You don’t need an instant film camera to shoot instant film photos: Flickr user Angex Lin shot the above photograph using an old-school Rolleiflex twin-lens reflex camera loaded with Fujifilm Instax Mini instant film.
Teenage photographers Vanessa Hollander and Wilson Philippe embarked on a ten-day motorcycle trip across Mongolia this past summer on a mission to give instant photo portraits to Native Mongolians who had never seen a photo before. They also made the above video documenting the reactions of a few of their subjects:
each person photographed really prized and protected his or her polaroid (fearing that we wanted to keep it), and barely let us see it when it was developed! the children automatically stored it away once we showed them what was the very first picture of themselves. it was a really great and humbling experience and showed us how much just one photograph can mean to people who have never had one of themselves. although many people claim they want to escape this mess of technology in more delevoped countries, we often tend to take the beauty of some technology, such as photography, for granted. [#]
Unless you’re a photography-hating robot, the video should bring a smile to your face and a fuzzy feeling to your heart.
Lomo shooter wn7ant came up with a neat way of turning instant film photos into one-of-a-kind business cards. After printing out his business card design onto a transparency, he cuts it out and sticks it onto an Instax film cartridge. To create a new card, he simply takes a picture — the contact information on the transparency is printed onto every photograph!
File this under “awesome ways to show off your photos”. Lomographer zakguy had a year’s worth of Instax Mini instant photos on his hands and no way to display them, so he created a custom coffee table using his favorite shots!
I arranged my favorite shots into a pattern based on overall photo color. It isn’t perfect, but it makes for a really fun real life Lomowall, but on a coffee table. From there we carefully taped down the photos squarely to the table with double sided tape to hold them all in place. Once they were all in place, I went to a local hardware store (Lowe’s) and had them cut a piece of thick plexiglass to cover the table top exactly. I attached some adhesive rubber bumpers to each of the 4 corners and placed it on top of the photos, and that was it. [#]
It’s a neat DIY project that you can do yourself if you have a suitable coffee table and a collection of prints you want to display.
Image credit: Photograph by zakguy
Here’s a really great way to turn photos from a novelty camera into something of practical use — make the photos into mini magnetic dry erase boards! Photojojo has some nifty ideas and instructions for turning Polaroid or Instax prints into colorful refrigerator magnets, a perpetual photo calendar, reusable magnetic reminder notes, and more.
Fujifilm’s Instax Mini 7S landed a pretty prominent spot in hip hop artist B.o.B’s music video for “Airplanes,” featuring Hayley Williams. It seems like instant photo marketing is especially seeking exposure through music videos — Lady Gaga’s “Telephones” also contains a hefty 10-second spot for Polaroid’s instant camera.
Instant film is trying to make a comeback, and Polaroid wants in. Two years after calling it quits on instant film, the company has just announced the Polaroid 300 camera, which uses real self-developing film rather than the printer-in-the-camera thing they’ve been trying lately.
Polaroid’s Creative Director Lady Gaga supposedly helped with the design of this “next generation” Polaroid camera. However, we couldn’t help but notice the camera’s striking resemblance to the Fujifilm Instax Mini 7… How similar are the two cameras? Judge for yourself:
So basically, it looks like the new Polaroid 300 is simply the Fujifilm Instax Mini 7 rebranded. What’s interesting is that you can purchase the Instax Mini 7 for $69 on Amazon, while the new Polaroid camera costs $90. Film is roughly the same price for both cameras, at around $1 an exposure.
Now we know: the Polaroid brand name is worth $21 more than Fujifilm’s on an instant camera.
The vast range of the new Fujifilm camera lines might explain how Fujifilm, the imaging-specific company placed 19th on the list of top US patents filed in 2009.
In addition to its existing line of point-and-shoots and digital hybrid bodies, Fujifilm has also been developing a 3D camera paired with special 3D photo and video digital viewers, an improved instant photo line, and a new medium format camera. A booth rep said that Fujifilm’s major selling point is their “commitment to photography in all forms,” which resulted in their wide spectrum of cameras this year.
I spoke to the 3D imaging product manager Jim Calverley at PMA, who said the reasoning behind the price was because Fujifilm wanted the product to be available for serious 3D photographers who would appreciate the functionality of the camera, and would be less likely to return the equipment. At the same time, Calverley said, “Don’t expect to film the next Avatar on this handheld camera.”
Nevertheless, this point-and-shoot sized camera can produce some pretty fascinating images and video — that is, if you’ve got an eye for what would work well with the 3D style. Calverley said that the 3D technique works best with images that have many layers of depth — not necessarily depth of field in photo terms, which is entirely different. Depth of field for traditional camerasrefers to the distance and section of a photograph that is in focus (like a single flower, sharp against a blurred field in the background), whereas 3D photographers shoot images that have multiple layers or depth in a compositional sense, layering a flower in front, a person behind, and the field in the background.
The camera takes two images at a time, much like how the human eyes see images: with two separate lenses.
Images taken with the camera can be viewed in several different ways — and top of the price of the original camera:
The prices are pretty high since the use of the technology on a consumer level is new, but Calverley said,” We’re casting a wider net this year,” and that the products will be more widely available to see and test at local camera dealers.
Back to a more practical and affordable consumer level, Fujifilm is also releasing new models of Instax, their instant camera line, which now includes the Instax mini 7s for around $99 and the smaller Instax mini 25 for about $119. There is also a new wide-format Instax 210.
The Instax mini 25 (pictured on the left) is especially geared for the youthful consumer; it comes equipped with a small self-portrait mirror next to the lens opening.
The Fujifilm reps said that the cameras, especially the wide image format, are popular in fashion photography, when quick images and headshots are demanded. Interestingly, another industry, so to speak, that the cameras are in demand for is the law enforcement and crime scene investigators; these instant shots cannot be digitally manipulated and have a higher integrity and faster tangibility than digital or film.
For film fanatics, Fujifilm also boasts a new GF670 medium format camera for pros. The camera is projected to be released in April 2010 for an MSRP of $1995.
The camera features a folding 80mm Fujinon lens, which gives the camera a lightweight, compact feel and a nostalgic look. (Mouse-over the image to see the side view.)
It also has an electronic metering system and rangefinder, PC flash cord port, and up to 3200 ISO. It can shoot in 6×6 format or 6×7.
Another breath of relief for film fans: the booth rep also said that any whispers or rumors about Fujifilm discontinuing any type of their film are rumors; they’re doing better than most film companies, he added.
In any case, it looks like a big year for Fujifilm.