Sunday, December 21, 2008

New lenses, new films, good times.

A couple things to talk about, mostly Polaroid related (of course). First, it's a funky eBay purchase I recently made...a set of Polaroid camera accessories, mostly redundant and completely useless. Check this out:

And that's minus a couple boxes I gave to a friend. For $9.99, I got five copiers for Swinger 20s, one copier for the Big Swinger 3000, two lens sets for 100 series cameras, one lens set for the Swinger 20, and one lens set for the Big Swinger 3000. The latter was the one I was interested in, as that's the only (usable) camera I have of the bunch. I think Kalimar is the Japanese company name, and Kaligar is the imported brand.
So I tried out the Big Swinger 3000 set. It comes with a wide-angle lens, a telephoto lens and a viewfinder attachment, all in a nice little case. Unfortunately, the velvety red interior is now red dust.

Here is the naked Big Swinger 3000...

And with a lens attached...

Not exactly elegant, but still pretty cool. So how do they work? I didn't want to waste a bunch of film doing the same shot with each lens more than once, so I just did one scene for comparison, using Fuji FP-3000B. First is a natural shot, no extra lens.

Then the telephoto lens...

And then the wide-angle lens...

The only reason the last shot is lighter is because I was messing with the exposure, as the first two were so dark. It was a very cloudy, chilly day, so the light was low. Definitely a difference between the three! I actually think I like the telephoto shot. It warps the sides a bit and has a nice vignette. They will be interesting to use with some people in the shots. This is a closer shot taken with the telephoto lens.

Can't really tell, but it would be framed much tighter without the lens. Very dark, as well. It was a dark corner of a building, but this brings up the main problem with the lenses. The YES exposure system has a bit of trouble functioning through the extra glass. The system is technically all manual. You twist the knob until you can see YES in the window, which is really just opening and closing the aperture (the camera only shoots at one speed). With the lens attached, you can barely see the YES at all, so after a couple shots I found myself taking the lens off to set the exposure.
Here are a couple goops from above.

One of the few times I've gotten solarization from FP-3000B. I think it must have something to do with temperature while developing, because it was probably 38F outside. So, anyway, another toy to play with. Oh, here is a copier...

I'll mess with it at some point, but I'm not sure quite how it works. For one thing, you are supposed to be at least five feet from your subject when using the camera. And I'm not sure how you get enough light to expose your copy without getting reflection. The Big Swinger 3000 was a cheap camera, so it's not like this is a professional studio setup. According to the box, you just attach it to the camera like above, with nothing about an additional lens. It says you can take close-up shots with it as well, which makes very little sense to me, knowing the basics of focal lengths, etc.
Actually, I'm going to leave all that there, but try it right now. Duh. I used a frame from a Peanuts comic.

Ummm...yeah. About what I expected. I fired the shutter twice because I knew there wouldn't be enough light available. You can see the frame edge in the shot, as well. Sooo...let's try one with the telephoto lens. I know it won't work, but maybe it will.

Nope, even worse. So, I have no idea. There must be a close-up lens you are supposed to use, but it says nothing about it on the box. It just pretends you can hook it to the camera and magically take shots from four inches away. Oh well, still interesting.
A quick bit about the new Polaroid films from Polapremium, 100 Chocolate and 100 Sepia. I was going to save this for a separate post, as these things tend to go a bit long, but I want to get it over with while I'm in the mood (baby).
I didn't buy any 100 Blue, but I may at some point. It might work well for the summer monsoon. First is the 100 Chocolate.

I've used the original Type 80 Chocolate...this is just more of the same tastiness, except more of it. I shot a pack in my Colorpack III and was very pleased with the results. Chocolate is one of my favorites, and the 100 didn't disappoint. Lovely texture, lovely tones. Gives many of the photos a watercolor effect. Here are a few examples...

Then we have the 100 Sepia.

It's a bit of an odd man out, sitting at 1500 ISO. This makes it difficult to use in a non-manual Polaroid camera (though people have gotten decent results from some of them, so far). I used my 180 so I could take advantage of the exposure range. I started I think at about F16 and 125. It was a dark day, so adjustments will be made depending on light. It's an interesting film, very much like 667 with a sepia undertone. It's cold and warm at the same time. It has the cold, harsh look of 667 while still having a wider range between the light and dark areas. And with the sepia adding a bit of warmth, the effect is different than any other available Polaroid film. A few shots, of course...

You can see the wide exposure range, from under to overexposed. I don't use a light meter or anything, but that keeps things interesting. As an added bonus, it makes a nice goop, as well. Much like 667 and Fuji FP-3000B, but a bit softer.

That's it for now. Next time I want to show you some Polaroid film that expired in 1989, and it still works! I leave you with a shot of a sweet batch of 120 film I picked up for cheap, all expired between 1969 and 1972.

I love Verichrome and it usually ages very well. It will be interesting to use the vintage slide film, also. Seeya, peeps. Happy Holidays, whatever you happen to celebrate.


  1. Holy shit! I have that! Thanks Sean, I just got a kaligar set in a box of stuff from my grandfather (his old collection of equipment). An unenthusiastic search a couple of weeks ago yielded nothing.

  2. Thanks for the POST. Nice work!

  3. hello, moominstuff.What u did was superb!

    I dont know polaroid can do such wonders!

  4. Love it. Those shots on the chocolate are particularly amazing!

  5. Hey Moomster... GREAT blog. I read it often.

    Anyhoo... as this post is relatively ancient, I'm sure you've figured this out by now... but that Swinger 3000 copy stand is missing its lens. I have a number of other Kaligar copy stands for various models, and they all come with a little drop-in lens held in place by a screw-on mounting ring.