Alright so i had two potential customers asking me how my RB67 Polaroid Backs work, so it was time to get of my lazy butt and make a demonstration video!
So, some status updated on existing and new products:
- On the Impossible Lab based Polaroid Backs front, you may have noticed that Analogue Studio is now offering Direct to Mamiya RB67 Impossible Lab Conversion kits! now, as well as fully converted backs (subject to the availability Impossible Labs I can find on ebay). These are meant for the Mamiya RB67 shooters and unlike the Impossible Project Lab Polaroid Back for Mamiya Universal Press / RB67 they do not require a P adapter to be used on the RB67. The old hybrid MUP/RB67 kit is still available for those who want the flexibility of being able to use one back on two cameras
- On the same Impossible Lab mods front, I am working (and close to a working prototype) on a second iteration of either MUP or Polaroid 600SE Polaroid back, but with the claws rotated 90 degrees. Why? This way one can use the built in dark slide? So are your pictures going to have the chemistry on the side? Well, if you shoot in landscape mode yes, but both MUP and Polaroid 600SE have a left sided handle and one can easily hold the camera in portait mode, resulting in Polaroid Prints with the chemistry down! Did I forget to mention both cameras also have a second build in tripod socket in the proper place to allow you to mount the camera the same way? Yeap. Excited to offer this option, especially to the appreciable community of Polaroid 600SE shooters.
- Due to the scarcity of Impossible Labs, I have been looking into using currently available itype cameras as the basis for Polaroid Backs. Unlike the Impossible Labs, the itype cameras are of course, real cameras not designed to be used in a manual mode, so the eject electronics is not detached from the rest of the camera electronics. So they require complete replacement of the camera electronics, and a new battery, since the onboard battery is again a sandwich of two 3.7V LiPo cells, now connected in parallel. I’m not here to second guess the decision to do so, but I think a single cell would be easier to service. Of course, these are not really meant to be serviced. Long story short, I have designed replacement electronics that provide automatic eject and they include a user replaceable 3.7 LiPo. So that’s done! Now itype cameras being… cameras, they don’t have a built in dark slide. That was the only design sticking point left, and I’m happy to report I have found a source for custom dark slides. Stay tuned, as this is the way I will take mods. These will not be offered as kits, as they really aren’t, they are full fledged camera rebuilds. I will be able to offer these for RB67, MUP/RB67, MUP only, and Polaroid 600SE only (the latter two rotated 90 degrees). To reiterate, these will have a custom dark slide and automatic eject.
- So what happened with the Instax Wide projects? Well, they are not abandoned. Still have a manual instax wide back on the back burner, and yes, with a dark slide. This is thought for Mamiya MUPs or Polaroid 600SE.
- And the super exciting Instax Square back for Hasselblads series V? Physics and stupidity failed my last attempt. BUT i may still have a way forward with this. Stay tuned. This would still be a motorized back.
- What about an Instax SQ back for RB67? Now that’s something that SHOULD be easy, motorized and all. If I get a breather (and once I setup a second 3d printer, yes, yay, getting a better one), I will probably get this in line, ahead of the Instax SQ for Hasseblad series V.
That’s all. Stay tuned.
So after getting inquiries from several instant media photographers on FB groups, I managed to get off my but and redesign the Instant Lab conversion kit to fit the Polaroid 600SE connectors!
It only took a week of design and drafts, but it’s now officially on the market and available, at the same price at the kits/backs for the MUP/RB67.
A word of caution, just as using these on Mamiya Universal Press cameras, because of the camera eyepiece, the converted Impossible Labs need to be mounted with the eject slot down.
This means the photos will have the chemistry on top. And of course, like with all these conversions, they’ll still be mirror imaged left-right.
Also, just it’s the case with MUPs, the same eyepiece prevents the dark slide removal once the back is attached, so one need to take the dark slide out beforehand. This is unfortunate, but alas, the limitation of the conversion.
I am working on an alternate location for the dark slide for this, but cannot promise anything at the moment…
So go ahead, order one!
And an update to my update from yesterday!
I have tested the Impossible Lab with the replaced battery and everything seems to be in order. By tested I mean I turned it into a Polaroid Back for my RB67 and shot some test shots, everything seems to be fine!
Will be adding the battery replacement to the Candy Store shortly!
This will also be available as an optional upgrade to any complete Polaroid Back I’m selling!
Just a quick note with projects currently in the works:
- a instax wide back based on Fuji 300W, slimmer, and possibly slim enough to maintain the Polaroid 600SE / MUP film distance. At the minimum, this will allow me to use Polaroid 100a/120 for the instax wide mods. This will also be a manual back, not motorized, operated by a single hand crank. About 15% completion (I have figured out one of the masks).
- a Polaroid 600SE kit for the Impossible Labs. This is still in conceptual phase, it’s not hard in principle, but have not taken the time to replace the claws in my existing kit. With some luck, prototype expected by August 30th.
- a battery replacement for the Impossible Labs! I have found a replacement battery requiring minimum modifications to the Impossible Labs and already made the switch, it charges and holds a good charge. Completed 50%, as in have yes modded the lab to be used as a polaroid instant back, the only way I test these now. Test expected by Wednesday August 26th
- An instax square back for Hasseblad series V. This is my most ambitious project to date (and I actually went ahead and purchased a Hasseblad 500CM just to be able to test these). Really looking for a solution that would require the least destruction to the instax square support, and I believe I have found one, but the cost will be substantial, as is based on very expensive Fiber Optic Plate to move the focal plane enough to allow an elegant motorized solution. (may also be able to maintain the automatic timed eject). I have just obtained the necessary Fiber Optic Plate (at a crazy price). Any working solution will be priced around $700 and that will barely cover the materials (as of now). Completion stage is about 10%, as in I have the materials and have opened the support and can do a manual motorized eject (a button pressed to eject). Earliest estimate for completion of a working prototype is end of September 2020.