Category: Glimpses

Like, Square, Man!

Pardon the outdated slang.

October is birthday month, for which I was well feted and well fed. And I got an Instax SP-3 printer. It’s rather cool. It prints out square format images using the FujiFilm Instax Square film. There are no memory card slots, so it is all wireless. There is an app for both Apple and Android phones called Instax Share. It works quite easily as well as lets you play around with your image. FujiFilm cameras with wireless connectivity in their menus, specifically for the Instax, also work. It is also easy to do, and there are videos on YouTube (of course!) showing you how to use the Instax SP-3 with your phone and camera. I’ll let you delve into that if you are interested.

Instax SP-3 Printer

I printed out 3 images from both my phone and from X100V. Seamless interface, really. The hardest thing was reading the teeny, tiny serial numbers on the bottom of the SP-3 to link it to the camera. The phone just found it and ID’d it readily, bringing up the actual serial number.

The above is a SOC image from the X100V. I chose it because I wanted to see how a true B&W object taken with color could look. With in-camera and in-phone editing, you can make a monochrome image, and this little color printer will print monochrome. Yay!

I wanted to see the details in the trees here as well as to catch the range of colors that trees and plants give. I pushed the saturation using the Instax phone app. Not displeased by the results.

I just printed this one because I liked it, as well as to see how the printer renders reds.

Instax SQ6 Camera

Besides the printer, the Instax SQ6 instant camera came along for the ride. It has been out for a bit, but the reason it was chosen is because it is the most feature rich of the Instax square cameras.  You can also get it in different colors – I have the Graphite Grey model.

One of my big complaints about the Instax Wide is the lousy macro system. It’s just poor, and that is that. I never succeed, and really don’t like to spend a lot of time, film, and money doing something that proves worthless each time. However, the SQ6 does really well in this arena. The image above doesn’t really have the appearance of a macro – it’s really a close up. The viewfinder has some weird little thingies in the viewfinder, like a range finder, and you move in close to your subject, being sure to put it in the lower left corner of the viewfinder. The coffee cup was my main subject, and in the end your close-up object is fairly well centered. I will practice with that feature of the camera more.

One thing that the Instax Wide doesn’t have is a flash suppression. I use gaffer’s tape over it so I don’t get it. There are light and dark adjustments on the Instax Wide, and these same adjustments are found on the SQ6. There is also a flash suppression button on the SQ6. The above image is with the flash turned off.

Here, the flash is on, on auto mode, and the colors are good, the composition relatively sharp.

Thoughts

Altogether, no complaints about either printer, camera, or film. The nice thing is the square format, which is something I really enjoy working with in both analog and digital photography. The wireless technology of the printer is a real kick, and the its small footprint means it is easily portable. The camera has a good set of features that improve the ease of using it as well as allowing the photog(rapher) just the right amount of control to succeed. The printer is better for “good” images in someways than the camera as the resolution of a digital photo is going to be inherently better than that of the SQ6, but both fill niches for me.

Yeah, good presents to get and give!

Instax Afternoon

This afternoon I finally got out for a walk – the weather was not in the high 90s by 10 a.m. It felt so good to be outdoors after nearly 6 weeks inside or in the shade, trying to keep from melting. In general, heat doesn’t bother me, but exercising and sweating in such temperatures gets to me, and it seems this year has been particularly intense. The only walks seem to occur at night, once the sun has gone down and the sidewalks quit sizzling. Our air conditioning ran non-stop a few days in a row, which is unusual for us, but that gives you a sense of the heat – but at least our humidity is relatively low, unlike the southeast.

I decided to play with my Instax Wide by FujiFilm. Normally I just take a picture here and there with my instant cameras but thought it would be fun to use it as the camera to record today’s wanderings. Thus, in no particular order, a few scenes from my afternoon’s perambulation.  Click on an image to move through the gallery.

Moon & Mars

Last night we went out and looked at the moon. Just past full, with Mars at 11:00. Josh had tried to take pictures of it with his phone, but to no avail. This was the perfect opportunity to check out the gear head!

The Nikon Df and Nikon 24-120mm f/4 lens were mounted, in both landscape and portrait mode. The tripod and camera were rock solid and the gear head did a fine job. We had to dig out a flashlight to see the camera settings and goof around a lot. It would have been nice to have a more clear image with details of the seas of the moon, but that didn’t happen.

Exposure was a bit of a trick – how long? Initially the camera was on aperture priority, but that wouldn’t have been for the best. Autofocus was really confused, too. In the end, all was set to manual, and exposures were done at 6, 8, and 10 seconds were attempted using the B mode, counting off. The exposure for this image was 6.9 sec per the EXIF data.

I think I need to do a bit of reading about shooting the moon, and try again tonight!

Le Grand Pin

Another composite image taken with the Fuji X100V. This little camera is very capable, and I don’t even know all it can do. Basically, I am lazy! However, I do know the areas that, for me, are the parts of a camera I want to know the most. The thing that drew me to the Fuji X100V was its fixed focal length, film simulations, and the fact it can be manual, shutter, and aperture priority. Add to that, it shoots square pictures, and that is a big plus in my book. I think I like the 1:1 ratio the best.

Fiery Sunrise

This Labor Day weekend has been hotter than hell, setting records for heat (121 F in Los Angeles), and creating havoc. Fires are everywhere in California. So far we have been spared – but the smoke is filling the sky from fires hundreds of miles away, and ash is falling. The sunrises are beautiful because of it, but breathing it is not so beautiful! This morning, the sky was murky with a few clouds. Through it all came a fiery red sun.

I was a bit torn about editing this photo as I did – the sky is more lavender here than in reality. However, I am of the thought that the unreal quality I saw this morning is better expressed in unreal colors . . .