USING THE POLAROID MACRO 5 SLR CAMERA FOR THE FIRST TIME

Posted in INSTANT/POLAROID CAMERAS by Nicole Gelinas on February 24, 2012

Overall, using the Polaroid Macro 5 was surprisingly easy and I have a feeling that this camera is going to be used time and time again. Then again, I am really into macro photography, so it fits my needs! This camera is HUGE; it is literally larger than my head (see bottom image)! This is seriously something you would not want to pack around with you for too long, although for its size, it is surprisingly light! It was originally created for the medical field, such as dentistry, used for making records on your visits.

All of the controls are on the back panel. It is an SLR, so what you see in the viewfinder is what you get, and it has automatic exposure. The back panel also has buttons that let you lighten or darken the image by 1/3 f-stop in each direction. It also uses two flashes, one on either side of the lens. You can also choose to turn the flashes off, or only choose one to fire. It has five different settings that allows you to magnify your subject by 20%, 40%, 100%, 200%, or 300%.

When I first received the camera it had batteries and an old film cartridge already loaded. I figured this would be a good time to find out how the camera works without wasting any good film. I turned the camera on and a red light started to flash. This made me excited to see that the camera actually turned on, but every time I pressed the shutter button down, the camera would beep and continue beeping until I released the button. Still no image was ejecting from the bottom. I then put four fresh AA batteries in and waited for the cameras flash to charge. After a few hours it was still not letting me take a photo and it continued to beep and beep! After some research I discovered that each film pack contains batteries on the bottom side of the cartridge that must also be combined with the AA batteries before the camera will “charge”. I only had to wait seconds after inserting new film to start shooting. I knew it was ready when all of the lights on the back turned to green.

I used spectra film from the IMPOSSIBLE PROJECT. I wish I could tell you what kind of film this was exactly, but I bought a grab-bag and the packages were not labeled. If I had to guess I would say it was the PZ 600 SILVER SHADE UV+ BLACK FRAME. Each film pack contains 8 shots.

As far as the actual subject matter of the images, I was really trying to show the similarities of the dead leaf and the deceased butterfly. I loved how the edges of both were tattered, worn, and/or rotted away. I also loved that each one had their own unique markings and patterns. They shared similar curves, as well as light and dark markings throughout. Overall, I am really satisfied with the way these images turned out and the black border really holds the images in place and makes the subjects pop!

I shot all of these images on automatic, except for this one below. I decided I wanted to see what it would look like if I made one image a little darker. The setting did indeed make it darker. The photo came out kind of creepy looking actually, resembling a tintype photo or something?? Next to this is a size reference as to how large this camera really is!

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  1. MATTING AND FRAMING FOR 10X10X10xTIETON « happy to be creative said, on July 10, 2012 at 9:53 am

    […] displayed (above) and will be available for purchase. The original photographs were taken with a Polaroid Macro 5 camera using PZ 600 Silver Shade UV+ Black Frame spectra film from the Impossible […]

  2. Jim said, on February 24, 2012 at 9:38 am

    I’m astonished by the amount of detail in these photos — but at the same time, they still look distinctively Polaroid.

    • Nicole Gelinas said, on February 24, 2012 at 7:46 pm

      Yeah I am amazed at how they turned out, although I am really new to polaroid and I am still learning what to expect…if that is even possible! What do you like to shoot with?

      • Jim said, on February 25, 2012 at 5:28 am

        Here’s a list of most of my old cameras, the ones I’ve shot so far anyway: http://blog.jimgrey.net/about/cameras/

        I think my favorites are my Canon Canonet QL17 G-III, my Argus A-Four, and my Zeiss-Ikon Contessa LK, I also recently shot a Pentax ME (SLR) that charmed me.

        I have five Polaroid cameras, two of which I’ve shot, that I haven’t written about yet.


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