This is a new little gadget I just picked up, the Fuji Instax SP2 Smartphone printer. It is a super rad little thing which basically means I turned my phone into an instant camera (sort of) and that is pretty awesome in my book.
But really, isn't technology an amazing thing? It sure is! I know that this little gadget has been out for a year but it's new to me so I'm going to gush over it just a little bit here and maybe this is a pseudo product review? We'll go with that haha.
I was originally going to buy batteries for my Instax camera but found this printer instead and opted for it over just using the camera itself for 2 reasons. First, I can print whatever is in my archives that I want to and second, because of that, I can curate the content and make whatever edits I need ahead of printing so I'm not wasting time/money/resources with bum images I don't like cuz the film is expensive and I just don't want to be wasteful, throwing out stuff I don't like or sticking them in a drawer somewhere.
I tested it out and played around with images from a wide variety of sources then scanned all of these with my desktop flatbed. I applied no filters and made no adjustments in Photoshop, just cropped off the edges. I made some prints for some band friends too which I think they liked because I got some good reactions! I do plan to incorporate this into some work going forward, probably in a collage/mixed media capacity. I really miss making collage based work so I am itching to get back to it.
Anyway, take a look at the goods....in no particular order...
2017- Bushwick, Brooklyn- taken with my iPhone 6.
I applied the Instax app "Intelligence "filter which seems to boost the brightness and contrast a bit. This is the only print I used that in app filter on. I took this in the evening when the light was fading a bit so the colors didn't pop quite as much as I'd have liked so the filter helped.
This is as is, no filter applied. The blacks get a bit muddled, so since her eyes were mostly closed when I took the picture, the detail gets lost in that. Full disclosure that I got this printer mainly to make tons of miniature instant prints of my cats, duuuuuhhhhhh
The above 2 are Downtrodder in Philly 6/2017 and Namatay Sa Ingay 7/2017 in Brooklyn, both taken with my Nikon D750.
I'm pretty sure these were hi-res files that I used for these and they were very sharp but I see a definite loss of detail in these prints. I'm not sure if it's because the software tried to compress it some or because there's just a lot going on, but I am going to try again with a lower resolution file and see if that works better. Ironic that a professional full frame SLR with the high resolution is the best camera I used on this list and the images I took with it were the ones that the prints were just a little off when I made them haha.
I'm not complaining though, because there is plenty of other stuff I can do with the hi-res versions plus since long exposure is a staple of my live band shooting style, it's really cool to see that come to life as an instant print even if it's not super crisp. I would have never been able to do that with the Instax camera I have, so I am REALLY glad I shelled out the extra money for this printer vs getting batteries for the camera.
2017- Queens- taken with my iPhone 6.
No filter, printed as is. The colors are crisp and pretty well saturated which I like. It was a bright summer morning when I took this, which helped for sure. I just love that goofy face, reminds me of myself haha just needs some glasses!
The blacks again get a slight bit muddled and look a bit flat but not terribly so. I have loved this phrase/image for many years so a print of it has hung in various apartments I've had over that time.
his is a double whammy as I scanned the pic and posted it to IG a little while ago. Then I took a screen shot, enlarged it a little in the app (which warned me if I went any larger, it would lose quality. That is a nice feature to avoid making bum prints that are low quality) and made the print. Not bad for all that! Even some of the detail in my hot super fashionable overalls is visible. I would like to make a print from the original file to compare side by side to see if more detail comes through
BAST circa 2000-ish Nikon FM2 35mm camera.
This is another image I have just loved and loved for so long so it was top of the list to print. I found this randomly walking around in lower Manhattan going to the old Knitting Factory, so it was in the area of Leonard, St. In fact, a faded larger print of this still hangs in my apartment today. I made a hi-res scan of the negative at some point in college which then sat on an external for over 10 years until I pulled it off to test out for this print. The slight gradient appearance of the robot is on the original scan so the Instax printer did a good job of keeping the blacks looking nice.
Another brilliant childhood picture of myself hahaha. I believe this dates to around 1985 or 86, I took a picture of the print with my phone and posted it to IG. This is a screenshot of that, so not too bad i n terms of detail. I am going to make a scan of the original print and use that to do another Instax print to compare side by side.
2017- Blue Skies- Scan from 35mm negative taken with a disposable camera.
Some details are lost in the clouds but nothing to get upset about. Took this out the window of a van when I was touring with my friend's band this summer. I think it's somewhere around Kentucky or Indiana, I'm not 100% sure though.
Glad I got this little gadget, it's fun. I have some other rando things I've been tinkering with that maybe I'll review too. None of it fancy expensive stuff or even new really, but doesn't matter to me.
Stay tuned, more punk photo nerd stuff to come, thanks for reading :D
Don't use these images without asking/crediting me THX!