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Shooting Instax Film Through A Medium Format Camera by Jessica Bellinger

Shoot It With Film Jessica Bellinger Instax Hack
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We are sharing an awesome video today from film photographer Jessica Bellinger all about hacking your medium format camera to shoot Instax film (Amazon: Instax Mini Film). Yes! If you’ve ever shot an Instax and just wished you could have sharper images, more depth of field, or double exposures, this tutorial is perfect for you.

Just click the video and Jessica will show you everything you need to know, or you can scroll on down for the written directions.

What You’ll Need: 

(shown at 2:30 in the video)

Shoot It With Film Jessica Bellinger Instax Hack

Things To Note:

  • Light Sensitivity: Instax film is rated at ISO 800 without a lot of latitude for over or underexposure. You’ll want to meter for 800. To give you an example, the Instax camera shoots this film in full sun at shutter speed 1/60 and f32. If you are trying to shoot this film outside with your lens wide open, you’ll need a really high shutter speed, or, if your camera doesn’t have a high enough shutter speed, you’ll need a neutral density filter (Amazon: Neutral Density Filters) to cut out some of that light. With such a high ISO, this method tends to do better when shooting indoors.
  • When you’re switching your film from the Instax camera to the medium format camera (and vise versa), it must be done inside a changing bag. Any light will damage the film.
  • The BACK side of the Instax film is the exposure side! When your putting the sheet of film into your medium format camera, you’ll want the back side of the film facing the shutter. (min. 3:14)
  • You can practice this method outside of your changing bag using an empty Instax film holder, an exposed frame of Instax film, and your medium format camera. Just like Jessica does in the video! It will save you a lot of grief to practice a handful of times before you put everything inside the changing bag.

Shoot It With Film Jessica Bellinger Instax Hack

How To Shoot Instax Film In A Medium Format Camera

All of this is done INSIDE the changing bag:

  1. Put your Instax camera (loaded with film) and your medium format camera inside the changing bag.
  2. Take the film back off of your medium format camera.
  3. Open the back of your Instax camera and pull out the film cartridge. Be careful to note which way the cartridge was in the camera so you can replace it the same way.
  4. Slide one sheet of Instax film out of the film cartridge. Again, pay attention to the orientation of the film so you can replace it the same way. (min. 3:20)
  5. Put the film canister back inside the Instax.
  6. Put the sheet of Instax film into your medium format camera where the film back usually goes. Make sure you face the back of the Instax film facing the shutter. (min. 3:53)
  7. Put the medium format film back back on your camera. Your film back will not shut all of the way since the Instax film is in the way, so hold it firmly in place to keep light from getting in. (min. 4:15)
  8. You can now take your medium format camera out of the changing bag!

The next steps are done OUTSIDE of the changing bag:

  1. Take your picture! You can also take double exposures at this point.

Back INSIDE the changing bag:

  1. Now, you’ll reverse the process. Put your medium format camera back inside the changing bag. Make sure your Instax camera is in the changing bag, as well.
  2. Take the film back off of your medium format camera.
  3. Remove the Instax film sheet from your medium format camera. Be careful to note the orientation of the film so you can insert it correctly into the film cartridge. (min. 5:51)
  4. Remove the film cartridge from your Instax camera.
  5. Put the Instax film sheet into the film cartridge. Make sure it is the first sheet of film in the cartridge. (min. 6:04)
  6. Put the film cartridge back into your Instax camera.
  7. Cover the flash on your Instax camera and click the shutter to take a picture. This is what will develop your image, and it needs to be done inside the changing bag. (min 6:57)

You can now take everything out of the changing bag and look at your cool new picture!

Shoot It With Film Jessica Bellinger Instax Hack

Thank you so much, Jessica, for sharing this amazing video with us! Please check out Jessica’s work on Instagram and her website, and if you have questions about using your medium format camera to develop Instax film, leave them below in the comments.

You can also check out all of our film tips and tutorials here!

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