Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Step one: get some instant film

I know, generally the first step would be to get a camera.  Then if it were in working order, get some film to try in it.  But, I never said I was going to follow the rules.  As a matter of fact, I am so rebellious that instead of following Polaroid's steps of 1. aim and focus, 2. shoot, 3. reset the shutter, and 4. develop the film; I am going to do the steps as 3-1-2-4!  Anyway, back to the film update.

As you can see from the picture below, I received some film today.  I'm starting out with a couple packs of the Fujifilm FP-3000b and a pack of FP-100b.  This is pack film, with 10 - 3 1/4 x 4 1/4 instant prints from each pack.  In case you didn't know, the 3000 and 100 stand for the film ISO.  And the "b" means they are black and white.  As I've mentioned, I'm a big fan of black and white.  And the "FP" stands for... heck, I don't know what that stands for!  But, if I had to guess, it would be Fujifilm Professional.  Now, the FP-3000b is actually rated at 3200.  Why they didn't name it with the accurate number is beyond me.

For some reason, Fujifilm didn't make any ISO sensitivities in between.  So, we get a daylight film and a low light film.  Interestingly, most of the old Polaroid cameras gave you two film speed settings, 75 and 3000.  So, I know that I will have to compensate for the ISO discrepancies.  On many of these old Polaroid cameras, the magic eye will drift over time, so I'll have to compensate for that as well.

Now, ISO 100 will be great for outdoor shooting during the day.  But, in any lower light situations, it's not going to cut it.  That's why I expect to primarily use the 3000.  It will be sensitive enough to shoot indoors and I hope to make it work during the day as well.  Now the problem with shooting film that sensitive during the day is that you may not be able to get things dark enough to prevent overexposure.  There are a couple ways to work around this.  The simplest one would be to use a neutral density filter of some type to steal a few stops of exposure.  Well, I'm not going to have any filters, at least not initially.  The other way would be to use tiny apertures so they don't let much light in.  Most current, modern cameras only go as low as f/16 or f/22.  Now, that's usually fine, unless you are limited to a fastest shutter speed of 1/1200 second with ISO 3200 film.  With those specs to work with, well, let's just say it would be problematic out in the sun.  Luckily, Polaroid planned for this, making much smaller apertures.  As a matter of fact, there was one model, the Polaroid Land 360, which had an aperture that stopped down all the way to f/60!  Oops, I just gave you a hint of my next blog entry.

The FP-3000b film has one, unique characteristic that I think I am going to like.  When you let it develop and peal off the picture, it leaves a negative image on the paper backing.  So, I could give the picture away, then take the backing home and scan it for my own use.  What more could I ask for in an instant film!  Well, ok, maybe I could think of a couple things, but I needless to say, I am looking forward to trying out this particular film.

No comments:

Post a Comment