Due to the adamant enthusiasm from one of the hosts on the Film Photography Podcast, last week, for the first time ever, I used a Polaroid: the SX-70 from the late 70s.
I never expected to use the camera because it was an unintentional acquisition from ebay; it had been one of the cameras in a camera lot auction. Now that film is once again being produced for these cameras their prices have gone way up.
This beauty came complete with crumbling vinyl, fungusy lens, the ability to fold, split image focusing (it is an slr), exposure compensation, and surprisingly, a working meter.
I had no idea using a Polaroid was so infectious. The immediate satisfaction of taking a photograph and having a print within a couple of minutes is way more gratifying than an instant preview on a digital camera.
Granted the performance is not tack sharp (the fungusy lens lowers contrast and blurs the image a bit) and the quality of the film is bandit (especially considering the price), but these factors add to the surreality of the product and I love the images I can make with the camera!
Once scanned into the computer I had to boost the contrast, but that was the only manipulation I made.
I do have some gripes:
1) I can not control aperture or shutter speed - the camera automatically chooses it for me.
2) The damaged lens adds and detracts from the overall image.
3) The price of the available film is high.
4) I can not call the meter reliable.
The camera holds a dear place in my heart. I shall name it Tom Jones. I do not think that is unusual.