Experimentation means having the courage to try new things and take unconventional paths. This time around we tried to expand the use of Instax film. This is not about post development manipulation, like making a transparency for example, this is instead an alternative way to use this film in conjunction with a medium format camera.
If you are wondering why you would ever do that, well as we often say with every experiment that we take on: why not? The fun part of this project is that there is a high chance of light leaks and chemical contamination. This is the point for this experiment; to contaminate creatively and use experimental photography.
Perhaps you have run out of 120 films but you have plenty of Instax packages. What to do then? Easy! Take your Lomo Lubitel 166+, a empty pack of Instax, and a changing bag. Keep in mind that you will need your Lomo’Instant Automat Camera to be able to develop your film. To start the developing reaction every Instax film needs to be pressed through to release the components that are dormant in the back of your film.
To be able to use your Instax film with a medium format, you need to take each rectangular film one by one and load it in your camera back for each picture you want to take. Open your package, and gently extract the first film, and load it in the back of your medium format camera. Make sure to have the sensitive side of your film facing the lens. The correct side is the dark one, while the white is your back.
While doing this there can be the possibility of chemical contamination, because, when we close the back, the delicate layer where the developing process resides can be squeezed and spread on the gelatin.
To get as much exposure as possible, try to center it so that your picture will take advantage of the entirety of the surface available.
Gently close the back, extract the camera from the changing bag, and take your picture. Keep in mind that each film must be loaded in the camera in the same way. So keep your tools nearby.
Another important thing to remember is that Instax film has an 800 ISO sensibility and in daylight they can blow your exposure very easily. That's why it can be a good choice to shoot indoors where available light is less predominant.
After you pressed your shutter, get back to your changing bag and load the film into the empty cassette making sure to have the exposed side facing the lens (the correct side is the dark side of the Instax) when you load it back into your Instant camera. Fire the shutter in the dark and make sure to turn off the flash.
You can either do this inside the changing bag or outside and keep the lens pressed on to you to avoid extra exposure. Each film takes around 90 seconds to fully develop. Once the wait is over: Voilà, enjoy the results!
Where you looking for an experimental way to use your Instax Film? Share your ideas and project in our community