Here we go again. Another pandemic year. While Gail, Styxx and I have made the best of the year with road trips to our provincial neighbours in Saskatchewan and roamed across southern Manitoba, travel has been substantially curbed by Covid-19.
So, this year’s gift list is a little different.
It totally reflects my renewed interest in Polaroid photography, a creative habit (or addiction) that I picked up at the beginning of the pandemic, back in March 2020.
Lastly, the video is shot outdoors…entirely outdoors…in Winnipeg…In December! It had to happen.
It is also my first video gift guide. As you may be aware, I have been posting a number of Polaroid-centric videos on my WalkClickMake YouTube channel. It makes sense that this year’s gift guide be a part of that new venture.
If you have been following my recent SX-70 posts, you will know that I have a fanatical desire to reign in the capricious behaviour of SX-70 cameras and films, all in an attempt to maximize the quality of the ejected photos. This has included a deep-dive into the Zone System, using a calibrated variable neutral density (VND) filter to gain more exact exposure control and using black and white filters to enhance Polaroid black and white photos.
All these techniques require a manually controlled camera which, until recently, was limited to the rather pricey MiNT SLR670-S, my camera of choice. With Polaroid’s release of the Now+ comes an affordable means to manually control shutter speed and aperture settings using the Polaroid app . What’s missing is some way to attach a VND. And, although the Now+ comes with light yellow, light orange and light blue slip-on filters, which can be used with Polaroid’s black and white films, it would be nice to attach darker versions as well, such as red and green black and white filters in front of the Now+ lens.
Fortunately, there is an easy hack that costs nothing. Polaroid kindly includes a rubbery slip-on lens cap with the camera. The front of the cap has a slightly recessed area stamped with the Polaroid logo. By carefully cutting out this recessed panel, it turns out that the opening is just the right size to friction-fit 40.5mm filters. Simply slide the modified lens cap over the lens and twist-in whatever 40.5mm filter you wish to use.
To Use the Camera Shutter Button or the App Shutter Button, That is the Question?
Ay, there’s the rub.
Trying to hold the Polaroid Now+ in one hand and an iPhone with the Polaroid app in the other hand, all while composing a photo through the view finder with one eye and positioning a finger over the app’s shutter release using the other eye…what could possibly go wrong?
But wait! If the app has transferred my aperture and shutter speed choices to the camera, why can’t I use the shutter release on the camera?
Alas, poor Polaroid!
Take a look at this video and all will be revealed.
NOTE: You will find the YouTube video version of Using Contrast Filters with Polaroid SX-70 Black and White Film at the end of this post.
Polaroid recently introduced the Now+ camera, a box-style camera based on the original OneStep design but with one unique feature: using the Polaroid app, which can be freely downloaded for both iOS and Android devices, the camera’s shutter speeds and apertures can be manually controlled. As a user of MiNT’s SLR670-S camera, which is the only other Polaroid camera to offer manual controls, I was curious to test out the Now+. In fact, I was more than curious; I was hopeful that the Now+ would offer a feature missing in my MiNT camera: the ability to set shutter speeds and apertures at ½ or ⅓ EV settings.