Polaroid

A CASE FOR THE FUJIFILM INSTAX PRINTER

SP2 GG.jpg

I never intended to purchase the Fujifilm Instax SP-2 printer, or as it is known on Amazon, the NEW Fujifilm Instax SHARE Smartphone Printer SP-2, when I visited the store the day before Thanksgiving. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been eyeing the SP-2 for several years, and the SP-1 before that. I’ve even gone so far as to pick it up, carry it around the store, only to return it to the shelf prior to checking out.

I suppose I could never make a case for why I needed it, other than it was cool tech. Another reason was price. It always seemed to be just a bit too expensive. Well with the release of the Fujifilm Instax SP-3 (larger print size) and a whole line of Instax cameras, the price has been coming down. So when I saw it on a shelf last week for $90.00, and armed with a 20% coupon, I finally pulled the trigger and purchased it.

Before I continue with how incredible this product is and how I have already put it to real-world use, let me explain exactly what the SP-2 is for those of you who may also need to find a reason to get one.

The SP-2 pairs with your smartphone via the Instax SHARE app and lets you print any photo to Instax mini film. And just like the Polaroids of the past, or present, all you do is wait a few minutes for the film to develop and you have a 1.8” x 2.4” photo framed on a 2.1” x 3.4” card. Perfect for sharing.

When I was in New York City for the Photo Plus Expo the first place I visited was the Fujifilm Wonder Photo Shop located at 176 Fifth Ave., right across from the Flatiron Building. If you want to explore the entire Instax lineup in one place, this is it.

When I was in New York City for the Photo Plus Expo the first place I visited was the Fujifilm Wonder Photo Shop located at 176 Fifth Ave., right across from the Flatiron Building. If you want to explore the entire Instax lineup in one place, this is it.

With most Fujifilm X cameras, you can also print directly from your camera without going through the app. The only disadvantage is you lose the ability to edit your photos or use any of the features offered in the smartphone app.

Additionally, through the app you can sync with Facebook, Instagram or Dropbox and print those photos. Finally, you can always print photos from your DLSR or computer hard drive, you just have to move them to your phone first.

A few other observations before I get on with my story. It is smaller that I expected, which makes it easy to add to your camera bag. There are also many options when choosing film, including monochrome, black frames and frames for all kinds of occasions. Speaking of film, or the real question, what is the cost per print? Your best bet is to purchase twin packs, which gives you two packs of 10, or 20 images total, for about $.80 a print if you shop around.

Back to my story. On the day after Thanksgiving I visited my 94-year-old grandmother at the Masonic Village just outside Philadelphia. After chatting for a while she asked if I had my camera with me because she wanted me to photograph a friend who was only a week away from her 100th birthday. I grabbed my camera and made a half dozen photos of her friend and also a few photos of them together. Just as I was promising to send her some prints, I suddenly remembered the new Instax printer in my backpack.

You can imagine the surprise on my Grandmother’s face as I printed a photo of her friend and another of the two of them. Then printed duplicates. Instant satisfaction and instant smiles for all of us. In that moment it hit me, just how powerful a tool this printer is. And it took me finally purchasing one to truly realize it.


FLICKR TOP TEN - PART II

Kodak Brownie Hawkeye Flash Camera
January 13, 2011. Title: Kodak Brownie Hawkeye Flash Camera Description: Kodak Brownie Hawkeye Flash Model dates from 1950-61. Original cost for the Hawkeye was $5.50 and the flash was $7.00. Stats: 1,561 views, 4 faves, 0 comments Tags: brownie, kodak, hawkeye, camera, vintage, classic. Groups: None.
In Part II of my Flickr top ten blog post, I share photos five through ten, which in some ways are very different from the top five, however, there are also are a few similarities.

Number six, seven and ten, are some of the earliest photos I posted to Flickr and were part of a series I was working on about vintage cameras. I suppose that just given the amount of time they have been on Flickr, naturally they would accumulate views. I did notice that I was not sharing my photos to groups during this time, so realistically views could have been much higher. At some point, I did add number ten to several groups after they reached out to me with a request.

Polaroid Swinger Model 20
January 19, 2011. Title: Polaroid Swinger Model 20 Description: The Polaroid Model 20 Swinger was produced by the Polaroid Corporation between 1965 and 1970 and cost $19.95. Stats: 1,545 views, 0 faves, 0 comments Tags: Polaroid, swinger, model 20, vintage, camera, land camera. Groups: None.
Another thing about these photos is that only 400 views separate the number six photo from the number ten photo. I don't know exactly what that means, except that it stood out to me.

Number eight is another photo which features the Manneken Pis, although in a very different way that my number one most-viewed photo which was featured in Part I. In this photo I was focusing on the three people at the table and it was only later during post production that I notice the woman to the left.

Manneken Waffles
August 18, 2013. Title: Manneken Waffles Description: Manneken Pis is a famous Brussels landmark depicting a naked little boy urinating, and can be seen in advertising all over the city. Stats: 1,515 views, 1 faves, 0 comments Tags: X100S, Fuji, Manneken Pis, Brussels, Belguim, Belgium, advertising, coke. Groups: Fuji x100s
Number nine is a photo that I like, but certainly not one that I would put in my top ten favorites. I notice that many of my photos from Europe, especially those taken in Germany, do very well on my Flickr site. If I continued on down the most viewed list you would see many more photos from Germany and Belgium, including another Manneken Pis in the top twenty.

Cologne Cathedral
August 20, 2013. Title: Cologne Cathedral Description: The Cologne Cathedral is a Roman Catholic church in Cologne, Germany, and the seat of the Archbishop of Cologne and the administration of the Archdiocese of Cologne. Stats: 1,221 views, 2 faves, 0 comments Tags: X100S, Fuji, Cologne Cathedral, Germany, church, catholic. Groups: Cologne black & white, Fuji x100s, Digital Black and White.
This has been a fun two-part post to write and has given me a chance to look back over some photographs  that I posted about the same time that I relaunched this blog in 2011. I am constantly reminded how wonderful it is to have photo sharing sites like Flickr, along with social media, to get your work out there, to be shared and viewed by others. I know it has made me fall in love with photography, particularly, my personal work, all over again.

I think back to when I started taking photographs professionally in 1985 and at that time I never had any idea that my work would be seen by this many people. I'm still a small fish on Flickr, something I'm working on changing, but for now I'm content with my followers and looking at the work of those I follow.

Thank you, and let me know you Flickr username. I'll be sure to visit, leave a comment and follow you.
Majestic Toy Camera
July 26, 2011. Title: Majestic Toy Camera Description: Majestic toy camera from the Monarch Manufacturing Company, Chicago. Stats: 1,140 views, 2 faves, 2 comments Tags: Majestic, Toy Camera, Monarch Mfg.Co., Chicago. Groups: Historic Camera, Camera-wiki.org