Friday, January 11, 2013

Instax 210 review / Silver Edition / 2012 Instax retrospective


In this entry I redirect to some of my older writings about the Fujifilm Instax 210, show you my new Silver model and clear case, and finish with a long string of scanned Instax Wide prints that made their way to this blog in 2012.

A great deal of the traffic here comes from interest in the Fuji Instax 210, one of my favorite cameras.

My actual review of the camera is pretty informal (from 1.19.2011). It is my most popular page by far. In two years of shooting, two 210’s, and somewhere near 100 packs of film, my enthusiasm for the Instax 210 has not changed.

Early in 2012, I made a video showing how to load film (at right). The camera gets more attention than just about anything else I’ve done.

Using filters over the lens can be helpful, especially the UV+circular polarizer combo. The photos can end up dark because the electric eye sees without the filter. This can sometimes be compensated for using the lightest of the three exposure settings. In my entry Fun with Instax 210 (7.16.2011), I played around with holding up filters, double exposures, and using colored filters to gel the flash.

If you are not careful, the tape you use to attach the filter can jam up as the lens retracts, irrevocably destroying your camera in one automatic time-out shut down. See my video with the torn down 210. There is apparently no way to slide something over the front of the lens that won’t either get jammed up in the lens, or slip off, sending your glass filters to the ground. A better solution would be to glue a step-down ring to the front of the lens. The only drawback for me doing that is that glued-on thing sticks out the most when the camera is closed. Thus, the weakest part is most susceptible to accidental abuse.

My new toy
I treated myself to an unusual model of the 210. It is marketed in Asia as a wedding version and is silver. I have yet to find it for sale in the US. So, it shipped from Hong Kong for about $20 more than a standard model. I had reliable and quick service from Holgadget.com. This is the same outfit that I ordered a clear plastic case for the camera. Curiously, you can only order the $23 case through ebay. His seller ID is uranium99.

I ordered the silver edition camera from Holgadget.com directly. The case and camera were ordered (separately) on 12/29. The ‘Crystal Protect Case’ arrived in the mailbox on 1/8/13. It comes in a box from a manufacturer called CAIYOULE, where it reads “210 protect case.” To the point. The camera arrived on 1/10/13, but I had to go pick it up in person as it was sent registered mail. That would normally have been a drag for me, so word to the wise.
Wedding edition Fujifilm Instax 210 with Crystal Protect Case, Andrew D. Barron©1/11/13 [645 PRO for 4S]
The Silver Instax 210 is the first interesting variant that I have seen in my two years with the camera. It is too bad that Fuji can’t put together another 500AF (the autofocus Instax Wide camera that is exceedingly rare). As it is, I will just have to love the goofy Instax 210 for what it is and what it does. The stock 210 strap is notoriously bad and comes loose all the time. You should replace it or not use it; I believe it is cleverly designed to drop your fragile camera eventually. The nylon slips through the plastic fittings. The best deal around still is from UniquePhoto: camera, nylon case, and 60 shots (3 twin packs) for $105/free shipping. If I didn’t have the SX-70 strap, I would go without and just use the nylon case (you can see it in my video above). Check the web for the Instax 210 nylon case. It used to be $6.95, so don’t get ripped off out there. I haven’t found a place to pick up this classy case in the States. I’ve got my eye out though.
Wedding edition Fujifilm Instax 210 with Crystal Protect Case, Andrew D. Barron©1/11/13 [645 PRO for 4S]
The outer case certainly doesn’t improve the bubble-y appearance of this thing!
Wedding edition Fujifilm Instax 210 with Crystal Protect Case, Andrew D. Barron©1/11/13 [645 PRO for 4S]
I can’t see how this case will last very long with only two flimsy latches that have to be exercised with each film loading. I see duct tape in it’s future.

The rapid rise of phone app filters to mimic print borders quickly diminished the neat ‘factor’ of the real print border on the scans of Instax Wide film for me. I wanted to emphasize the quality of the Instax 210 prints so I present them cropped to the image area. At 855 pixels wide, the image is larger than the physical print (almost 2x).

Now on to the Instax 210 2012 retrospective (29 images follow)!

Sunrise west of Porterville headed towards 99 North.
Old tree sunrise, Andrew D. Barron©1/10/12
+2 close up filters, normal exposure, close focus setting, flash.
Madrone on Old Coast Road, Andrew D.Barron©4/5/12
Surface, Garrison lake, Andrew D. Barron©3/25/12
Split Mountain Road, Andrew D. Barron©1/7/12
In the parking lot of the office.
South Reno sky, Andrew D. Barron©12/11/12 [Fuji Instax 210]
Euchre Creek home, Andrew D. Barron©3/9/12
Euchre Creek home, Andrew D. Barron©3/9/12
Barn up Euchre Creek Road, Ophir, Andrew D. Barron©1/1/12
As we were drifting up the highway before coffee, I pulled over for this shot. I may never forget the sensation of laying my face on the frozen railroad to brace the camera for this sunrise though silos.
Cold face silo shot, Andrew D. Barron©1/10/12
From Otter Point looking west-northwest, Andrew D. Barron©3/8/12
From an awesome day shooting around Port Orford. Down at the Heads looking to the south towards Humbug:
Bay at Port Orford Heads, Andrew D. Barron©3/25/12
From Ophir looking north towards Humbug.
Sisters Rocks to the north from Ophir, Andrew D. Barron©3/9/12
Bridge over the Rogue River.
Patterson Bridge over the Rogue, Andrew D. Barron©3/22/12
Bridge over Lobster Creek towards Lobster Creek Bridge:
From South Bank road towards Lobster Creek bridge, Andrew D. Barron©3/10/12
Euchre Creek meets the Pacific.
Euchre Creek marsh, Andrew D. Barron©2/2/12
Greggs Creek meets the sea, instax 210, Andrew D. Barron©2/14/12Mike Melnyk, optically triggered Photogenic Powerlight 1250 flashes, Andrew D. Barron©6/15/12 [Fuji Instax 210/Instax Wide]
CVO InSAR team at Laurelthirst, Portland, Andrew D. Barron©12/19/11
Bar bathroom self portrait, Brooklyn NY, Andrew D. Barron©10/11/12 [Fuji Instax 210 (Instax wide)]
Ophir sunset rainbow, Andrew D. Barron©2/26/12
Yard flower with Fuji Instax 210, Andrew D. Barron©2/9/12
holding a glass 52mm close-up filter:
Instant film blossoms, Andrew D. Barron©3/3/12
Daffodil farewell, Andrew D. Barron©4/6/12
East river water front, Brooklyn NY, Andrew D. Barron©10/12/12 [Fuji Instax 210 (Instax wide)]
East river water front, Brooklyn NY, Andrew D. Barron©10/12/12 [Fuji Instax 210 (Instax wide)]
Euchre creek marsh, Andrew D. Barron©3/24/12
“The drop”
Ophir sunset from in the surf, Andrew D. Barron©2/26/12
Sun sets over Cape Blanco, Port Orford, Andrew D. Barron©2/2/12

1 comment:

  1. It is too bad that Fuji can't put together another 500AF (the autofocus Instax Wide camera that is exceedingly rare). As it is, I will just have to love ... instaxwide.blogspot.de

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