| Nov 30, 11:00 AM
Greetings, friends, and welcome back to Dr. Love’s Tips, where Impossible USA’s Camera Resource Manager Frank Love provides you with advice and insight on how to get the best out of your Polaroid cameras and Impossible film. This entry: Push it! Push it Real Good…
Taking some cues from our Flickr thread, we’ve had some people write in asking about how to shoot SX-70 or 100 speed film in their 600 cameras. Whatever your reasons, be it you’re in a pinch and SX-70 is what’s available, or you want to bring one less camera with you, or you’re going for a different look than your SX-70 gets you, there is always something you can do to trick your camera to think how you want it to…or at least close to it.
For people who enjoy shooting 600 film in their SX-70, this is already a known and fairly easy practice for many. It’s a straightforward technique, 600 film is about 2 stops faster than what an SX-70 is calibrated to, so you take a 2-stop Neutral Density filter, and you put it somewhere in the path of where the light hits the film. People can simply get our pack filters and put that filter over the film itself, or there are also Lens ND filters, though these will also darken your viewfinder.
But…how does one do this in reverse? If you have a 600 camera and SX-70 film, now your film is about 2 stops slower than what the camera is calibrated to…how do you get more light in?
Well, there’s a fairly similar technique for this; you use an ND filter…you just put it somewhere else. You need to put the same kind of ND filter, not over the lens or the film, but rather over the meter on your camera. By putting the filter over the meter of the camera, it fools the camera into thinking there is that much less light than there actually is, and will compensate the exposure up that much more.
This technique leaves your light/darken slider or dial free to adjust to your needs. If you were to just try turning this switch all the way light to compensate and shoot SX-70 film, images will still tend to be dark, as this will only give you at most a stop and a half more light.
The big thing to note about this technique though is that most plastic 600 cameras have a maximum shutter speed of ½ a second, so if you are shooting with one, and your scene is too dark, your images will come out underexposed. Also, when using flash, the meter is often overridden because the level of light from the camera is ‘known’ to the camera, and again images will be too dark.
For typical shooting though, feel free to cut a small piece of ND and tape it over your meter on your camera and happy shooting!
As always, keep your rollers clean,
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