Sunday, September 20, 2009

Hot on the heels...the Banner Instax!

Didn't take long for me to start messing around again. This project was much easier, as the Banner is all plastic and similar to the Diana+.
The Banner is a really cheap Diana clone. You think the Diana is cheap? Well, the Banner is designed like someone cast a bad mold of the Diana and tried to make all the pieces fit...and they do. Poorly. It has a super blurry lens and the back barely fits on the camera. In other words, it rocks.

Here are a couple images taken with 120 film in the Banner.

So, I wanted to take a Banner and stick an Instax back on it, like I did with the Fujipet. I figured the lens on the Banner was interesting enough that it might make some sweet shots. The Fujipet took me an afternoon to build. I think I spend maybe an hour and a half on this.
First up was figuring out what's different between the Diana+ and Banner. They are both based on the Diana camera, but the Diana+ has some very obvious differences, like the longer barrel.
The Banner back doesn't fit on the Diana+...

...and the Diana+ back doesn't fit on the Banner, partly because the tripod mount is in the way.

Which means the Instax back doesn't fit on the Banner.

So the goal is to make it fit, only modifying the Banner and not the Instax back.
First to come off are the spool holders. You would need to remove these on the Diana+, as well.

Then I needed to enlarge the exposure area, so I get a full frame on the Instax film. I used a saw and an Exacto knife.

I also had an issue with the lock on the bottom not quite lining up, so I removed a small piece that was blocking it. With luck, I could slide it together and be able to use the lock. I also cut off a small area on one side of the camera that was too thick to fit past the Instax back parts.

Those were the only modifications! I also needed to put the diopter in the camera to fix the focal length. I removed the lens from the mount and used white glue to secure it (this worked with the Fujipet, so why make things difficult).

Now to put it all together!

The fit was a bit tight, but I was able to slide them together and use the lock. The only issue I had can be seen along the bottom on the camera.

The banner back is about 1/8th of an inch shorter than the Diana+ Instax back. No real way to fix this, so I figured if it leaked, I would just have to tape it up. Let's take this baby outside for a couple test shots!

It works! But there is definitely some leakage along the bottom edge. I just threw on a piece of black electrical tape and then took it out with me while walking the dog. The shutter on the Banner is pretty slow, so it performed better in the shade. May make a small ND filter for it at some point. Anyway, a few more test shots!

Nice! I like the output better than the Fujipet Instax. Has the blur along the edges, a bit more toy camera-ish. Will definitely take this camera out with me on my next road trip.
No idea what I'm going to do next. I have a 110 that I want to convert to pack film, but I kind of want to use my Type 47 in it before I take it apart.
So, until whenever, keep shooting!


  1. I just got a Banner too. Haven't used it but it's like new in the box. Love what you did to it. Great image of the slide. Wow! Nice work.

  2. That's some great work, I'm really impressed. I just don't know if I could do that to a camera it seems somehow sacrilegious.

  3. I am SO Glad I found this site. You are 'da bomb.
    I'm just getting quite heavy into instant. Alwalys shoot film.
    Just learning about the Polaroids Im sad to say I just purchased, for cheap, a Polaroid 150 and a 600 land cameras and now found out I can't do anything with them but have them look good. (Very good)
    Keep writing!!!!

  4. Nice stuff you have here! Very inspirational! Especially your desert stuff, I'm from Tucson and it makes me homesick.

  5. Another creative conversion...takes great pics too! Love reading your're a very inspiring chappie! And love the original box - the graphics are sweet. Who's the handsome greyhound? Is he/she an ex-racer?