blog by Michael Raso
images by Mat Marrash
I met Mat Marrash at the PDN Photo Expo in NYC in 2010. He was already a listener of The Film Photography Podcast and frequently sent e-mails to the FPP google account offering comments and helpful hints. A lifetime student of photography and all around tech junkie, Mat switched from digital to film and hasn't looked back. In 2011, Mat joined me as co-host on the Film Photography Podcast and I recently found out that he owns a Polaroid 420 folding camera. When I asked Mat about his experiences with his 420, he sent me the following response.
"What's not to love about the Polaroid 420 Land Camera? For starters, this baby runs pretty cheap, I scored mine for a cool $5.00us. It only needs a fresh battery and some film, which you can now get both at the FPP store (as well as your own 420!). And with film, you have a surprising amount of options available! You can shoot:
Fuji FP-100c and 3000b (100b BW if you can find it) - gorgeous & saturated
Expired Polaroid 668, 669, 108 (blue/green shifts and edgy),
Impossible repackaged Chocolate, Blue, and Sepia - cool, creative, and sharp
Once you're geared up and ready to shoot, all you have to do is fold it out, focus using its rangefinder, compose, and shoot. For creative control, you can adjust exposure value on the fly from +2 to -1.5 stops. Strobists, even you can rejoice, this thing has a PC flash input!
Yes, the front element is plastic, this shouldn't come as a surprise. If you're looking for the utmost in sharpness, look for an earlier Land 100 or consult The Land List for a better listing of models that contain glass. Otherwise, enjoy the soft, swirly corners this will produce up close. Pictorialism is coming back in a big way, you can be ahead of the curve!
If you're looking for a camera that's fun, gives you a print right on the scene, and is a real crowd-pleaser, look no further than the pack-film cameras, namely the 420. For myself, this camera is my goto for parties, family events, and just plain fun in an instant. There's 40+ million marooned Polaroid cameras out there, give one a home and a fresh pack of film today."
Mat Marrash's website
FPP Polaroid 420 Automatic Land Camera blog series
April-Lea and her Polaroid 420
What is FPP?
The Film Photography Project seeks to inform, engage and inspire amateur and professional photographers working in the traditional film medium. Launched by FPP founder Michael Raso in 2009, FPP provides a forum for photographers from around the globe to share their creative output, challenges and product reviews, while promoting the viability of vintage cameras and film through frequent give-aways and exchange programs. In addition to the Film Photography Podcast Internet Radio Show, the Film Photography Project network of imprints includes the FPP Flickr Page, YouTube Channel, Facebook Group, Twitter Account, newsletter and the Film Photography Project Store.
Michael Raso is passionate about film as a viable and exciting medium for the visual artist, even in this age of digital photography. A photographer, producer and filmmaker working professionally in the visual arts for over 20 years, Michael is also the founder of the Film Photography Project and its fortnightly internet radio show, the Film Photography Podcast. At last count, Michael was actively shooting with over 50 vintage cameras.
FPP Episode Episode 36 - June 1, 2011 features a spotlight on the Polaroid Automatic 420.
Have a question about your film photography? E-mail me anytime!
FilmPhotographyPodcast (AT) gmail.com
Purchase your own Polaroid 420 Camera at the FPP Store!
Content Copyright 2011 Film Photography Project, L.L.C. All Rights Reserved.