When I was a kid my dad had one of the early Polaroid cameras. This was the kind that did not develop before your eyes – but had layers of developing film you pulled off after waiting (and presumably shaking) for a minute or so. This was followed by a transfer process to ensure it would last for the long term.
I remember every picture taken with that camera was an event as we watched the timer. To this day, some of the prints that came out of that camera are the best pictures from that time period, the early 70’s. The quality and contrast of the pictures are much sharper than those of most pictures from that time that came from Kodak 126 or 110 films in the days when only the pro’s used 35mm.
The world of consumer photography has certainly changes a lot and often in the time since this happy memory, much of it for the better. But the demise of instant photos as a result of the digital world we live in is one more thing for old-timers like, well, I guess like me. Sure it is cool to be able to take pictures and see them right away on you camera. But it seems as a society we have gotten slack about the prints. You may have more pictures and see more on your computer, phones, and digital frames, but there is something special about opening a drawer and finding an old print you were not expecting to see.
Anyway, I am happy to report that the good folks at Fuji are back in the instant photography business. There are a bunch of mini photo printers out there – but I think that the old school instant pictures is the way to go. I think these are fun for parties and making memories for future generations.
How Fuji describes their line of instant cameras: “Attractive and accurate images are printed instantly using our integrated film and developing technology. Ideal for professional applications that require unalterable visual evidence or identification. Also great for personal enjoyment.”
Check out the Fuji instant cameras here.