Jonathan Fleming's Blog

A Photography Blog

Posts Tagged ‘polaroid

P O L A R O I D

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2013-03-02 15.42.29-1

It’s been a while since I revived my now irreparably broken Polaroid Land Camera 450. But that camera lives on in a way, with its Zeiss Ikon finder now mounted to my recently acquired Land Camera 240. For my first pack of color film with the camera, I set up a light in my cousin’s back yard and took a few portraits of Bridget and Suki:

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Between the 1967 Land Camera 240 and my all-plastic Colorpack II, I’ve become quite addicted to shooting pack film lately. Here are some frames taken with the latter, which, though lacking in finesse when compared to the 240, is still a blast to shoot with:

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One of the cool things about the Colorpack II is that it takes those Blue Dot Flash Cubes. Not a very refined light source, but still a ton of fun:

You know, in today’s very digital world, pulling a developed print out of one of these beautiful cameras feels downright miraculous. I think it’s about time I loaded my freezer up with pack film!

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Polaroid Land Camera 240 | Polaroid Colorpack II | Fuji FP-100C | Fuji FP-3000B

Written by Jonathan

March 5, 2013 at 7:48 am

A Bit More NightLife

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Among all the different, fascinating things to see at the Academy of Sciences, I usually find the people to be the most interesting element of every visit. So when I go to a NightLife event like this one, my camera is typically pointed at human interaction, either with one another or with the exhibits, as opposed to the actual exhibits themselves.

Below is a wide view of the inside of Rainforests of the World, an exhibit housed in a huge, climate-regulated glass dome. The image is a motion panorama, stitched automatically by my Fuji X100. It worked well enough, though if you look closely you’ll see a few misplaced limbs, a chopped off head, and a girl with a curiously long nose. Gruesome…

Below the rainforest you’ll find the “humans-holding-their-cellphones-skyward” exhibit. Fascinating!

This particular NightLife’s theme was photography. I kinda sorta might possibly be interested in that. ;)

The folks from the recently opened Lomography store in San Francisco were on hand to demo a variety of funky cameras, including the Lomo LC-A with a Polaroid back pictured above. Way. Cool. I also had a chance to play with the new Lytro Light Field camera (that weird rectangular thing, also pictured above).

I think Bridget had the coolest camera of all, however. Whenever I get my scanner fixed, I’ll have to post shots from her Polaroid!

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All images: Fuji X100
RAWs processed in Lightroom 4

Written by Jonathan

March 16, 2012 at 8:42 am

Reviving a Vintage Camera

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Fuji X100 | 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 1250

Ever since Photobooth’s grand opening, I’ve been thinking about the two Polaroid cameras I recently found among boxes of old photo gear my dad gave me. The first one I discovered was an all-plastic model. Pretty cool. The second one, however, is a much more exciting camera. We brought both to Photobooth, but the Land Camera 450 pictured above is what got all the love and attention.

The 450 is a beautifully made, vintage Polaroid camera, fully loaded with an all glass lens, auto-exposure system, and a big, bright Zeiss Ikon finder for focusing and composing. Unlike my plastic model, the 450 has a solid metal build, folds down into its own case, and has a cool-looking leather strap:

Vince, one of the studio’s owners and an expert on Polaroid cameras, was very helpful in getting us started. After making sure it was in working order (to our surprise, the battery that drives auto-exposure still had juice), we purchased two packs of Fujifilm cartridges and learned how to load up the camera:

Land Camera 450 training: Framing up your subject, focus, cock the shutter, release the shutter. Bridget gave it a try first:


Fuji X100 |  1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 800

What to photograph for our very first instant print? Hmm…


Fuji X100 | 1/950 sec, f/4, ISO 800

Ok, here’s the tricky part. The Fujifilm stuff seems to be a little thicker than the original Polaroid Pack Film the camera was designed for, so we had to be really careful when pulling out the first 3 or 4 exposures. Those first few frames are pretty tightly packed:


Fuji X100 | 1/250 sec, f/4.5, ISO 800

Get the frame out, wait about a minute, and…drum roll!

Keep the drumroll going….


Fuji X100 | 1/240 sec, f/4, ISO 400

You wouldn’t think this would be such a big deal, right? But when I first saw this print, I was completely and utterly giddy. Like, hop up and down and clap your hands giddy (not that I did that, but you know). The entire process felt more like forging a picture instead of just taking one. I was instantly hooked.


Fuji X100 | 1/850 sec, f/16, ISO 800

Suki wasn’t as excited.

The late afternoon light was beautiful, and what better way wind down the day than to go out on a photo walk with our “new” camera around one shoulder and digital camera around the other:

Outside the studio, we got little anxious with our first film cartridge and damaged a few frames trying to yank the tightly packed film out. At a little over a dollar per click, it’s not something we wanted to make a habit out of, but hey, you have to learn somehow.


Fuji X100 |  1/750 sec, f/10, ISO 400 (Provia Film Sim)

The Mission District surrounding Photobooth is such a great place for a photo walk. I took the above with the X100, and then took the same shot with the Land Camera 450:


Polaroid Land Camera 450 | Fuji FP-100C Color Instant Film

The super sharp, high-resolution, colorful digital file looks great, but there’s something really special about the instant print. These scans seem to lack the contrast of the actual prints, which look fantastic right next to my keyboard as I type this.


Fuji X100 | 1/140 sec, f/2.2, ISO 200

Here’s a frame that got jammed in the cartridge as we tried to pull it out of the camera. Even though the print didn’t properly develop as a result, I kind of like how it turned out. I think the damage gives it character:


Polaroid Land Camera 450 | Fuji FP-100C Color Instant Film


Fuji X100 |  1/125 sec, f/2, ISO 1250

Bridget tried mightily to get a frame of me taking a picture of her. She did great, but again, the frame jammed.

As the picture above (right) shows, we had to place our prints right on the ground as we stopped to take photos since we had no place to store them as we walked about. I think Suki stepped on one of them at one point. More character. =)


Polaroid Land Camera 450 | Fuji FP-100C Color Instant Film

Way to go Jonathan, ignore the shadow from your big head in the frame. That’s ok, I can just photosho–aw, wait a minute…


Polaroid Land Camera 450 | Fuji FP-100C Color Instant Film


Polaroid Land  Camera 450 | Fuji FP-100C Color Instant Film


Fuji X100 | 1/450 sec, f/2, ISO 400


Fuji X100 | 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 800


Fuji X100 | 1/160 sec, f/2.5, ISO 400


Polaroid Land Camera 450 | Fuji FP-100C Color Instant Film

I was hoping the two cartridges we purchased would last a couple weeks. We ended up shooting both within an hour. Oops!

To think this beautiful camera has been sitting in storage for decades, a little box of fun that I didn’t even realize was there all these years. Well Mr. Land Camera, you have a second shot at life now. Let’s make pictures.

Written by Jonathan

September 6, 2011 at 6:37 pm

Photobooth Opening On Valencia

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Last night we headed to Photobooth, a brand new studio in the Mission District that features all things Polaroid. The first thing that drew my eyes as I entered the studio were these amazing, 4×5 blow ups of tintype portraits at the back of the studio:

The place was jam packed when we first arrived. With free food, drinks, and music going, this turned out to be a great Saturday evening hangout. The shop wasn’t set up for selling retail items just yet, but we had with us an old Polaroid camera that we found somewhere the house. Brought it to one of the owners, a really cool guy, who assured me that he has the film I need and can show me how to use the thing (you can see Bridget holding it above).

The retail store will be selling all sorts of Polaroid films from the Impossible Project, as well as Lomography gear and items created by local artists:

Speaking of local artists, we had a blast meeting other photographers there, including the Lomo expert below who stabbed me in the eye with a yard stick to make sure I was in focus. Now that’s what I call a rangefinder! Ok she didn’t really stab me….nice meeting you Amy. =)

Even ran into someone who had the Russia Day limited edition L-CA+. Then there was the guy who stuck his macro lens equipped DSLR into a tube connected to an older camera. Very interesting.

The center of attention back inside the studio was the Polaroid rig, a beautiful piece of equipment indeed:

I ordered up a tintype portrait of Bridget and watched the photographer do his thing:

It was all over in seconds, and the print went to the back to develop and dry off:

Looks pretty hot if you ask me! I’d love to get a 4×5 blow up of this image. Such a cool experience! I’ll definitely be back here to get some Polaroid film, and I’m pretty excited that we have a shop like this in San Francisco now.

All Images: Fuji X100 (Provia/Astia)

Photobooth SF
1193 Valencia Street @ 23rd.
San Francisco, CA 94110
Open: Wed- Th 1-8, Fri – Sun 1-9
www.photoboothsf.com

Written by Jonathan

August 21, 2011 at 12:42 am