June 5th, 2013

$99 Bare-Bulb Flash From Polaroid?

polaroid-bare-bulbWith no press release and seemingly out of nowhere, a $99 bare-bulb flash has appeared on Amazon: the Polaroid PL-135. This is a good $300 less than even the cheapest bare-bulb flash and $700 less than the most basic Quantum Qflash kit. But what do you get for $99? Essentially, you get a generic AA powered speedlight with a guide number of 52 that has been turned into a bare-bulb flash. You do get basic Canon or Nikon TTL, or so it is claimed. There is a “power receptacle for an available external power pack,” but no details are given about what kind of a connection it uses or what power pack they may be referring to. A reflector and diffuser are included, as are a bag to carry the whole kit in. You won’t find the Polaroid PL-135 on Polaroid’s website, so don’t even look. These days, Polaroid is a shell of its former self. The Polaroid PL-135 is just the brainchild of one of their licensees, very likely designed and built without Polaroid having anything to do with it.

Does it work? Initial reports from around the web seem to say “Yes.” The quality of light is said to be nice, just like you expect from a bare-bulb flash. But you will have to deal with the slow recycling time and low power of a speedlight and the mediocre quality of a $99 off-brand product.

So will working pros rush to fill a void in their toolkit with the Polaroid PL-135? Doubtful. But at such a low price, it might just work for a one-off production piece for a particular job.

Price: $99 (as of this writing)

www.amazon.com/Polaroid-PL-135-Bounce-Digital-Cameras/dp/B00CKT8VP0

Related article:
6 Top-Notch Camera Flashes

 

September 27th, 2010

Dutch Group Announces New Color Instant Film For Polaroid Cameras

The Impossible Project, the Dutch group engineering new analog instant film for vintage Polaroid cameras, premiered a new color film last week at the Photokina imaging fair in Cologne, Germany. The company also announced a new black and white film for Polaroid 600 cameras, and used their film for the first time in the 20 x 24 Polaroid camera.

The color film, is dubbed the PX 70 Color Shade First Flush, was created with vintage SX 70 Polaroid cameras in mind, however the film can be used in Polaroid 600 cameras that have an exposure control.

Polaroid stopped producing instant film in February 2008. In 2009, The Impossible Project signed an 10-year lease on Polaroid’s former factory in Enschede, Netherlands, and began developing new analog instant film packs with all new chemistry and components, the first of which premiered this past spring.

This first color film offering from the Impossible Project is not without its quirks. For instance, once a photograph is made, the photographer has to shield the film from light immediately for up to two minutes. And instructions on The Impossible Project Web site also note that, “Initial spots or other anomalies in the picture will disappear after 24 hours.” Original Polaroid color film did not have these characteristics.

The PX 70 Color Shade film is currently being offered in a three-pack that totals 18 exposures for $44.

An image shot with PX 70 Color Shade film, courtesy The Impossible Project.

A new black and white film, the PX 600 Silver Shade UV+ for Polaroid 600 cameras, was announced as well. The new film, which will be available in October, features a UV sheet that the company says will improve image tones and increase the stability of the film.

The famed 20 x 24 Polaroid camera also made an appearance at Photokina. At an evening event The Impossible Project introduced its first experimental film for the camera and made nine portraits of guests at the event. The Impossible Project also renewed its commitment to making 20 x 24 material commercially available in the future.