Saturday, August 25, 2012

Sharp Polaroid Photos

Now this is a little bit of a secret, and I won't be letting the cat completely out of the bag, but I'm working on a project of turning a Polaroid Land Folder into something a little nicer than that. 

Now, we're not talking about radically modifying the camera into something it isn't, but changing some little aspects to the camera to turn it into a much nicer, and far sharper, image taker.

Sure, sharpness is over-rated, but lets face it, when you're subjected to craptastic image after craptastic image when you are craving the sharptastic bokehlicious lovelies that you desire, you have to do something.

So through a little brainstorming, and a desire for better, plus a strong collaboration with John Meadows, we have both come up with a design for a better Polaroid Camera.

The idea behind it is purely driven by the desire for a better, sharper, and more usable Polaroid Image.  As I have started to more focus on gearing myself toward a Portrait Studio setup instead of a "On-Site" setup, I'm finding myself looking for the perfect lighting setup.
Sure enough, I happened to come across some Higher Wattage Compact Flourescent Spiral bulbs which work Beautifully in my Lamp holders.  The light generated from these are nothing short of incredible... 

Shooting on some Fuji FP3000B I'm able to shoot at ƒ/4.5 and 1/200s!  I couldn't believe that, and still getting a beautifully lit model.
As my meter stated that I could shoot at 1600ASA -1EV (3200ASA Equiv) I was getting ƒ/4.5 and 1/60s in the darkest area on the meter.  Although I can't ZONE Meter with Polaroid film, it wasn't too hard to figure out that I would be able to get away with some quick shutter actuations with the FP3000B and the modifications to the camera. 
Test003As stated, I will not be going into details on the modifications made to the camera, but the results speak for themselves.

Shot on a Polaroid 420, using only 2 Hot-Lamps (200W CFL and 150W CFL).  The 200W is bounced off an 33" Parabolic Umbrella, while the 150W is through a soft-box diffuser.

Back-screened on a seamless Black Background, there is no touchup (other than some dust removal after the scan), but there is a slight levels correction as the scan did not match the original print.

Naturally when scanned I have lost a little bit of sharpness, as I am scanning the print, but when I get around to bleaching the negative and scanning that, I'm sure that the sharpness of the image will be retained a fair bit more than in this image. 
Being what it is, I think that this can become a great Portrait camera for some INSTANT portraits in the near future to give customers a "Instant" print and possibly entice them into more, and possibly future, portrait sessions. 
Looking very much forward to the future using this camera, as the images produced are nothing short of amazing!

Until next time everyone, remember to visit our great friends at the FilmPhotographyPodcast.. and keep those shutters firing!

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