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Fuji SQ6: New kid on the square-format instant block.
Old 06-10-2018   #1
Mackinaw
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Fuji SQ6: New kid on the square-format instant block.

I was intrigued by the new Fuji SQ6 square-format Instax camera so bought one along with a few packs of square-format Instax color film. I was asked to photograph an arts reception last night in my small town so brought along the SQ6 and took several pics of some of the artists. In a word (actually two), I’m impressed. While the picture area is a smaller than my SX-70 (2.5”X2.5” vs. 3.0”X3.0”), the print is still big enough to be useable. And the colors are bright and vibrant. The pics also underscore the challenge facing Polaroid Originals. While their latest generation color film is light-years better than earlier efforts, they still have a ways to go to match the quality of Fuji Instax.

I’ll still use my SX-70 because I like the larger picture area, but only for B&W. All my instant color work will now be on the SQ6 and Instax film.



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Old 06-12-2018   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mackinaw View Post
The pics also underscore the challenge facing Polaroid Originals. While their latest generation color film is light-years better than earlier efforts, they still have a ways to go to match the quality of Fuji Instax..
Well, it's not like you choose Polaroid based on color fidelity.. I just had 2 color packs (I-Type) produced ony a couple of months apart through my OneStep 2, and the color difference between the packs was out of this world. That film really ages fast outside the fridge!

Instax (I also shoot Instax Mini) is certainly more predictable, better storable, and responds to the whole spectrum.

But I can't help being drawn to the OneStep and what it produces.. I guess it's a case of nostalgia..
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Old 06-12-2018   #3
Godfrey
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I like and use them all, both Polaroid Originals (nee The Impossible Project) in SX-70 or 600 speed, Fujifilm Instax SQ and soon Wide. I find the latest in the PO 600 B&W to be excellent, the color a bit odd, the Instax SQ to be very good IF you get the exposure on the money, etc.

They're all fun and all worth working with more seriously if that's your bent.

If you just want excellent photographs in the style without effort, heck, my iPhone with Shake It Photo app installed produces very nice SX-70 simulations that are right on the money.



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Old 06-12-2018   #4
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Well, it's not like you choose Polaroid based on color fidelity..........
I do. I get paid to take portraits and the like and usually try to include instant photos into my photo mix. After seeing how much better color Instax film is compared to color PO, it’s hard for me to justify spending more money for an inferior product.

What will keep me using PO film is their B&W stuff and the larger size. Plus I like using the SX-70. As for color, PO has lost a customer.

One more from Saturday’s art reception.



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Old 06-12-2018   #5
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Quite a difference! I'm impressed with the colour reproduction in Mackinaw's shot.

My memories of Polaroids and how they age have me wondering how that art gallery shot will look a few years from now though. I think that just goes with the territory when using dye based instant films.
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Old 06-12-2018   #6
Oren Grad
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My memories of Polaroids and how they age have me wondering how that art gallery shot will look a few years from now though.
Considering the currently-available materials, over the short-to medium-term (months to a few years), Instax prints are far more stable than Polaroid Originals prints. If you want to keep a Polaroid Originals picture for an extended period in something approximating its original appearance, you need to scan or photograph it and print that "re-capture" in a more stable medium.

However, I'm not aware of any publicly available data on the very-long-term (many years) keeping properties of Instax prints.
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Old 06-12-2018   #7
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Considering the currently-available materials, over the short-to medium-term (months to a few years), Instax prints are far more stable than Polaroid Originals prints. If you want to keep a Polaroid Originals picture for an extended period in something approximating its original appearance, you need to scan or photograph it and print that "re-capture" in a more stable medium.........
I’m new to Instax so can’t comment on the longevity of their prints. As for PO instant film, their B&W will tend toward sepia after a few months, which I personally like. I have a few PO color prints from 2015 that still look quite good.

But you’re right, scanning and re-printing a PO instant print is the key to longevity.

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Old 06-12-2018   #8
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I've never considered anything in integral instant film to be "archival" ... seems a bit absurd to raise this as a consideration.

Anything I shoot on film is scanned. The digital scans are the archival form of my photographs now. While many thousands of the film images have become degraded beyond usability, not a single one of the hundreds of thousands of digital images I've made have ever degraded or been lost.

An instant film print is a precious commodity, precious because in the best of situations you can expect that most will perish at some point in time.

On the other hand, I restarted shooting integral film from Impossible, PO, and now Fuji since 2011 or so. I don't do anything special with the prints other than stack them in boxes and stick them on my bookcase shelves for a while to see them. I have many many (what's on the bookcase is only a small smattering) that are all still in excellent condition and are up to seven years old now.



That's good enough for me!

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Old 06-12-2018   #9
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I've never considered anything in integral instant film to be "archival" ... seems a bit absurd to raise this as a consideration......
Well, I recently found several SX-70 color prints from the 1980's that look just fine.

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Old 06-12-2018   #10
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Well, I recently found several SX-70 color prints from the 1980's that look just fine.

Jim B.
I have a couple somewhere deep in my bits and pieces that are from the 1970s as well. That doesn't mean they're archival, it just means that some survive.

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Old 06-12-2018   #11
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Henry Wilhelm, in his 1993 permanence book - still available for free download from his website - documented in detail the specific stability issues with the Polaroid integral films that had been available up to that point.

I don't want to overemphasize the point. Instant film can be really lovely and is lots of fun to play with. So why not dive in and enjoy? Just have realistic expectations, and if you end up with pictures that you judge important enough to keep for the long term, find a way to copy them.

Between PO and Fuji I'm more a fan of Instax, myself. Both the film and the cameras from Fuji, even the most inexpensive models, seem well-tuned for nice flash-snapshots at close range.
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Old 06-12-2018   #12
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....I don't want to overemphasize the point. Instant film can be really lovely and is lots of fun to play with. So why not dive in and enjoy? Just have realistic expectations, and if you end up with pictures that you judge important enough to keep for the long term, find a way to copy them.......
Well said, Oren.

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Old 06-12-2018   #13
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Originally Posted by Oren Grad View Post
...
I don't want to overemphasize the point. Instant film can be really lovely and is lots of fun to play with. So why not dive in and enjoy? Just have realistic expectations, and if you end up with pictures that you judge important enough to keep for the long term, find a way to copy them.
...
Indeed.

Thanks for the mention of Harry Wilhelm's book. I've downloaded a copy.

G
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Old 07-16-2018   #14
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This combo did most of the work this last trip to Montana. I had three MF cameras and used the Fuji GSW680III the most, but for the heck of it I shot a lot of square with the SQ6 and SP3. I found out I needed to lower the exposure some for the SQ6, but most photos from my iPhone 7+ through the SP3 were just fine.

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Old 07-16-2018   #15
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I found out I needed to lower the exposure some for the SQ6......
I noticed the same, but it's nice Fuji gave us the ability to change exposure by 2/3rd's of an F-stop in either direction. That seems to be enough to nail the exposure.

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Old 08-22-2018   #16
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"Darken" on a Instax Wide 200 gives the most detail under Sunny Bright conditions for me. Five year old Instax prints lose some highlight detail without a noticeable colour shift when stored out of the light.

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