Pardon the outdated slang.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.
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!
Today promises to be frying hot – 91F or more. The house is already closed up to keep it cool – thank goodness for modern insulation! – so we don’t have to use the air conditioning. I took this image not too long ago on a considerably cooler day, and that is what I want to think about rather than suffocating heat! The plus side of the heat is flowers love it and as it is too hot and bright to go outside for strenuous activities, it is a perfect day to do things around the house, like sewing and such. Domestic life suffers in the summer around here.
A close-up taken using the X100V. SOOC, too.
As a ground cover, Vinca Major is wonderful for shady areas. Soft, long vines with brilliant leaves and purple flowers make for a lovely display. It’s always been a favorite of mine.
Sheltering in place and closures of public places and retail and a general curtailment makes for a strange life. Out for a bit of a hike today, I ended up on a trail that goes from a residential neighborhood, under a very busy road, and past a school. I felt like I was in another world – the light was dim as the storm clouds are rolling in. As it is all surreal, these seemed like good ways to process the pictures . . .
Corona virus and social isolation! In Northern California, 6 or 7 counties around San Francisco have issued “stay in place” orders. The only exceptions are to go grocery shopping and for medical appointments. Maybe some exercise. And, of course, keep your distance. It could be a crime if you get busted.
Where I live, there are similar, though not as draconian, edicts. Starting today, a few stores are offering special hours for those over 65, pregnant, or disabled, which can help those who might have a problem getting things. The rules here in Ventura County are that anyone 75 or older must stay home. People 70 and older must stay home if they have special health issues which put them more at risk. I am not in any of these categories, but can creep in for special hours!
So, for social distancing, going for a hike is a great option. Peaceful. People won’t be out so much. I went a few days ago, X100V in hand, and tried it out in various ways. One thing I did end up with were a lot of blurry pictures. Realizing that, I upped the iso and dropped the f/stop a tad. Little things like that are all part of learning a camera. And the 23mm focal length – equivalent to 35mm – is a bit of a learning curve, too.
Photography is a great way to get out of the house and enjoy the isolation!