How To Use Instax Film in Kodak Instant Cameras!

Discussion in 'Instant Cameras, Backs and Film' started by joshgladstone, Oct 15, 2016.

  1. joshgladstone

    joshgladstone Member

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    Hey everybody! So I just figured out a way to shoot and process Fuji Instax film in old Kodak instant film cameras (i.e. Kodak EK and Colorburst cameras)!! You do not need to take the unprocessed shot out and put it into an Instax camera, the Kodak camera will process it! It's a super simple, non-destructive hack, and you can bring all these old, dirt cheap cameras back to life! Plus it should work with the upcoming square format as well. Multiformat cameras for cheap! I'm going to keep improving on it, but check it out and let me know what you think!! Thanks!

     
  2. Andrew O'Neill

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    That's cool. I'm a little confused, though. Did you carry all the steps out in the light?
     
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    joshgladstone

    joshgladstone Member

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    No, I was just demonstrating it in the light. You just have to load an unexposed shot into the cartridge and then the cartridge into the camera in the dark. But then you're good to go!
     
  4. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member
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    Josh, Great job of working things out. I spent 7 years working on the instant system at Kodak and have several old cameras around someplace that I'll need to think about dusting off. I'm glad to know that J batteries are still available. I suspect you are better working with cameras with a crank (like the EK2 and EK4).

    Instax basically IS Kodak Instant Film. Kodak traded off the dye releaser technology used in the film for some reversal film dye couplers. Since Polaroid was working with Fuji on peel-apart film, they allowed Fuji to sell the Kodak based film worldwide - except in the US and Canada. It wasn't until Polaroid went out of business that Fuji sold the Instax film in the US and Canada.

    A question for you - what kind of white tape are you using?
     
  5. Andrew O'Neill

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    So you attach the unexposed film to the support sheet in the dark, then load them into the pack and camera, right?
     
  6. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member
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    I'll answer for Josh - Right. All steps must be in the dark.
     
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    joshgladstone

    joshgladstone Member

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    Yes, all handling of the unexposed film has to be in the dark. Hopefully with some improvements, you'd be able to load cartridges with multiple sheets in the dark ahead of time, and then put the carts into the camera in the daylight, as you need them. Working on that. Also working on a way that wouldn't require an old cartridge at all, you could just pop the instax film in as-is. That would be ideal, I think.
     
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    joshgladstone

    joshgladstone Member

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    Hey Prof_Pixel, sorry I missed your post. That's so cool that you actually worked on this stuff! The tape is just 1/2" white paper tape, so I would imagine that masking tape would be pretty much the same. Actually, gaf tape, cloth tape, duct tape... I would bet almost anything that's not scotch tape would work. It just needs to add a little bulk and traction for the rollers to grab on to.
     
  9. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member
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    No problem. A couple of thoughts for you: (1) the picture units are ejected from the pack by a picker that catches the picture unit on the bottom edge and moves it into the rollers. That 'edge' is fairly thick because it has the trap that catches excess goo. To prevent multiple picks, you'll need to add some thickness to your holder at that end. (2) the rollers are designed to control the developer layer thickness (DLT) - this means you need to avoid really thick holder material to avoid getting too low a DLT. However, Instax picture units MAY be thinner than the old Kodak prints which would offset the holder thickness. It would be interesting to make some thickness measurements to see how this plays out.
    Again, great work.
     
  10. Andrew O'Neill

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    You'll have to get some of that Instax wide stuff and give it a whirl.
     
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    joshgladstone

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    Hey Andrew, pretty sure the Wide won't fit the dimensions of the Kodak pack. But the upcoming Square should work perfectly.

    Prof: You're so right about all of that. My initial attemps were 3d printed "frames" that had no backing, but it actually wouldn't spread the chemistry all the way through the print. So I think you're right, the Kodak film is thicker (in fact, I have calipers! So -> Kodak film: .46mm, Instax film: .32mm)

    I'm actually working on a 3D printed adapter that would allow you to just pop in an instax cartridge straight into the Kodak camera. Hopefully I'll get that working, because that would really be the ideal situation, but I'm not sure how to deal with the thickness difference then. I'm also working on inserts that have some added layers of tape on the picker side so that the picker works properly, as well as the pod side to prevent multiple exposures from sliding out. But the problem is that the plastic sheets like to stick to each other and pull out multiple shots at once. Trying some stuff with various tapes to try and reduce the friction/static build up. Getting there!!
     
  12. Truzi

    Truzi Member

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    Cool - I'm glad to see someone is trying this. I "inherited" a Kodak The Handle, and have had similar thoughts. I would like to convert it to take Instax wide, and even have a sacrificial pack. I have to use up my last two Fuji FI800-GT packs first. A mod like this is likely beyond my abilties, as I would have to cut into the camera, and alter/modify the ejection finger. Plus, I'm a consummate procrastinator.

    The roller width might accommodate Instax wide - it's close, and the rollers perhaps a bit to narrow, so may affect how well it spreads the chemicals (is "goo" the technical term for it? :smile: ). The thickness might be another issue.
     
  13. darkosaric

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    Great job! Is there some old Kodak instant camera out there with manual shutter speed / f stop settings?
     
  14. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member
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    There was a Kodak Instant Film Back (based on the German made EK8) for 4x5 cameras. (I have one modified to fit my 23 Speed Graphic.)
     
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    joshgladstone

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    Update: I got multiple exposures to work in one cartridge! Check the video:
     
  16. carlostaiwan

    carlostaiwan Member

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    This is amazing! Do you think it will work with Instax WIDE?
     
  17. Andrew O'Neill

    Andrew O'Neill Subscriber
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    I asked that earlier and joshgladstone is pretty sure that it won't fit the Kodak pack.
     
  18. carlostaiwan

    carlostaiwan Member

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    Sorry! My brain just skipped those comments. I guess I was paying attention to the videos. I have tons of instax wide at home and I wish i could have some more cameras to use with, not only the wide 300. I would love to control aperture and shutter speed.
     
  19. Dacs

    Dacs Member

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    Hello, I recently got a hold of an Ek4 but the problem is that it doesn't have a film holder. Any ideas where I can get one? or one that works on it? I'm a rookie on this.
    Thanks in advance
     
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