Hello, I am Eileen and I just couldn’t help myself.
Years after I thought I had outgrown a fascination of the Polaroid I-zone cameras in my 20s (wow I wasted a lot of money on bad pics and wasted film!) I am back at it again. This time however, I did slightly more research into it as I remembered the wasted money and film on what is now a useless paperweight (where do you even get the film?) and decided to go with the Fuji brand.
I had wanted the Fuji Instax camera since it started becoming popular but I was somewhat weary on the past experience I’ve had with instant photography; for one, you can never guarantee that you will get the best results with it because it’s instant and you can’t retouch or re-do. Another is that film can get pricey if you’re not careful and start snapping away and you could possibly end up with a stack of badly taken polaroid shots and nothing to do with it. It was a tough choice, but I ultimately kept walking away and not buying one.
I am glad that I had forgotten about this fascination for awhile because when I started back up again with wanting it after seeing it at Michaels (damn you Michaels lol) I just wanted to pick up a pink Mini 8 and buy it right then and there! Of course the voice of reason , ie: the husband, told me to wait it out and research it. He was there for some of the time that I had the I-zone version and it just wasn’t pretty lol. I researched it and then forgot and then went right back like a bad cycle that went on for who knows how long until until the newer version, the Fuji Instax SP-2 printer came out on the market. The new version of the Fuji Instax printer is a total game-changer, it allowed a photographer to take pictures instantly, but then choose which of those pictures to print. This meant less film wasted and more control over the pictures through retouching. When I say retouch, I don’t mean airbrushing to make it more perfect, but to lighten a darker picture so that when the picture does print, it shows the best lighting and contrasting for an instantly developed shot.
I read up on it briefly and fell in love with both the reviews and the possibilities of the printer. Of course on the day that I had told hubby I wanted to buy one, he said ‘sure, go ahead’ casually that I gave out an inner squeal of joy! And then like the thorough person that he is, he researched it and an hour later suggested I take a look at the comparable ones from other brands. It kind of annoyed me because I thought he was just stalling lol but then the other brands did have some pretty good comparable printers, like the Polaroid Zip printer, the HP Sprocket and many others. I didn’t even know that this whole instant zink (zero ink) photography had taken a whole new life of its own and became popular again. I should really be surprised since typewriters have suddenly popped up at Michaels and have become hipster cool once again. Next thing you know, those big clunky singer sewing machines will be the it thing too lol.
I researched three brands: The Fuji Instax SP-2 Printer (which was what I was leaning to originally), The Polaroid Zip Printer and the HP Sprocket. These three brands kept coming up on tech sites for review as one of the more comparable in quality and with the exception of the Fuji, in price (The Fuji came up pricier than the other two brands). After reading up, I had eliminated the HP sprocket early on after reading the initial reviews of the quality and decided to focus on Fuji and Polaroid (duh, the original maker of the polaroid pics). Amazingly, Polaroid’s pictures forgo their original vintage style Polaroid border film. Their pics do have the Polaroid border but could also bleed through to the edges of the picture which is cool in itself. It even has a sticky backing so you could make it a sticker or just keep it as a picture. It did have a slower print time, but that’s because it comes out readily printed while Fuji does print faster at 10 seconds, but you still have to add the additional exposure time for it to fully develop. The Fuji instax printer does only have the vintage polaroid feel (you can’t choose borderless) it does offer different border colors (I find the black frame intriguing for project ideas!). The price is no contest, the Polaroid zip wins at $130 (cdn) versus $199 (cdn).
So why the Fuji Instax?
I think it came down to preference after trying to read through all the reviews. It seemed to come out slightly in picture quality. Of course I understood that the better the quality of the digital image to begin with, the better it will come out on the printer. I also didn’t need to be super portable as I can always just take the pics I want and print later on. Thinking on it now, there wasn’t a clear cut reason, and I could have just as easily chosen the Polaroid version. I just decided on the more vintage look of an actual Polaroid. I can tell you that from my few days of owning it, I’ve been pretty happy with it and have even used up almost 20 shots but none are considered wasted. I am loving the project ideas that I’ve seen on Pinterest and am excited to try them!