Last month when planning for a long weekend in Paris I started looking at the idea of getting a Polaroid camera for a bit of instant photo fun and figured that Paris would be as good a place as any to try it out with all the romantic views, fresh food and quirky architecture…
The Polaroid camera inspiration initially came from Isla from the Loch Ness Inn in Drumnadrochit who brought a bit of old skool photography to North Hop 2014 with her instant action shots of the festival. It made quite a talking point and I figured it would not only be ideal for holidays but for also capturing all the action at events and having the option of giving folk physical memories to take away!
So the next challenge was of course which instant camera to get…as it is more of a novelty than necessity these days (and an expensive one at that!) there isn’t nearly as many options as you get with digital cameras but there is still a fair few on the market and in order to get the best quality and most cost effective shots you do really need to be careful on which one you go for!
In the end I opted for the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 which takes mini (credit card sized) instant shots from a fairly clumsy but quite lightweight and retro style camera.
So what is the quality like you ask? How much for the camera? How much for the film? So many questions but I’m starting to get used to it now, as I said an instant camera does make for an ‘instant’ talking point. So the package I opted for was £69 for the camera and 20 shots of film from Argos, which was enough to get me up and running to start with.
The film itself can work out quite expensive if you just buy individual packets (packets of 10 shots) but if you go online to eBay or Amazon you can buy bigger packs (40 to 100 shots) which then work out around 80p per photo…not cheap but remember this is a fun, novelty item that you won’t use everyday but will put a smile on your face every time you use it!
The camera comes in a range of pastel shades as well as black and off-white, I opted for off-white but be warned, it will look dirty quite quickly, a flaw that was also spotted by Twitter friend Lara Gilchrist of GladRags and NameTags who’s post you can check out here.
Quality wise, I love it but I think it depends on what you are looking for…if you want a flawless photo that picks up all the details and can be edited to perfection then this camera isn’t for you but if you want a camera that creates excitement and anticipation every time the photo pops out the top to develop and gives you a vintage, unique look then do not hesitate to run out the door now and invest in one!
And each photo is very much a hit or miss…some work and some don’t (remembering to switch it to the recommended setting for each photo sometimes helps!) but what I do really like is that it can sometimes create a totally different feel/vibe to what you were actually planning when you took the shot, that’s the fun part! One aspect I do really love though is having space to write captions below each image…you can’t do that with an iPhone!
Here is a selection of some of the different pics I have taken with it so far…