When we talk about instant film, Fujifilm and Polaroid Originals are the only mature solutions available at this time. One of the characteristics of these cameras is that we can choose only one format for one camera. But what if we want to shoot different formats on the same day? That made me start thinking of a possible solution.
I have always thought that the potential 3D printing technology has for photography is huge. Starting to browse around Thingiverse.com showed me how lots of people were doing their best to design some accessories or cameras and that inspired me to contribute as well.
Of course “think” and “do” not always move together. The difficulties in designing complex elements made my ideas…well, just ideas. So I decided to take a different approach and here we are: my Instax Wide/Square adapter solution.
I was fascinated by the 2018’s new Instax Square format by Fujifilm but budget-wise couldn’t buy another camera, so I decided to modify what I had to let me shoot Instax Square in my Instax Wide camera.
The adapter design is a really simple one. Just a few rectangular shapes extruded here and there to fit in both wide and square format.
The project consists of two elements: a replacement base plate for the factory-fitted version in the Instax 100 Wide and a pair of pressure plate springs.
The base plate design is now at its 3rd iteration and is still a work in progress but 100% functional.
As you will see in the video below, the adapter allows you to shoot both Instax Wide and Instax Square film in the Instax 100 Wide camera. My original pressure plate designs were successfully tested with the square format film. However, when I decided to give it a try with Instax Wide film, I found a new “bug”.
The plates applied too much pressure on the film, causing the film chemical pod to burst and spread chemistry over the camera’s film rollers.
In addition to the chemistry pod issue, the pressure was also stopping Wide format film from ejecting from the camera properly (at least with still 10 frames in the cartridge).
The field test you see in the middle of the video below was a disaster!
Chemicals all over my hands and the camera’s rollers. The only solution was to shorten the height of the pressure plate element without affecting the results on the square format – I had to design better spacing to fit the spring during the movement of the film.
Luckily it worked and with the actual design you can download, you can finally enjoy your Instax 100 Wide camera with both wide and square formats. Get your files and try it out for yourself now.
In-use and future updates
First and foremost, you have to learn how to frame properly! The Instax Square film is only covering the right part of the camera so framing needs a little bit of practice.
My next challenge is to create a design that keeps the existing pressure plate frame on the film door. I understand that not everyone wants to cut the original plate, even though it is a really simple and easy job.
After that, I want to make this plate suitable for different Instax camera models. The Instax 100 Wide is easy to work with (thanks to the screws that keep the pressure plate frame in place), but the newer model, the Instax 300, uses a different method.
But that is not all. I want to see if I can design a 3-in-one adapter so that even Instax Mini film can be used, and understand a method to position the Instax Square / Mini cartridges in the center of the camera instead of on the right side. This will take a little bit more.
I hope with this and the future projects I can contribute to spread the passion for photography and make it more accessible. There are lots of overpriced solutions in the market and I think it is good for the community to contribute and share projects like this for free for everyone to’s benefit. you can download and try my Instax Wide-Square adapter over at Thingverse.
Till my next update, as usual, Stay Click!
Share your knowledge, story or project
At the heart of EMULSIVE is the concept of helping promote the transfer of knowledge across the film photography community. You can support this goal by contributing your thoughts, work, experiences and ideas to inspire the hundreds of thousands of people who read these pages each month. Check out the submission guide here.
If you like what you're reading you can also help this personal passion project by heading on over to the EMULSIVE Patreon page and giving as little as a dollar a month. There's also print and apparel over at Society 6, currently showcasing over two dozen t-shirt designs and over a dozen unique photographs available for purchase.