The Ultimate Hipster Camera

Blanton Stairway - Austin, Texas

Blanton Stairway – Austin, Texas

What’s the ultimate hipster camera?

It needs to shoot film, of course. It needs to be old and cool looking. And, it needs to be hard to use and have worse image quality than the soulless new digital cameras.

From the photo, you can probably tell it’s a Polaroid camera. A real Polaroid, not a Fuji Instax, which the photo un-enlightened mistakenly call, a Polaroid. I shot this with the original Polaroid — well all most. Called the SX-70 Sonar One Step, it was introduced in 1978, six years after the original ground breaking model.

I was talking with my friend Jerry, the owner of Precision Camera, about possibly getting an original SX-70, next year. He was nice enough to let me use his for a short time. I immediately bought a pack of SX-70 film at Precision, now made by Polaroid Originals which is basically a rebranded name for The Impossible Project. The modern reformulation of the instant film is no where as good as the original, but they continue to make improvements.

I shot today’s grand staircase at the Blanton Museum, during Austin Museum Day. The sonar autofocusing no longer works and there’s a way to bypass it, however, it unexpectedly re-engaged as I pushed the button. It rendered an already Lo-Fi and soft, even when focused image, into something almost abstract.

The photo can either be a cool, artistic, abstract or a poorly shot, low-fi, piece of junk. Perhaps your appreciation or lack there of, is a hipster test. At a steep $2.50 a shot, I’m going to delude myself into thinking, it’s kind of cool.


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