Sunday, September 05, 2010

Fuji and Kodak, together again!

I haven't done a post for awhile, busy writing papers for school and all that. I do have more than one project in mind and in progress. Something I've been wanting to talk about for awhile is Fuji integral instant film, and my experiments with Kodak integral film. I've been trying to work out the best way to talk about this since my experience is my own and probably minimal at best...but it may be interesting by the time I finish writing this up!
So, okay, we've all heard of Polaroid film, and most people think of 600 integral film when they think of Polaroid. It looks like this:

There is also the older Time Zero film that looks the "same" as 600...as in it is the same shape. And the newer Impossible Project films, PX 70, PX600 and PX100, that are based on the 600 format. Polaroid made another integral format know as Spectra film. It does not work with 600 style cameras, using...Spectra cameras. It looks like this:

A wider format than 600. The Impossible Project makes a film for these Spectra cameras called PZ 600 Image. While Polaroid films have all been discontinued, these Impossible Project films are available, though finicky and experimental at this early stage. Polaroid also made four more integral formats: Captiva, i-Zone, mio, and Type 300. I haven't used any of these formats, so I don't have anything to say about them!
There are other options for integral films...Fuji films. Fuji does make integral film, and some are readily available in the US, while others are available overseas. I'll talk about those that I have experience with, and a couple of the cameras. There are many, many more camera models available in Japan, but generally only a few available elsewhere.
The easiest to obtain is Instax Mini. The cameras typically look something like this, or sillier depending on the model.

Or you can use a back made by Lomography for the Diana+ or LC-A, or hack one for the Fujipet or Banner like I did. The film is small and looks like this:

Jumping on the bandwagon, Polaroid has licensed Instax Mini and stamped Polaroid 300 on the Instax Mini camera. Pretty lazy, but good for Fuji, I'm sure. I love this shot of the camera because it has a photo of Lady Gaga ejecting from the top, and it's not even the actual film type for the camera. Looks more like Spectra shrunk down small, or most likely something done in Photoshop.

The other relatively easy Fuji format to find is Instax Wide. I don't believe this is officially sold in the US, but I see them from sellers on Amazon and eBay.The Wide cameras usually look like this if you are lucky...

Though this ugly thing is the most commonly available model:

This format is kind of a cross between 600 and Spectra. The entire sheet is about the same size as 600, but the image is landscape like Spectra and wider, though not as tall as the Spectra Image. A couple examples:

Sooo...those are the most common Fuji integral films. There are a couple other formats that are available in Japan. Well, they were until June 2010 when they were discontinued. These are the Ace and FI-800GT films.

These are actually the same film, but the packs are different. And they are both the same format as the old Kodak PR film, though the ISO is different.

There are too many Ace and 800GT cameras to show here, but here is an FI-800GT camera:

So I nabbed this stash of Ace and FI-800GT film...

I wanted to try the "use Fuji film in a Kodak camera" trick, as described here. So I bought this:

The film eject isn't motor driven...the camera has a crank on the side to push the film through the development rollers.
So, like I said, Fuji and Kodak films are basically the same.

The two fuji films are the same with different packs...one doesn't have gears. The 800GT and Kodak films are basically the same pack except for a tab, but the film is a different ISO, so the camera needs a filter so it doesn't overexpose the GT800.
Before trying the Fuji film, I had some Kodak instant film to try. Results?

Not much to see here! Moving on, I did the modification to use the FI-GT800. And...a positive result!

But...expired film! So mostly rotten shots. I was thinking that maybe the light was leaking through the bottom of the camera, given that many are white but you can still see the developer.

After wasting so many shots, I gave up for awhile. Recently, I picked up an Ace camera to put some more film to use.

Furthering the Kodak and Fuji connection, check out this similar Kodak camera:

After obtaining batteries and putting a film pack in it, I took it out for a spin. Definitely expired film, but not sure how old or how it was stored. But the first couple shots look decent.

But then all the shots came out blank, so I guess the film was dry...

So it was somewhat successful, though I wouldn't rely on it. No taking a shot and leaving without checking to see if actually develops.
So, in conclusion? No real conclusion...just a bit of rambling about my experience with integral films! Here is a shot to compare the sizes of the various films:

I see I haven't added very many posts to my blog this year. Quality over quantity, I guess. I have been writing a paper every week for the past year, but that will be over in November. Planned? I made a Polaroid back for a Great Wall camera, so that will probably be next. And I have an integral SX-70 back to fix up to use on my Mamiya Universal. I also should talk about my Crown Graphic. Using the Type 50 I have without so much vignette! All that and more in the near and distant future. Until then!

19 comments:

  1. The cameras types are often called "800 series" or "System 800". The film you have is 800GT. Previously there was 800G and 800 film. One of the cameras you show above is not a Fotorama System 800 camera, but an original Fotorama F series camera. it uses a different long discontinued FI-10LT.. 160 iso film.

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  2. Oh, no...you forgot the Polaroid Type 500 film (Polaroid Captiva SLR and Polaroid JoyCam). I was hoping that The Impossible Project would offer Type 500 film as well but sadly they responded "no" when I e-mailed them. Thanks for the great blog!! Keeping Instant Photography Alive!
    Michael Raso
    http://filmphotographypodcast.com/

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  3. I recently discovered your blog and I wanted to let you know it's incredible. I've learned so much from reading through your posts. Is there a way to contact you directly to ask a few questions?

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  4. If you need to buy ACE or 800 GT film, I can help, just let me know
    tm_instant@me.com

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  5. Noppon12:51 AM

    Thanks for a great write up! I got few questions to ask:

    From your post "The film eject isn't motor driven...the camera has a crank on the side to push the film through the development rollers."

    Did you mean that both FI-800GT and ACE film have to be manually release from the Kodak instant camera?

    From what I found: "FI-800GT and ACE are the same sheet films. But ACE's cartridge is without any metal parts pushing films, for the sake of easy disposal. ACE film is usable in six models of ACE cameras which have mechanism of pushing films."

    In conclusion, it means that FI-800Gt can be used in Kodak instant camera eg. EK4, EK8 etc., but not ACE because Fuji ACE film cartilage has no pushing mechanism to release the film out of the camera. Am I right?

    Finally, you mentioned that there is a crank on the side of the camera (in this case, EK4) to release the film manually. Does that mean you can use both FI-800GT and ACE film pack in your camera EK4?

    I am looking forward to see your comment! Thanks.

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  6. Anonymous1:48 AM

    does anyone know where we can buy fi-800gt films?

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  7. Sean, how expired was the fi-800gt?
    I have some 8 packs, and I want to shoot some but let some vintage.. and I want to know how much is too much.. or give an estimate.

    By the way. Have you checked ACE in yahoo japan auctions, there are good prices there.

    +Let's pray for Japan.

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  8. yeah i got mine from yahoo.jp. only one boxed with a date of 01-2008, but what i've used so far is pretty grainy and faded so most may be older. some have been dry as well. probably has a similar lifespan as 600.

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  9. Anonymous3:50 PM

    Hello,
    I just purchased a Kodak colorburst instant camera at my local vintage store.. I know the pr10 film is no longer available, and the compatible fugifilm fi-800 was discontinued.
    I'm willing to try anything to use this thing...
    Any advice?

    Thanks so much.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous7:10 PM

      can try polaroid spectra

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  10. not much else to do with it without those two films!

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  11. Hi there, I currently study photography at A-level and want to try experimenting with the instant format, as many in this blog have expressed both the PR-10 & FI-800GT film is no longer made... does anyone have any alternative film either they can tell me about or have to sell that would fit into a Kodak EK4? Please Email me at kieranwhite1995@gmail.com + i would equally love expired film... Many thanks :)

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  12. Hi Sean,

    May i know where can i get the FI800-GT film?

    or is there any other films could replace that?

    Great Thanks!!!

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    Replies
    1. my email is lillianchu716@gmail.com

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  13. io ho una KODAK EK160 compltemante funzionante e sono in cerca di pellicole la mia email danielepennuto@gmail.com

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  14. Anonymous8:31 PM

    Anybody know where you can get Kodak PR10 instant film?pl Ian ali.ian@hotmail.com

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  15. Anonymous12:55 AM

    Is there any substitute to fuji ace film? specifically for fujirama 90 series?

    Thanks,
    kiko_chavez@yahoo.com

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  16. Nope, not that I am aware of.

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  17. Best place to try is jauce.com

    It's the Japanese version of eBay

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