I love instant film! There I said it and it’s true, at the press of a shutter you have in your hands a physical print in seconds or minutes (depending on which instant film it is), that’s amazing isn’t it? As it is now #InstantApril which I believe to be the brain child of @KristenWithACamera over on Twitter, I thought I’d do a little blog post about my experiences with instant photography. My history with instant photography has been relatively short, I bought my first instant camera, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 back in May 2014, I really liked those little instax, but the camera didn’t offer much control and the flash was over powering. I then backed the Kickstarter campaign for the Lomography Lomo Instant and was one of the first people to get one in the UK, I was even featured as a Lomo Amigo.
It wasn’t long before I wanted to try a real Polaroid camera so early in 2015 I purchased a Polaroid 626. To be honest I didn’t like the 626 that much again, it didn’t seem to give you much control and you couldn’t turn off the flash. I wasn’t finished with Polaroid though as I bought a Polaroid Spectra SE, this was much better, it has autofocus and the flash can be turned off. Film for these Polaroid cameras is now only produced by The Impossible Project, I particularly like their Black & White Gen 2.0 film for the Spectra.
Having read quite a bit about Polaroid cameras I wanted to try out a Land Camera that uses the peel apart film. I found out that my step dad had one that he’d never used. I borrowed his Polaroid Land 100 and attempted to convert it to AAA batteries, but the wiring was too far gone and you needed a special tool to get the grip off and on again, so I gave up. Luckily James Fox Davies whom I had met last year at LNDNWLK had a Polaroid 250 that was already converted and fully working that he was willing to lend me. I tried both FB-3000B (B&W) and FP-100C (colour) and loved them both the quality of these films is amazing. After shooting a few packs of film I bought my own Polaroid 350, which I’ve successfully converted to use AAA batteries. Unfortunately recently not long after buying the camera Fujifilm announced they were discontinuing production of FP-100C, the only film that was still being produced for these cameras, FP-3000B had already been discontinued some time ago. Both types of film can still be found, but at a steep price and mostly expired. I still have a few packs of film in the fridge, but I’m going to have to ration its usage. There are people out there trying to save this film, I don’t know if it’s possible but if there’s any chance it’s worth going to savepackfilm.net and signing the petition anyway.