I'm looking for an instant film system that allows manual control over focus and exposure

Discussion in 'Extreme, Retro, Instant and More' started by kdghantous, May 18, 2015.

  1. I'm not really up with instant films. I've never used them and up until now I've never cared. But there is an allure which has gotten a hold of me and I feel the need to look into this format - and I'm thinking of using it professionally if I like it.
    So what I'm after is a camera that takes Fuji Instax film, either Mini or Wide, but preferably Wide. Like an old Hasselblad ad said, "Bigger is better. To a point." At the moment, I'll be happy with a cheap Fuji camera just to get the feel of the format.
    Eventually, if I like the way things go, I'd like something more professional. Something with good lenses that lets me manually set aperture, shutter speed and focus. So what would you recommend? Can you use a Hasselblad 500 with Instax film? What about a TLR? Or a 645 system like a Pentax or Mamiya? There are Polaroid backs, sure. But the Internet does not seem to know of Instax backs.
    I have a Lomography Belair and you can buy an Instax back for that system. So that's cool, but it's not quite as flexible as a MF SLR.
  2. TBH, the words'professional' and 'lomography' shouldn't be used in the same sentence, just so you know where I stand on that aspect. :)
    I would recommend moving to a MF system that uses the Polaroid backs. The Mamiya RB67 with a genuine Mamiya Polaroid back will give you a large (I think 7x7cm?) image on the Fuji FP-100C instant film. It's also a truly fantastic and versatile professional system that's very affordable now.
    I think part of the reason you're having trouble finding a system to use the Instax film with is because I don't think the Instax film is considered a grade of film anything more then teenage consumer level.
    If you want pro grade, you need to look at what the pros are using.
  3. A couple of friends who run a studio occasionally use a Mamiya press camera with Polaroid back. If I'm recalling correctly they said the Impossible Project stuff they've tried seems more stable now, though still not quite on par with original Polaroid. I don't know whether there's an adapter for Instax.
    "TBH, the words'professional' and 'lomography' shouldn't be used in the same sentence, just so you know where I stand on that aspect. :)"​
    I know of folks who've sold fine art prints and books with photos made from their Lomos, Holgas, toy cameras and pinhole cameras. I don't know if that qualifies as "professional". And Terry Richardson and Juergen Teller have earned a living using P&S cameras (and occasionally dSLRs).
  4. rdm


    . . . But the Internet does not seem to know of Instax backs....​
    That's because there are not any.
    Why does it have to be a camera that uses Instax film?
    You have other Instant film to chose from which afford you a wider range of cameras that they can be used on.
  5. A Polaroid 195 is a nice solution for pack instant film.
  6. AJG


    +1 for the Mamiya Universal and lenses--I used one for years, and the lenses (I have a 65 mm, 100 f/3.5 and 150) are decent performers. The camera is completely manual (no light meter of any kind) and also quite heavy, but definitely capable of professional results. The Fuji pack films work well with the Mamiya Polaroid back, and I wish that Fuji B&W was still available. I haven't used any of the Impossible Project films, so I can't comment on them.
  7. First thing: I am encouraged that the Fuji FP-100C film packs are compatible with most Polaroid backs. They film is not overly expensive and seems to be easy to get.
    The reason I want Instax is because it's the most ubiquitous instant film currently made. It's also a little cheaper than FP-100C. I am not too hung up on it, though. As long as I like the results from a given emulsion, that's what counts.
    I found a Polaroid back for the Pentax 645. So they exist. The Mamyia 67 is a bit... on the large side. So I looked into the Bronica SQ system. I had completely forgotten about it. That could be the ideal solution. Like a Hasselblad but not quite as pricey. Opinions? I'll ask on the medium format forum.
  8. What about one of the Polaroid conversions by Four Designs?
  9. Karim: Please let us know what you have done.
  10. Perhaphs you might look into the Fuji Instax 500af. Of all the Instax cameras it gives the most control, including flash adjustments, and only one with a true auto focus. It has been discontinued for the later 210 and 300 model, but those only have a 2 position focus system.

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