So I bought my girlfriend 10 packs of Fuji Instax film ages ago but she she cherishes the film so much that she doesn’t like to “waste” it so it there were a couple of packs lying around so I got thinking how cool it would be to put some in my medium format SLR. A little research later turned up that I wasn’t the first person to come up with this idea. I found this discussion on Flickr where this guy had taken Instax film out of the plastic cartidge and shot it in his Mamiya Press and then put it back in the Instax camera to “develop” the picture.
Unlike the peel-apart, instant film I have used before Instax is an integral instant film in that it has the chemicals in the sachet (sachet?) at the bottom and when the film is ejected from the camera, the motors drive it between two rollers which spread the chemicals evenly across the latent image which causes development.
Using this video by Flickr user Crunchy Footsteps (Such a cool name!) I learnt how to remove the pieces of film from the cartridge.
In the darkroom I took the film out and put in my RZ67 120 magazine. The film lays across the focal plane nicely and is sandwiched and held in place in by the film holder. The Instax film is rated at ISO 800 so using a light meter I measured the exposures and took the shots exactly as normal.
Improvising I used the center column from a Paterson developing tank to roll/develop the shot.
As you can see it hasn’t come out that great. This is due to the developer not getting even coverage and the rolling action not being completely flat and imparting a texture. This scan shows the back of one of the pictures above (Guess which one?). You can see where the developer hasn’t covered completely.
To try and solve this issue I borrowed a print roller from the silk screen room and tried using that to issue a consistant pressure across the photo.
This didn’t exactly go to plan and I ended up exploding the sachet of developer..
I was going to to leave it there but then I got myself a RZ67 Polaroid back.
The rollers inside are actually removable for cleaning so I decided to have another go. The first shot I tried using some folded paper to help guide it through but it seems this added a texture to the image so the second go I just eased it through. Here are the results:
The patterns at the bottom (or top? Obviously the camera lens flips the light coming in. I didn’t realise this until just now. I thought I was putting it the wrong way in the dark..) are quite interesting. I think it is where I pulled up at the end. You can see on the last image that I actually burst the sachet again, but only a little. All in all a good experiment. Almost instant pictures…