Lo-Fi: An introduction to #PolaroidWeek, 27 October 2022

Lo-Fi: First experiences with #PolaroidWeek, 27 October 2022

I have never taken part in Polaroid week before, but after my experiences with #theHandle I figured, why not? The week started in 2006 as a celebration of Polaroid film and runs twice a year, in October and April, but has since evolved into recognising all kinds of instant film, not just Polaroid, which is just as well for me since I tend to use Instax a lot.

After the fun I had with the Kodak Handle for the #ShittyCameraChallenge #InstantRegret, I wanted to take part in Polaroid Week but I really wanted to use a Polaroid camera, and at least pay lip service to the Challenge. However, I'm a bit of a cheapskate, and just can't bring myself to fork out 20€ for eight frames of Polaroid film, but I will stretch to two packs of Instax film for the same amount.

It was a great experiment to make the Instax adaptors for the Handle (and gratifying to get such good results) so I figured, why not make some Instax adaptors for the Polaroid 600 instant camera that I have knocking around upstairs? I used the same thin plastic folder as for the Handle and the same procedure for making the Instax holders, it was just the dimensions of the frame that changed.

Within a couple of hours I had two frames (and a cardboard dark slide) that I could load into an old Polaroid 600 cassette and would eject nicely, I made six adaptors in total, but like the adaptors for the Handle, they are very finicky and only two worked successfully. Encouraged, I loaded them up with my last two frames of Instax Rainbow and headed out.

To account for the difference in the ISO of Polaroid film and Instax film I set the exposure compensation of the Polaroid 600 to 'darkest'. The first frame (of the tree) was pretty good, but the film did not pass through the rollers evenly, and at the top of the frame furthest from the pod, the chemicals did not spread evenly. The second frame (of the old shed) was overexposed, and again the chemicals did not spread evenly.

I reloaded the cassette with my last frame of Instax Monochrome and tried once more. Again, the exposure of the horse was good, but the development uneven. However, I was happy that I got something and was encouraged to try again. Ironically, I did so much testing with the adaptors that I have nearly run down the battery in the empty Polaroid 600 cassette and might have to buy another. Still, that's something for the next Polaroid Week in April 2023.

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