Polaroid Automatic 100 Strobist

Polaroid Automatic 100 Land Camera

So here’s another “project camera” that I got up and running the other day, a Polaroid Automatic 100 Land Camera.  I’ve written and posted about these pack film cameras before, with the Pro Pack and Automatic 104, but wanted to get this one to work because this was the first and original one from the early 1960’s.  The old world craftsmanship, from the milled aluminum body, to the folding design and glass lens still makes this an impressive camera.  In the picture above I have it hooked up to Pocket Wizards, which in turn trigger a Nikon SB-800 in A mode, set for f/8 and ISO 100.

…As an aside, these days we all apply filters to camera phone pictures, trying to perhaps get more attachment, a sense of romanticism to random images.  In trying to add qualities of being aged or treasured to some bits and pixels floating in the vacuum tubes, I think everyone’s missing the point here, and it’s not even about film versus digital, it’s about the print versus …well, the nothingness.  We never had that problem with film because the prints were part of the process, the end result, a tangible memory to keep.  No matter how the image gets captured, people need to think about printing some out.  It removes it from the forums of empty compliments, and places it in this world.  Surely I’m not the only one that remembers having physical pictures of loved ones in your wallet and shoeboxes.  I know with all this technology it has given us all the power to scream and shout that we were here, but in the quiet times a little photograph has such lasting power.  It’s hard to lose photographic prints, they can make the trek from location to location, but alas I can’t remember what digital photo was popular last week on the interwebs, you know, the one at the party with the group I wasn’t with, or even the one standing next to you…

The camera uses the peel apart Fujifilm FP100C, which normally looks like this after the 1.5 minute or so development time when you pull it from the camera.  As you can see, we have the color picture and the negative with the chemicals that usually ends up thrown away.

Hiiii Rosy Cheeks! 🙂

The following 3 pictures are from the Polaroid 100 Strobist combo.

Instead of throwing away the chemical layer, we can save it and rescan if necessary.  This is what the negatives look like after scrubbing off the black backing with the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. I taped each one to an old CD case and then placed under running water.  After importing in Capture NX I do the color conversion.

The FP100C negatives really show more detail, as that little lens is sharp.

I found another use for our LED light panel, using it as a light table to “scan” the recovered Fuji FP100C negatives!  Basically just taped up, photographed with the 105mm Micro and color inverted and corrected in Capture NX2.

I think my viewfinder is off a bit because I do frame the subject with ample room above the head, but it always crops. What a great costume!

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