World First Instax Square SQ6 modification with a Voigtlander lens

These days I felt in love with the Fuji Instax Square camera. In the era that Polaroid still made new cameras and films, I was only a small kid. Occasionally I had one or two Polaroid taken in the restaurant or in shopping mall during Christmas time. Up to today, I still have the fascination over Polaroid camera as well as its signature square format film. I can still feel the magic of square films. It gave a feeling of classic while Instax mini or Instax Wide format has a more modern feeling.

 

Turn Instax Square into an interchangeable lens camera

It is a good touch for Fuji to re-make the classic while giving it a Fuji twist. The length of the film is exactly the same length as the long edge of Fuji Mini film. What is the implication? The film size exactly fits the covering image zone of a 6×6 lens, which was widely used in twin lens reflex and some old folding camera. I installed the Ross London 75mm lens onto it. Afterwards I switched to a Voigtlander Color-Skopar 80mm lens. All went very well.  It became an interchangeable lens camera.

In terms of composition, I realize the best shooting distance with my lens is 1 meter. This camera strikes the best balance of camera size vs film size. In the past, the Instax mini camera is so convenient but the film size is a bit small. Instax wide has a decent film size yet its camera is a bit too large. Instax Square has attained the best of both world.

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Here are some sample pictures.

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Instax Square SQ6 Modification

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Instax Square SQ6 Modification

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Instax Square SQ6 Modification

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Instax Square SQ6 Modification

Feel free to contact me if you are interested to get your Instax Square modified.

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Took a year to shoot a roll with Canonet QL17 camera

I got this Canonet QL17 last year from a flea market. It is actually a flea market counter setup by a camera shop during Chinese New Year time. Got this at a very low price. The camera is workable but not perfect. Its lens might have little signs of fungus. It looks quite challenging to clean that so I decided to shoot this as is. So there are some issues but none of them can’t be overcome – built-in light meter not working, viewfinder is difficult to focus, a bit heavy, etc.

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It took me a whole year to finish this roll. I took 10 shots or so in the first few weeks. Then I left the camera to my father and sister and thought they might be interested to shoot. At least this was what they said at the time. Eventually they shot none. I took a few pictures here and there when I back to my old home. Recently I decided I should finish the roll to see what I have shot. It took me a week or so to finish the last 15 pictures.

I forgot what I have taken before, not until I got the pictures printed today. The pictures are hilarious. It includes dogs in the street, girl crying, boy laughing and other random pictures. I like the feeling of the pictures. The color tone is emotional. It also has some raw feelings. The occasional out-focus didn’t bother me much. It’s part of life, isn’t it? It usually happened during some interesting moments in dim lighting. Sometimes kids are in action and hence the focus wasn’t that accurate. Strangely it did convey to the audience that the moment was special in this way. The out-focus makes the picture stands out from other “proper” shots.

 

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Black and white pictures with Lego Contessa Nettel camera

Suddenly I wanted to take some black and white pictures with my Lego Contessa Nettel camera. It seems to be a perfect match of black and white pictures with a century old instant camera. It also fits people’s impression of an old cameras.

I felt satisfied to carry such an old object to the street to shoot black and white pictures, especially shooting things like Aliens from Toy Story. It adds some playful elements to it. Who said vintage photography always serious?

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The pictures taken in metro below looks like 30 years ago. It reminds me the old advertisement.

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These pictures were taken with this Lego modified Contessa Nettel camera.

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Lego camera to the beach

It is not the first time I take Lego Instant Camera – Contessa Nettel to the beach. With a camera with 100 years old, we really need to understand its characteristics to realize its full potential.

The old lens made in 1910s don’t have modern coating. It means that it ideally used with a hood. Otherwise it will easily have flare and other optical nuisance. We should avoid taking pictures under bright sunlight. It also applies to other instant cameras. In these pictures, most of them I use F16+1/3, 1/100s to shoot. These are shot at about 4-5pm. The sun is not at its brightest but still offer ambient light. I like these hours and perhaps even so when it is a bit later, such that I can use a more wide-open aperture.

 

IMG_1548.editedIMG_1553.editedIMG_1550.editedIMG_1551.editedIt is always challenging to take pictures for kids. They don’t always follow instructions.

I discovered that the yellowish on the “dot frame” pictures are due to the expired films of one year ago or so, rather than due to the camera. Because in the “comics frame” picture the colour doesn’t show yellowish at all. But I like the yellowish vintage colour tone.

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The blossom

Recently I purchased two plants at home. I’m obsessed to take some instant pictures for them. Focusing and composition are challenging as the objects are so close. The viewfinder are likely to have some biases. I’m using again the Lego instant camera – Contessa Nettel in shooting these pictures.

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Shooting with modified Mini 70

I like shooting with my modified Instax Mini 70 as it is so light and convenient to carry around. Its outlook is modern yet its pictures looks old, thanks to the Ross London F3.8 lens.

 

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Modified Instax Mini 70 with Ross London F3.8

Refer to “Instax Mini 70 modification” for more details on the camera.

Its light size means it doesn’t raise undue attention when I was shooting. I tried to take pictures in the metro and it is just perfect. The lens glass was old. It has some interesting characteristics under the sunlight. It looks a bit yellowish in some pictures. I’m not entirely sure it is purely due to the lens, or because the films are old.

Note that the left picture has the vintage yellowish colour.

I’m using F4, 1/25s to take this pictures. If it is the original Instax Mini 70, it will shoot with flash light and the colour will look very unnatural. Of course, you will also raise the attention of the passengers.

Shooting in the metro. Still go unnoticed.IMG_1543.edited

It is one of my favorite place in HK. The Star Ferry and the clock tower in Tsim Sha Tsui.

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Lego + expired film II

Shooting with expired films is an indulging experience. The pictures are so unique and there are always surprises. I particularly like shooting expired films with people. It reminds me a proverb in Chinese: With clothes the new are the best, with friends the old are the best.

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This is a sequel to “Lego Instant Camera shooting with expired films“.

 

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