I may have to play with that but that’s not how it’s made — just look at how the film is oriented when it exits your Instax camera. Like the Kodak instant film or any camera without a mirror between the lens and the emulsion, you have to shoot the back or you get a mirror image. I’ll update this post or do another one with the optics involved so you can see I’m not full of beans.
I can’t bust his chops too much — he has a calico.
Update 31 March 2020: I was going to edit this post with viewfinder parallax info but it got long so I move it to its own post.
In 2013, I used the camera’s video out and captured a couple of images without a memory card.
Scanned on a CanoScan 9000f at 1200DPI. Exposure level tweaks on Muir Woods and the cats. Reduced to 25% for upload.
This last one is with the close-up lens. It’s overexposed — I used the flash too close in too-bright ambient light. It was still a good test of the range and depth of field of the lens. The front cat is at 4 inches, the gray cat is at 5 inches, and the matchbox with the horrible flash reflection is at 6.
I’m seriously bummed that Fuji stopped making this film. I can shoot color and then convert in Photoshop but it’s just not the same. Scanned at 1200DPI on the CanoScan 9000f. A little dust cleanup on a couple but no exposure edits.
Scanned at 1200DPI on the Canoscan 9000f. I cropped the borders and resized for upload.
I ran out of time tonight but I’m determined to find out how the Instax Mini 7S controls exposure…
22 September update: The camera definitely adjusts the aperture to control exposure. I set the Nikon AW100 to “fireworks” mode to get a long shutter and snapped the inside of the Instax while it fired. I thought I’d have to be clever and defeat interlocks but it turns out the Instax doesn’t care if the back is open or if there is film loaded with regard to the shutter and flash.