From Instax to Sunset

Waterloo Sunset - Austin, Texas

Waterloo Sunset – Austin, Texas

I mentioned a couple of days ago. How I finally restored a semblance of normalcy by going out to a restaurant with a friend. Not totally like our usual outings, of course. Instead of a group, I went with a single person — socially distanced — and we ate outside. I had a cheeseburger and we talked for over 3 1/2 hours.

We met at 4pm when it was still bright, and it was just past sunset when we finally left the restaurant. Going out the door, I saw a gently fading sunset, which I felt compelled to document. My Fuji X-E3 with the 15-45mm kit lens did an admirable job shot at 1/8 of a second, handheld at ISO 2000. Still very serviceable. It may not be the most impressive photo, but it caps off a delightful afternoon catching up with a friend.

Instax Chuck
Instax Margarita

Chuck and a Margarita

Earlier that outing, I busted out my show and tell camera, the fairly uncommon InstantFlex TL70. A small company out of Hong Kong makes this retro-looking twin lens reflex that shoots Fuji Instax Mini film. I introduced it about a year ago, and you can see the actual camera and six example prints from around Austin.

It hadn’t gotten much use of it, but I was determined to shoot it that day, and it’s probably my most difficult camera to use properly. Everything is pretty much manual. The Fuji Instax film doesn’t have much dynamic range — consequently, exposures need to be spot on.

I made a few portraits and managed to get the settings correct using the flash to properly expose a backlit shot. The margarita turned out nice too. With a comparably large f5.6 aperture — for a medium format sized film — the depth of field is very shallow. It takes some precise focusing, which can be challenging with the manual controls. I gave a copy to Chuck, and these little keepsakes are a tangible, physical reminder of our enjoyable outing.

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2 thoughts on “From Instax to Sunset

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