Steven Brokaw Photography

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Polaroid Colorpack II - Retro Goodness

The first shot after I bought the film - Behind Roberts Camera in Indianapolis
I’m a photography podcast fanboy and recently watched a podcast by Chase Javis on his InvitationToHang project in NYC from last year.  The podcast showed the cameras he was using for the project.  Several were old school Polaroid cameras.  As I watched the podcast it was POW…flashback.  I used to shoot Polaroid cameras, and I thought to myself, I bet I still have one.

Anyway one thing led to another and I dug up my old Polaroid, a Polaroid Spectra 2.  It had been collecting dust as I was now a fully committed digital shooter.  Just for giggles, I went to Roberts to see if they had any film for the Spectra and they said nope.  They did however have film for the 600 series and Fujifilm for the ColorPack series. Note, I’ll post another blog on the Spectra as I did get some film online from the ImpossibleProject.

Anyway since I didn’t find any film for my Spectra camera, I went on a personal mission to find a ColorPack or 600 series Polaroid camera.  I wanted to get one as cheaply as possible. Guess what – SUCCESS.  I went to a local Goodwill Outlet and I found this beauty.

Polaroid Colorpack II instant camera in good working order
I grabbed it and the final price, only $1.  I thought to myself, even if it didn’t work, come on Steve, it’s only a buck.  I brought the dusty beast home and cleaned the outside & the corrosion in the battery area.  The next day I went back to Roberts and bought a pack of 100 ISO color Fujifilm and a 3000 ISO black & white Fujifilm.  I loaded the color film, held my breath and guess what, it worked.  Sweet.

Today I went out and shot the full color pack (only 10 photos) and, it’s fun.  This pack was basically just to figure out how to dial in the camera, and figure out how to use it.  At 100 ISO a sunny day means you have some blown out or images pushing the right side of the histogram.  There is a dial on the front that you can dial to darken or lighten and I found outside I needed to turn it to full darken and the images came out fine.  The images below have one shot with "normal" setting, and the second with the dial set to "darken"

I also shot a couple of images inside earlier and the results were no good.  WAY too dark for 100 ISO file.  Looks like I need to find some Flashcubes online.

Ambient light without a flashcube with 100 ISO film - EPIC fail
The fun thing about this camera is that it’s manual focus and that’s about it.  You basically point and shoot.  The lens ring has distance markings on it that you turn to the right distance of your subject.  Since this is NOT a DSLR you are doing lots of guessing to get the focus right.  However, in my first film pack that didn’t seem to be an issue.

The second fun thing about this camera is that once you shoot a photo, you “pull” the film out of the camera and let it develop.  Very old school.

The only drawback to this camera is that the film is somewhat expensive.  A 10-pack is in the $15 range.  Not as expensive as the 600 or Spectra type film, but unlike a digital camera you want each shot to count.

Bottomline, good times and a fun compliment to digital.

Polaroid A-Go-Go

Shamless Self Promotion Alert - f/2.8