Review of the new LOMO Instant Wide and a comparison to the cult classic Fuji Instax 500AF. This is the first in a multi part series on instant materials and cameras…
Sample Pictures: I chose a difficult mixed lighting situation to show the contrast range of the material and low enough light that the camera would choose F8. My focus with the LOMO is much better than using the default settings because of my focusing scale (see below) and even then it is not as crisp as the Fuji 500AF. All shots were on a tripod for maximum stability.
Note on changing film… I discovered that you can not change the film while on the tripod with the LOMO camera due to the tripod socket placement, on the Fuji 500AF you can change film while the camera is on the tripod.
One correction from the video… I mention that Instax Wide film is approximately $18 for 10 shots, that of course is the price for 20 shots. Also, I purchased both cameras used in this review and all reviews here on FR.
I decided to have Blurb print and bind a second copy of A New Eden Volume 1 for two reasons…
1. To see how the printing consistency would be.
2. To see how the Image Wrap cover option compared to the dust jacket option.
Some More Thoughts:
THIS JUST IN- I like the Image Wrap cover with the premium paper as the best-of-all option- the dust jacket keeps falling off the book and drives me nuts. The dust jacket does have a better range of color than the image wrap, and is glossy but there is something nice to the look and feel of the image wrap, and on a small book with only 38 pages- like mine- as the extra material of the image wrap makes the spine look and feel nicer…the book just feels more complete. The premium paper is way nicer than the standard (I tried both) and really worth the few extra dollars. With regards to printing consistency… seems OK to me so far but I will continue to monitor and keep you posted if my thoughts change.
Biggest question: does this process make sense if you are selling your books? Services like Blurb are much less expensive than some other online publishing companies… that being said, the per book cost for my Eden project is now at almost $40. When I compare this to my similarly-priced second book Through A Glass Darkly -which is in a league all it’s own and beyond compare to anything Blurb or any online service can print or bind- it does give one pause. Once again, I think you need to think of a book like this as a very nice promotional piece, that you will at best maybe make a few bucks on… but ultimately with the ulterior motive of greater visibility for your works which will hopefully translate into print sales and other good things. I’d suggest a markup from Blurb’s cost at around 10%, it’s a fair percentage and at the same time keeps your per book cost at a point that is still marketable.
Every photographer I know is at least a bit OCD…that is to say we worry and test our materials far more than any other art form- and perhaps even far more than we really need to. This audio blog attempts to provide a bit of breather room and hopefully some ideas on how to control your OCP (obsessive complusive photographic disorder) before it is too late!
Just in case you haven’t heard…that wonderful instant Polaroid material you’ve used for years is about to be no more! That’s right: Polaroid has announced that it will stop production of its instant materials at the end of this year. There have been rumors that Fuji and Ilford may be interested in the technology but to date nothing has, er, developed. Here is a link to a great interview from NPR on Polaroid and reflections by several artists who use this material for the artworks including Chuck Close. (Just click on the AUDIO logo.)
Having worked with Polaroid materials for several of my own artwork projects from my Through A Glass Darkly series and Book, The Haiku Series, The Sakura Porfolio and my Encaustic Cycle as well as also being collected in the Polaroid Permanent Collections as one of their featured artists I find this news of a once-great icon in photography closing shop very, very disturbing for the future of our creative medium.