Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I'd like to share Ellen Jo Roberts' POLAROID Blog

"The world is a terrible place without Polaroid."- John Waters

Polaroid BIG SHOT

Like me, Ellen Jo Roberts LOVES Polaroid.

Polaroid One600 Classic Instant Camera

She recently wrote an article on Polaroid which I was thrilled to contribute. The article was published in the July 2010 issue of an Arizona arts & newspaper called The Noise.

The online version is posted on Ellen Jo's blog. Please check it out by following this link:

Ellen Jo Roberts is a artist, writer & shutterbug currently living in Clarkdale, AZ, USA.
Her Flickr Photostream

Saturday, June 19, 2010

POLAROID BURN: Polaroid Obsession & Its Dangers

Polaroid Pack Film

I loaded my (recently acquired) 1963 Polaroid 100 Automatic Camera with a pack of Polaroid 690 film (actually re-boxed Fujifilm FP-100c! – read on), set up my shot and fired the shutter. Great shot!

Polaroid Automatic 100 Land Camera

I pulled the white tab only to have it “snap” rip, leaving me dumbfounded. (You see the magic of Polaroid pack film occurs when you pull the film out of the camera through the internal camera rollers that releases the developer onto the print. The one and only “lifeline” has ripped! What to do?)

Roller cleaning directions
photo by Flickr photographer Elijah /

I walked over to a dark part of my studio and gently opened the back of the camera. “If I could grab the other end of the ripped piece,” I thought to myself. I did manage to grab the ripped tail of the white tab, gently inch it out, close the back of the camera and pull.

Polaroid Pack Chemical Mishap

Two shots wound up coming out of the camera at the same time, oozing caustic developing chemicals all over the camera rollers, camera door and my fingers. Rushing over to my workbench, I “jacked open” the camera, ejected the oozy film into the trash bin and evaluated the situation. Evaluation cut short by the burning sensation on my fingertips.

Polaroid Chem Burns
Burned fingertips after washing them

Once I washed my hands I sat back down to establish the damage report. The developer chemical spill was isolated to the roller area. Unlike newer pack cameras, these rollers don’t pop out for a quick cleaning. I learned this the hard way when I thought it would pop out but instead a large cotter pin on one side of the rollers fell out of the camera, leaving one side of the rollers gaping open.

Polaroid Chem Spill

It took a good hour to ponder, repair and clean. An additional ten minutes to decide whether to load another pack of film.

I loaded a pack of Fujifilm FP-100c, set up my shot, fired the shutter, removed the camera from the tripod and headed back to the work bench. I ever so carefully applied an even (rocking motion) tension as I pulled the white tab to eject the first exposure. Success. End of Polaroid Burn #2.

Earlier in the day, I was in Fairfield, NJ and stopped into the Unique Photo Super Store.

The beautiful thing about visiting a Super Store is the joy of seeing lots of film displayed on the “floor” in isle displays. A glorious and rare site!

Unique Photo Super Store
photo by Henrique Couto /

I stocked up on Fujifilm FP-100c, FP-3000b as well as the discontinued Polaroid films 664 (100asa BW), 690 (100asa color) and 667 (3000asa BW).

I was going to purchase two packs of Polaroid 600 film as well but decided against it when the clerk kindly told me that each pack was $50. each(!!!) I said, “You’re kidding.” He said “No, the price was recently raised because our supply is so low.” Wow, that’s $5. per picture!

Goodbye Polaroid Fun

Hey, I understand and agree with free enterprise but I can’t help but feel that it’s wildly unfair to raise the already unfair (previous price) of $30. to $50. per 10 image pack.

Back at the studio, I compulsively stacked the film in my film shelf. I opened the Polaroid 690 film to discover that the film inside was actually Fujifilm FP-100c! That’s right…the box is a Polaroid 690 box and the film inside was a sealed FP-100c package of film. Flag on the field…foul play! Polaroid Burn #1!

Polaroid Saturday 6/19/2010

Ouch. Two burns in one day and some dodgy shenanigans by Unique Photo BUT…lets look at the positive side…I now know how to disassemble and reassemble the rollers on the 100 series of Polaroid Pack Cameras. That’s something, right!

The Film Photography Internet Radio Show

Film Photography Podcast Flickr Group

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Episode 9 - June 15, 2010 – SHOW NOTES

The gang reviews the new Polaroid 300 Instant Film Camera, Ukulele rocker Henrique Couto’s 35mm project, Lomo-Like results with a vintage Kodak cameras, 35mm film and Polaroid 600 camera giveaway and more!!! Hosted by Michael Raso and Duane Polcou and special guest John Fedele.

On June 15th, we shot our First-Ever video of my Polaroid 300 camera review.


Here’s a Flickr Set of some Polaroid 300 images taken in the last 30 days

More at


Duane Polcou chatted a bit about Marty Forscher.
“His best-known invention, patented in 1982, was the Pro-Back, a Polaroid attachment for a 35-millimeter camera that gave photographers an immediate proof print, letting them test a shot without having to wait for the film to be developed. Mr. Forscher also created an early compact motor drive for still cameras.”

Sadly, Mr. Forscher passed away in 2009.


Podcast listener Clifford Davis suggested the Black Cat Exposure Guide for picking your exposure without using a meter.

Here is another exposure guide at WikiBooks


Ukulele rocker Henrique Couto was our extra special guest. He just released his first CD. Folks who purchase his deluxe album get an exposed “mystery roll” of 35mm film. Henrique discussed his music and this odd film project.

Henrique Couto - Uke or Die


Brian Duffy, whose photographs helped define the mood of the Swinging Sixties, has died aged 76. Together with David Bailey and Terence Donovan, Duffy formed part of the trinity of photographers who became as famous as the models, musicians and film stars they worked with.

Brian Duffy obit


The Trackman called in to see if his Dad’s Ansco Clipper arrived at the FPP studio. The Anco Clipper camera was made in the 1940s in the UD and uses type 616 film.

Ansco Clipper 616 Camera

I was able to locate an additional 616 spool, so I rolled 120 film to the 616 spool in a film changing bag.

More on the Clipper at Camerapedia.

below: Image shot with the Trackman’s Ansco Clipper

Ansco Clipper 616 Camera / Butler Center USA


Get Lomo-Like images at a fraction of the cost of a Holga with a vintage Kodak – the Kodak Holiday Flash

1953 Kodak Holiday Flash Camera

These cameras are very, very inexpensive on e-bay and if you’re lucky, you’ll get one with a “lagging” shutter – which will produce this dreamy effect. (Image Below)

Kodak Holiday Flash / 127 film

Polaroid 600 OneStep CloseUp Camera

We’re giving away a Polaroid 600 One Step Close-Up Camera this month! Winner announced on the July 15, 2010 Film Photography Podcast.

To enter send an e-mail to
Give us your name, address and tell us a little bit about yourself.
Please get entries in by July 5, 2010


We’re GIVING AWAY film too!

Film Photography Podcast

Matt Haines /
donated 18 rolls of gently expired Kodak Portra 400 35mm film
Send us an e-mail if you’d like to try one! (Good while supply lasts)
Send an e-mail to


Only 6 months left to shoot and develop Kodak Kodachrome film

Kodachrome 64

12/31/2010 is the last day that Dwayne’s (the only Kodachrome processor in the world) will process this discontinued stock. If you are committed to shooting a roll of 35mm Kodachrome, please send me an e-mail. If I have any left in my private vault, I’ll shoot a roll out to you.

Episode 10 is just two weeks away!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

GET HAPPY (with Polaroid!)

Me / photo bt Maxime Juneau
Even before purchasing the cute, little Polaroid 300 camera I’ve been dabbling in Polaroid instant photography. Only in the last month or so has it become all-out Polaroid Mania.

Polaroid 600

Using “The Google” I researched Polaroid present and past, making a list of various cameras that I would like to test. I was amazed to find THOUSANDS of used classic Polaroid cameras on-line.

My latest discovery, next to the SX-70 type cameras and the new Polaroid 300, was the 1960s Polaroid “Pack Cameras.” They’re wonderful cameras and all use the readily available Polaroid 664-type and Fujifilm FP-100/3000 films.

There are millions of Polaroid cameras out there all finding their way to e-bay each hour. Most are very reasonably priced (so many under $ and, in fact, so inexpensive that I’ve purchased a few to be given away on the July 2010 Film Photography pod cast.

Polaroid One600 Camera / PX 600 Silver Shade Film
Inner Athlete Trainer James Jankiewicz / 2006 One600 camera – Impossible PX 600 film

Erin Russ / Polaroid 667
Actress Erin Russ / 1969 Colorpack II camera - Polaroid 667 film

In case you don’t know, The Polaroid instant camera is a type of camera with self-developing film. The invention of modern instant cameras is credited to American scientist Edwin Land, who unveiled the first commercial instant camera, the Land Camera, in 1947, 10 years after founding his Polaroid Corporation. The cameras were hugely popular in the 1970s through the 1990s.

PX-100 Silver Shade Instant Film

In 2008, Polaroid discontinued their instant cameras and film. After a public outcry, Polaroid has admitted that maybe they were a bit hasty in their decision and launched their 300 camera this past April. The oddly-shaped camera produces wallet-sized color images.

Polaroid pic-300 instant film camera

A re-visioning of the “classic” One Step camera is slated for release late this year and independent entrepreneurs The Impossible Project single-handedly released their own film for Polaroid cameras this past March as well!

The Impossible Project - Press Conference 3/22/10
The Impossible Project Press Conference March 2010 / NYC

“Hey, sign my Polaroid of you?”
Rob DeSaro gives a Polaroid smile!

The most AMAZING thing about shooting any Polaroid is the reaction on people’s faces wherever I go to shoot with these cameras. Faces “light up” as the image magically appears. It’s as if the whole digital world has forgotten about the magic of this special film.

This past Saturday I attended the Digger Film Group's New York premiere of their horror documentary “Under The Scares.” I screened their inspirational documentary and took Polaroids with my all-new 300 camera.

Polaroid 300 / Tribecca Montage

Many asked “What’s that camera!?”, marveling at the odd shape and awesome business-sized images that it instantly produced.

Polaroid 300 / Tribecca Montage

In this hi-tech digital world, people still want to hold a print…have a souvenir…and smile.

Smile, Polaroid is back.

In 2009, I launched The Film Photography Podcast, an hour-long, monthly Internet radio program exploring the passion of film photography, covering a wide range of topics relevant to the experienced and aspiring photographer using film as a medium.

Digger Films

The Polaroid 300 Camera

The Land List (Polaroid Catalog On-Line)

Classic Polaroid Camera Repair and Sales

The Impossible Project

Top photo © Maxime Juneau

All other photos © Michael Raso