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Movie Friday: Combining a Polaroid Mannequin 455 and Fujifilm Instax 100 to make a retro Instax Broad digital camera: Digital Pictures Evaluation


Fujifilm discontinued its FP on the spot pack movie in 2016, opting as a substitute to deal with its Instax movie collection. You may nonetheless discover FP on-line, however it’s outdated and costly. Fujifilm Instax Broad On the spot movie is 10.6 x 8.4cm and prices a bit over a greenback per picture, retaining on the spot pictures comparatively accessible.

For Jim Skelton of Emulsive, the Instax Broad movie is sweet, however the Instax 100 digital camera, first launched in 1999, is ‘not solely ugly, clumsy, and noisy, however it additionally would not take the best of images with that 2-element plastic lens.’ Skelton, an skilled digital camera modder, determined that he wished to attempt to hack collectively the ugly Instax digital camera with a significantly better, extra fashionable Polaroid on the spot digital camera.

The modified digital camera, which Skelton dubs the ‘Pola Instax 455,’ is a vintage-looking digital camera that takes far more after the Polaroid a part of its lineage than Fujifilm. Skelton stripped the Instax right down to ‘simply the movie dealing with mechanism.’ This concerned eradicating screws and electronics (together with a shock-risk capacitor) and slicing off the molded lens barrel. This was tough since Skelton wanted to chop it off flush with the movie aircraft whereas retaining the movie ejection mechanism intact.

The Fujifilm Instax 100 and its two-element plastic lens

Rewiring the movie ejection motor proved pretty easy for the skilled Skelton. Nonetheless, the motor gave Skelton points. The motor was operating with its momentum after slicing energy, inflicting a loop of ejecting movie. After a lot fuss, Skelton solved the difficulty by gluing aluminum foil underneath the shutter launch button and doing a little bit of soldering. He later discovered that if he had as a substitute used an Instax Broad 210 digital camera, the difficulty might have been prevented altogether as a result of its shutter button is a micro-switch.

Skelton’s Pola Instax 455

Regardless of what appeared sophisticated on the time, it seems that Skelton had been doing the simple half. Becoming the Instax movie again whereas sustaining the right movie aircraft was difficult. Skelton wanted to make use of a hacksaw and Dremel to noticed components of the Polaroid 455 body. He writes, ‘Whereas hacking into the 455, I regularly tried becoming the Instax again, noting the place it wasn’t becoming, and hacking additional. It was brutal.’ After a variety of slicing and becoming, the Instax again ended up with solely a 6mm rear offset from the unique movie aircraft.

With some custom-fit black closed cell craft foam to seal the realm of the curler within the Instax again, it was time to start out placing all the pieces again collectively. Mounting the again required slicing straps from a tuna can and attaching them to the digital camera utilizing screws from the Instax 100 disassembly. These strips of can block mild.

The again of the Pola Instax 455

After performing some wiring, the final step was transferring the lens physique again 6mm to compensate for the rear offset. Skelton writes, ‘That is a clumsy quantity, because the minimal distance the lens physique might be moved straight again is 18mm, and something lower than 11m will trigger the underside horizontal strut to intervene with the aperture/velocity settings. So I made a decision to strive transferring it again and to the aspect 11mm utilizing spacers and a 3/16″ rod.’

The answer has a few points. The bellows cannot fold completely, which creates kinks. Altering the aperture settings is tough as a result of the digital camera’s horizontal strut is near the aperture dial and lever. After some testing, Skelton decided he wanted to 3D print new horizontal and vertical struts to offset the lens physique appropriately whereas sustaining the complete focusing vary.

Pola Instax 455 with {custom} struts

After all of the exhausting work, is the hacked digital camera good? ‘So now, as a substitute of getting to make use of an unpleasant, clumsy, noisy, mediocre high quality Instax 100 digital camera, I get to make use of a deluxe elegant Polaroid pack movie digital camera with a high-quality 3 factor glass lens to take Instax photographs,’ Skelton writes. ‘It’s at all times enjoyable unfolding the bellows, attaching any equipment just like the portrait/closeup attachments or the flash, then focusing with the rangefinder, cocking the shutter, framing the picture and taking the image.’ Head over to Emulsive to learn Skelton’s full breakdown of the report and see extra pictures.


All pictures credit score: Jim Skelton


About Movie Fridays: We have launched an analog discussion board and in a seamless effort to advertise the enjoyable of the medium, we’ll be sharing film-related content material on Fridays, together with articles from our buddies at 35mmc and KosmoFoto.

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