Polaroid 195 & Fuji FP100C
by Adam Laws
Hope this correspondence finds you well.
It’s been quite some time since I submitted a feature but with the much talked about demise of peel apart film I thought it would be fitting to post my thoughts/images/tribute to the much-loved format.
The below shots were taken on a Polaroid 195 a somewhat rare vintage manual Polaroid camera capable of shooting at an aperture of F3.8.
Unlike many 195’s I have kept the original twin viewfinder. Personally I find this view finder more accurate than the Zeiss VF found on the likes of the Polaroid 250, however I do admit it makes the process of shooting the 195 somewhat slow, yet it’s such a joy to shoot a manual vintage Polaroid I don’t mind savouring the moment.
I generally shoot Polaroids to break up and give some diversity to my portraits. I always get such a great reaction from my models when I shoot with it, and as I’ve described before when you point what might be considered a large antiquated camera at an individual you tend to find your subject all of the sudden takes things rather more seriously, which always makes me laugh as I generally try to keep things as relaxed as possible. It’s still a wonderful experience to have a real tangible image appear after a minute or so, which you can share.
FP100c was always a joy to use. Although the 100 speed film was limiting and future generations will not know the frustration of how a freshly peeled film had a magic ability to attract all dust within a mile radius the beautiful tonality of the film made up for it. In addition the ability of transferring print from the negative to a sheet of paper was always quite fun even if the results did vary considerably for myself.
I fear after my small stockpile of film is consumed this beautiful camera will be relegated to a shelf queen, and the joys of shooting with FP100c will be a distant memory. I have Lomo instax wide to continue my love of instant film (And an sx70 in urgent need of repair) but instax film feels somewhat cheap compared to the images produced with peel apart film and the lack of a manual instax is somewhat frustrating.
Anyway I hope you all enjoy the images hopefully viewing them with a cup of tea and slice of cake.
Models include the most gracious:
Adam…What are your thoughts now a few months later about the viability of the Land Cameras. I have almost bought several of these cameras several times, but it does not look like they will be viable moving forward
Good morning Baron, sadly I don’t believe the format is no longer viable. So much so I sold my beloved 195.
On a good note film stock has now reduced in price (After the announcement prices were obscene) but in the long term the prices will only increase one would assume. With the film expiring in 2017/18 unless kept in cold storage.
I still have a polaroid sx70 in mint condition with original leather pouch. I barely use it. Indeed the impossible films are bad. They become blueish and faint. Didn’t know a new type comes out.
They have been developing new version for awhile. Beta packs go on sale every so often. Hopefully the new formula is much improved as at the hefty price you would hope it would be better.
Unfortunately Fuji announce few days ago the discontinuation of pack film fp-100c
Please sign this petition and share it with your freinds
Thanks for posting the link, I should have done that. Let’s hope someone and Fuji listens.
It’s nice to see something where it’s not all about sharpness and fancy gear. Great captures Adam! Love the mood in the images and the editing!
Thank you kind sir
That’s pure magic, Adam. Another perfect example that sharpness has nothing to do with overall impression from picture. Happy that I was able to see it.
Thank you for your kind words.
Sharpness, grrr, the industries whole ‘quest’ for sharpness is getting somewhat farcical now all in an effort to sell new equipment. Creativity or art isn’t defined by a sharpness table after all.
I’ve taken thousands of Polaroid 195 Photos in nightclubs around LA. It’s a beautiful machine.
That it is. Have you got them online? I would love to see them.
Nice work.. you really show off the potential for Polaroids.. actually, it inspires me because if you have a good eye and can make a good composition with great lighting, as you’ve obviously done here, then one should be able to apply such skillful techniques to any medium.
I totally concur Wing. Sensor/film size Or sharpness does not make an image.
I never used a Polaroid camera in my life. I love these photos and am saddened by the demise of such beautiful image making machines. Can the “Impossible Project ” supply any options?
Thank you for your kind words.
Alas currently there is no alternative to Fuji pack film, hopefully impossible come to the rescue for the land style cameras and the medium format Polaroid film backs.
The film Impossible makes for the 600 series and sx-70 still requires further development. Hopefully version 2 will be out soon for those cameras as current variant takes 40 minutes to develop. There is also no manual camera options for this film, which always gives fun but hit and miss results.
Really nice work, Adam. Although I never owned a Polaroid camera, I always thought it was very cool stuff. Isn’t the Impossible Project working on some new production of Polaroid film?
Beautiful women you’ve photographed,although I’ve heard that a pretty woman is a one with her clothes on (is not quite applicable).I will appreciate some closer face images
Afternoon Filip thanks for the comment. You require a close up adapter for most pack film cameras for closer portraits, which are somewhat hard to obtain. But I totally agree, I generally shoot very close creative portraits, which on this style of land camera/polaroid is very hard to achieve.
I think, I’ve seen these images before and they’re still good stuff!