Fuji Instax for MF film backs?

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by http://www.bcillustration.com, Aug 17, 2018.

  1. Hello, I'm a newbie. I use mostly MF, and I'm trying to find out whether there is a way to use Fuji Instax of any size in a back that will fit into any graflok slot-MF or LF. I have two Horseman 6 X 9s and 3-4 Graflexes, and I'd like to use Instax in lieu of Polaroid, but I can't get any information out of Fuji about what, if anything, will work with what.
  2. Nope, not possible

    On Kickstarter a project for an injection molded back for Hasselblad V type camera's using Instax film was launched, but it
    was called off very soon after the launch and never turned into reality

    There are several videos on Youtube on (trying?) to do so including this DIY apparently succesfull one
    but that's about it

    There also was an article on DPreview on how someone 'converted' a Fuji Instax Mini camera for use on a Bronica
    How to hack a Bronica ETRS to shoot Fuji Instax Mini film
    but it's a lot of wofk and the endproduct looks a bit wonky (apparently the images taken with it are OK)

    Pproblem is the structural difference in developing technique used, the type 100 and 4x5 inch Polaroid back can be operated
    fully manual, while the Instax Wide camera's use an electrically operated developing system
  3. Dave Rollans has a ‘doable’, if awkward, method of shooting Instax Mini in 2-1/4x3-1/4 ‘groovy’ film holders on RB-67.

    It requires sliding the unexposed Instax Mini films out of the pack in either a darkroom or changing bag, & loading them into double dark slide film holders.

    After exposure, they get transferred back into the empty Fuji pack which is returned to the Instax Mini camera and with the lens blocked from light, they can be processed by ejection thru the camera film rollers.

    He recommends altering the film holders to reduce the degree of care required to avoid bursting the developer packets (bursa?)...but it’s not mandatory.

    What problem this method does solve extremely well is that of figuring out how to position the Fuji films precisely at the focal plane. The methods of butchering a Fuji camera to mount on another camera with the film spaced in agreement with the ficusing screen without film relocation to other holders is hit or miss...I’ve read enough disappointing descriptions to prefer taking my chances doing the film unload/reload/unload/reload/process.

    Before you get bored, Dave’s Blog from May 26, 2017 (in case my copy/paste from my phone only gives the top of the blog page) is here:
    Instax Mini Film in Medium Format Cameras

    Hopefully this link has the 2nd link to his videos showing the simulated process in daylight for educational purposes.

    It requires a functional Instax Mini camera for processing.

    I recently acquired a ‘gently damaged’ Mini Neoclassical 90 I have lucked out with so far in getting around the damage...but haven’t shot any film yet.

    As the first film test approaches, I’ve contemplated my other options since I have only uncovered ‘non-groovy’ 2-1/4 x 3-1/4 holders in my basement...so I cannot use them on an RB-67. I have two ‘baby’ press cameras with spring backs that don’t require the filmholders to be grooved, however.

    I also have a Kodak Medalist 2 with cut film/plate back, and both the 2-1/4” x 3-1/4” and 6.5 x 9 cm metal single exposure holders (Kodak/Recomar type).

    What I have found with this is that the Instax Mini film is a little long for the film guide tabs in the Kodak/Recomar 2-1/4 x 3-1/4 holders...causing the film to bulge/buckle away from flat. The 6.5x9 cm holders have enough room to accommodate the Instax Mini films, with care...a bit too much room...but watching which way is up and down when inserted into the Medalist back would allow careful loading into the metal holders so they don’t shift.

    The Instax Wide has my interest too, but I think I need to get some results with the Mini first before butting heads on eBay with others bidding on as-is non-functioning cameras...but I wonder what they know that I don’t yet.
  4. If not evident, Instax film appears to only be available in ISO 800 speed.
  5. I've been shooting Instax Mini in 2X3 Speed and Century Graphics more or less successfully, loading the individual sheets into modified double sided film holders. The modification consists of cutting back a small strip off the inside of the hinged wooden flap of the sheet film holders. Very simple job with the idea you are opening the inside up a bit to clear the developer packet when replacing the darkslide.
    The exposed films can be processed in a Instax Mini camera or with some ingenuity, pulling the film through the rollers of an old Polaroid pack film camera.
    Hadn't thought about trying this on a Medalist or Rolleiflex via the single exposure backs but will look into that asap.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2018
    murrayatuptown likes this.
  6. Thanks for explaining WHY the mod has to be done. I had read about it elsewhere being not essential and wasn’t grasping there wasn’t sufficient clearance...I thought it was carelessly slamming the darkslide in.

    Sounds like a headache eliminator.

    I wish I had more of the Graflex edge-groove type. I have 6x as many ‘Type 5’ with solid (no groove) edges. I’m more interested in trying this on a Graflex Reflex RB Series B than a Baby Speed...the former is simpler & easier to hold, being ‘boxier’ & shorter.

    Now I wonder what holders Types 1-4 are but it’s more disturbing to realize how many differences there might be among multiple brands.

    Camera makers certainly didn’t need to wonder what people would be puzzling over several decades later.

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