Instax Mini Film fits 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 Film Holders!

Discussion in 'Instant Cameras, Backs and Film' started by ic-racer, Dec 14, 2017.

  1. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Messages:
    8,724
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I finally found a use for my tiny film holders. The Instax Mini film fits well enough to make exceptional images (not blurry , light struck junk).

    Caveats:
    1) The Fidelity Deluxe 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 film holders need to have the flap at the bottom trimmed. Needs to be trimmed just enough to clear the processing bubble, yet still allow the dark slide to engage and hold the flap closed. The scrap of the first one I cut (by eye) measured 8.5mm when I checked. When cutting the flap on the other side I left even more of the flap so it would engage better, and that scrap measured 7.6mm.

    2) It is a little challenging getting the exposed film back in the Instax cassette. My trick is to push out an un-exposed film just a few millimeters, to open the trap. Once the trap is open, slide the exposed filim OVER the unexposed one and push them both back in. The issue is the flap, as it closes, catches the junction of the image area and paper on the viewing side of the film as you try to push it back in the cassette. Maybe the safety flap can just be removed from the cassette.

    Otherwise it works perfect! So well, that my 'Instax Graflok Back' conversion is on hold.
     
  2. OP
    OP
    ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Messages:
    8,724
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I was compiling a list of cameras that can take these little film holders, and therefore, expose instax mini film at the correct film plane, with no modification to the camera:


    YES:
    I suspect all of the "Baby" Press Cameras (Graphic, Bush, Linhof, etc.)
    Horseman 6x9 cameras (VH, VH-R, ER-1, and others I presume)
    Graflex XL
    Rolleiflex TLR (with the special ground glass back)
    Mamiya RB Pro-S (Looks like a special 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 holder with Graflok tabs that fits right on the back of the camera without needing a special ground glass back. RB experts correct me if I'm wrong.)
    Mamiya C330 (With the "Single Frame" attachment, similar to the Rolleiflex TLR back).
    Makina IIS
    Mamiya Universal
    Mamiya Press

    NO:
    Koni-Omegaflex
    Omega Rapid
    Kowa Super 66
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2017
  3. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    5,939
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Location:
    Adirondacks
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Now that's neat! I might actually use some of the Instax, I was wondering what it could be used for.
    One of the reasons I got rid of all my studio strobes was the lack of Polaroid for proofing, of course I hadn't used them in years. But now the option exists for my 4x5 and larger stuff.

    What if you use a strip of thin plastic to guide the film past the flap?
     
  4. OP
    OP
    ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Messages:
    8,724
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Before cutting the flap on my 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 film holder to allow it to close on the Instax film, I used some two-sided tape to stick a sheet of Instax to a 4x5 film holder for my first test. It worked perfect; there was plenty of clearance for the two sided tape and the Instax film without it hitting the darkslide.
     
  5. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    5,939
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Location:
    Adirondacks
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Sorry, I meant the trap in the Instax cassette.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Messages:
    8,724
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yes, might work. I just could not get my fingernail under the trap to open it from the outside. I suspect with some modifications, a special "Processing Cassette" can be made that is easy to load. Load it with 10 exposed films and process them all at once. Or for an 'instant proof' just load one and process it right away. Just would need a changing bag.

    Since the processing through rollers is no different than the peel-away film, any Polaroid holder with rollers, could be made to process the film. Just need a way to attach the film to a strip to pull it through the rollers.

     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2017
  7. OP
    OP
    ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Messages:
    8,724
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The pictures I'm getting with the Horseman VH-R and 90mm Topcor lens are great; the Instax is good film. Way better than the plastic cameras they sell!
    Horseman-Instax small.jpg
     
  8. Cholentpot

    Cholentpot Member

    Messages:
    1,892
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2015
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Very cool stuff.

    I would buy an instax manual camera in a heartbeat. I just want to adjust stuff, is that too much to ask for Fuji?
     
  9. mikemgb

    mikemgb Member

    Messages:
    52
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2016
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO, USA
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    I backed this Kickstarter a while back: Dead Link Removed

    I should receive a couple of cameras early next year, I think one of these could easily be converted to an Instax developing machine. I'm going to have to try some Instax in my Ihagee 6x9 and see what I get.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Messages:
    8,724
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Nice and simple, no batteries. I wonder what mechanism they use to feed the next film to the rollers. Looked like the crank-wind Belair Instax Wide used a manual lever on the side.
     
  11. Lee Rust

    Lee Rust Member

    Messages:
    271
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Do you think think the older style wooden holders (Graflex) could be adapted as well? I don't know how the bottom flaps differ from the Fidelity Deluxe.
     
  12. mikemgb

    mikemgb Member

    Messages:
    52
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2016
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO, USA
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    I'll let you know when I get one, they say they will ship in January.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Messages:
    8,724
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Should be able to make it work. I think that part of the flap is designed to touch the thin sheet film to keep it flat. That area needs to be cleared away to make room for the pod. Maybe the wood flap on those can just be sanded down to clear. My plastic holder sticks a little sliding under the ground glass, I bet the wood ones slide in and out easier.
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. Lee Rust

    Lee Rust Member

    Messages:
    271
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks, I think I'll give it a try! I've been impressed by the Instax Mini prints from my wife's plastic Fujifilm camera, and it would be great to be able to use that film in the Graflex XL.
     
  16. OP
    OP
    ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Messages:
    8,724
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I received two more beautiful Fidelity film holders today. Now I have enough to hold six Instax films.

    I removed the little light trap/flap on a spent Instax cartridge. That makes re-loading very simple.

    The way I'm working is to remove all the Instax film from a cartridge and put the film in a light-tight 4x5" sheet film box. From there I load the film holders, just as if I were using sheet film.

    After exposing the film in the film holders, I load the film into my Instax cartridge and put that in the Instax camera (in the dark because I don't bother to replace the darkslide on the cartridge. Then I can turn the lights on and process the film by covering the lens of the camera and spitting the film out one-by-one.

    Compared to shooting with the Instax camera, it is more cumbersome. However, compared to shooting sheet film, this method is a thousand times easier. Fidelity 6x9 small.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2017
  17. Cholentpot

    Cholentpot Member

    Messages:
    1,892
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2015
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Can we see some more results?
     
  18. peter k.

    peter k. Subscriber

    Messages:
    862
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2011
    Location:
    Sedona Az.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Also would love to see some examples of your results, and perhaps a comparison, of the same shot between the Instax camera, and your MF shots from the film holders.
     
  19. OP
    OP
    ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Messages:
    8,724
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Sure I can scan some of them.
    Some differences I see:
    1) Focal length I have been using the 105/3.5 on the Horseman. Better for people than the wide lens on the Instax
    2) Exposure: Not much difference with flash indoors as both the Instax camera and my Nikon SB-28 are old-fashioned sensor-based reflected metered exposures. I guess I could get out my flash meter, which could allow better exposure with the Horseman.
    3) Outdoor Exposure: Winter scenes, the Horseman wind hands down. Gray snow with the Instax. Now if it had 30 segment Matrix metering...
    4) Sharpness: At the correct focal distance for the Instax camera, it is about the same as the resolution of the film probably is limiting. At other distances, the Horseman wins, but you do have to hold the little pictures close to your eye to see the difference.
     
  20. peter k.

    peter k. Subscriber

    Messages:
    862
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2011
    Location:
    Sedona Az.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Ha.. ya getting me interested.. now please understand, we have never held an Instax camera, or ever really even looked at one, but have known that they exist and that's about it!
    So a few quick questions:
    -- The Instax Wide is the film your referring to, that your placing into the 6x9 film holder?
    `` How many sheets in a cartridge? (we see that the Instax Wide comes with 20 exposures)
    --So removing the film from the cartridge you do this in the dark?
    Could you give a little more clarity please.
    --After you expose the film, you load the film into the Instax cartridge in the dark,, and use the same cartridge that the film came out of originally?
    The one you removed the light trap/flap off of?
    As in:
    --But then how can you turn the lights back on, to process the images, with the trap off?
    --Can you process just one or two shots at a time, or do they all need to be loaded till the cartridge is filled to its orginal capacity?

    Thinking of trying this with the 4x5 holders as you described by using double sided tape, as we have no 6x9 MF film holders.
    But still need a camera to process. Have to see if anyone we know has one of these cameras we can borrow.
    This perhaps would be perfect for a project we have had in the back of the mind for a while.
    Thanks...
     
  21. OP
    OP
    ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Messages:
    8,724
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The Instax Mini film fits the 6x9cm/2x3in film holders
    There are 10 sheets of the mini film in each cartridge
    Yes, take the film out of the cartridge and load the film holders in the dark. It is way easier than sheet film, because dust and fingerprints do not seem to show in the prints (unlike sheet film loading, which requires a dust-free "Clean Room")

    There is a little plastic flap on the Instax cartridge. In the light, after all the film is out of the cartridge, you can peel-off the flap. Now keep that cartridge aside and use it for all your processing.

    Back in the dark, take each exposed sheet out of the 6x9 film holders and load them through the slot in your cartridge, pod up and pod last. I could get all 10 back in, though the last two are a little tight. Just make sure you don't squish the pod with your fingers. Your re-loaded cartridge is not light-tight, so either load it into the camera in the dark or store it in a sheet-film box until you are ready to process it in the camera.

    When "processing" the film, I found holding my hand over the lens is not good enough, it fogs the prints from the flash. Press the lens tightly against a black object.
     
  22. OP
    OP
    ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Messages:
    8,724
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Some other notes:

    The spring in my 6x9 ground glass back is not as strong as those in 4x5 and 8x10 backs, so take good care the film holder is inserted all the way and seated and pressed up firmly to the mating surface. Also, when inserting and removing the darkslide, I press the film holder tight against the camera, to help maintain the light seal. Just a little wobble of the film holder and you could get a light strike when inserting or removing the darkslide.
     
  23. johnielvis

    johnielvis Member

    Messages:
    976
    Joined:
    May 21, 2010
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    for sure the attempt to do something new should be applauded--please, take no note of any naysayers about the "quality" of your prototypes--some people can be quite closed-minded, you know....
     
  24. OP
    OP
    ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Messages:
    8,724
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Some other notes:

    Since the image area is smaller than the nominal 6x9 format, some adjustment needs to be made when framing the image. The indicated frame lines in the Horseman viewfinder do crop quite a bit, so they crop just about to the size of the instax image, giving just over 100% view. Other cameras may need other solutions.

    BTW the ground glass back which accepts the sheet-film holders is Horseman item #27771
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2017
  25. locutus

    locutus Member

    Messages:
    447
    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    Location:
    Finland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    and now all of the sudden i feel stupid and bummed i sold off my Horseman VH-R.....
     
  26. peter k.

    peter k. Subscriber

    Messages:
    862
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2011
    Location:
    Sedona Az.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Well had some fun today. dug around and found my moms old Polaroid Sun 600. It still had some film in it, and it would fire, surprisingly the battery was still live, but no image on the expired film, as its way over expired. By a minimum of twenty years or so. Never throw anything way, ... it may come in handy. :whistling:

    So we now have a canister we can use, and a 'processing' unit for our experiment. :smile: What fun!
    Next, a local store has some 600 B&W Impossible out of date on sale, for a good price and picked up a pack of eight.
    Came home and did the do you described, but using a 4x5 and one of its film holders.

    Here's how we did it.
    Rather than using double sided tape, we marked and cut an opening in an old developed 4x5 negative. Situated the opening so the, ... what the heck do you call these things, will use the term Film Strip. Cut the opening in the old 4x5 neg, so it was centered long ways, but with one of its sides, more towards the bottom,close to the rail that holds the 4x5 neg in place. , The wider part of the film strip, is inserted last, and is used to push it under the old cut out 4x5 neg. Its positioned properly when the end of the film strip is even with the notched end of the old 4x5 neg. We can verify that it is properly seated, also by catching the white border edge of the film strip, with a finger nail, and gently pressing it towards the rail. .
    So we took a twilight shot, using the ASA ratting of 640 on the box.
    Ah that seemed to be over rated, as all that developed was the roof of the house next door, and the sky and red rocks in the background did not come into the image.
    To process it, we took another used old 3x4 negative to act as a shoe to get it into the old canister., and did not have to cover the lens, for when the film door was shut, it kicked it out, pass the rollers so it was processed.

    Tomorrow, will try again using a lower ASA ratting, and will do it with more light.
    Crazy fun project. .

    Oh BTW... where we got the 600 Impossible he had a mini Instax that had been exposed and gave ti to me to test in my MF film holder.. Mine is the standard 6x7, Grafic, and it fit. Yes it was a little long, but the end 'door' flap would close and the dark slide go in.
    With a fresh film strip, one would have to be sure the wider end which had the chemicals, was not at this end.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2017
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies. If you have a Photrio account, please log in (and select 'stay logged in') to prevent recurrence of this notice.