Film Camera 2024 -2: Polaroid I2 – Results

So how did my foray with the Polaroid I2 go.

It went better than my first effort with the SX-70. The camera is clearly working as intended. The picture above, and the three below are pretty much straight out of the camera and onto the scanner.

I was a bit disappointed, but on further consideration I decided that the poor quality of the photographs is most likely the fault of the photographer (i.e. me). One of the main reasons for this is that I’m stubborn. I’d read on a number of websites that the camera didn’t work well in auto mode: i.e. it tended to overexpose and select a slow shutter speed, which introduces blur. I’d been told, but I decided to find out for myself. I can confirm that what the other sites had said was true.

Of course, after I’d scanned them, I had to fiddle around with them in Lightroom. I didn’t want to spend a lot of time on them, so they’re over sharpened in many cases. See the pictures below for how they looked after I’d “processed” them.

There were numerous constraints: Apart from the SX-70 mentioned above I’d only ever used a polaroid camera once, and that was about 50 years ago, and it was one of the “cheap and cheerful” models; This was the very first time that I was using this particular camera; I don’t know much about scanning polaroids and I’m not much good at scanning at the best of times; and I’d chosen to use a mode that everything I had read told me not to use.

So, bearing mind the constraints I was satisfied with the results. I’ll certainly use the camera again (I a paid a lot for it), but next time I won’t use the auto mode. Instead, I’ll probably use either Aperture priority (usually my preferred mode) or maybe even full manual.

Film Camera 2024 -2: Polaroid I2

I started my adventures (or maybe misadventures) in instant photography with an old Polaroid SX-70. It didn’t altogether work out (See: Film Camera 2024 -1 and Film Camera 2024 -1: Polaroid SX-70 – Results). Determined to continue with the adventure, I considered getting the SX-70 checked out and fixed. But then it occurred to me that it is after all an old camera and might well stop working entirely in the near future. And it’s a lovely piece of industrial design that I wouldn’t mind having it as a shelf queen. So, while not entirely ruling out the possibility of getting it fixed at some point I decided to get another camera: a more recent polaroid camera. Eventually I decided to go for broke and get Polaroid’s top of the line camera: The I2, Polaroid’s most sophisticated camera of all time.

There’s a good review of it on Digital Review: Polaroid I-2 review: The best instant camera doesn’t come cheap.

According to the review the key specs are:

  • 98mm f/8 lens (∼38mm f/3.2 equiv.)
  • LiDAR autofocus
  • Manual & auto exposure modes
  • Compatible with i-Type, 600 and SX-70 film
  • Optical viewfinder with LCD info display
  • Internal battery rechargeable via USB-C
  • Rear OLED info display
  • 2.5mm flash port
  • Metal tripod mount
  • Bluetooth enabled

The review concludes:

What we like

  • Sharp 98mm lens with a fast equiv. aperture (for an instant camera)
  • Manual and auto exposure control
  • Exposure compensation wheel
  • Accurate center point AF
  • Good build quality
  • Great battery life

What we don’t like

  • Pricey
  • Viewfinder glare is distracting, worse for glasses wearers
  • Viewfinder info display is hard to read
  • Max shutter speed of 1/250 too slow for some subjects
  • No manual focus mode

Pricey but capable, the I-2 is the best Polaroid camera money can buy in 2023. Its suite of full manual, auto, and semi-auto exposure modes provides plenty of flexibility. The sharp lens outputs fantastic shots and autofocus works with solid reliability. Plus, the camera handles well and looks even cooler.

However, for a lot of folks, the core features of the Polaroid I-2 are going to be overkill. This is especially true given the point-and-shoot style Polaroid Now camera is just $95. It doesn’t have as nice a lens or manual controls but it is $500 cheaper. Just think of all the film you could buy with that savings. (Though the prints are significantly smaller.)

But the I-2 isn’t meant to appeal to the masses, rather it’s a niche product for a very specific type of diehard Polaroid shooter. These are folks clinging for dear life to their creaky, twice-rebuilt SX-70 cameras (I know a few). And I believe these are the people who are going to appreciate the I-2 and all it has to offer, even if the price is a bit much to stomach.

The Polaroid I-2 is the ultimate instant photographer’s camera, with full manual controls, accurate autofocus and a super-sharp lens. But it is pricey and the sheer number of features may overwhelm some users.

Good for: Deep-pocket instant shooters. Anyone craving total exposure control over their instant photos. Polaroid diehards.
Not good for: Those who want an affordable and easy way to snap Polaroids.

Film Camera 2024 -1: Polaroid SX-70 – Results

Of course, after I got my hands the Polaroid SX-70 mentioned in the previous post I rushed out immediately, eager to try it out – right? Actually, that was not the case. I think that I acquired the camera and film in 2022. When I opened the film package today, I noticed that the film was made in 2021, which of course makes it three years old. Polaroid warns that you should not use film more than one year old, which may have been a contributing factor to what happened today.

So how did things go? Well, I put the film in the camera and the dark slide popped out as it should. So far so good. I left the house and walked down towards the Hudson River. On the way I spotted something that I thought would make an interesting picture. I carefully focused, framed the picture and pressed the shutter release. The camera whirred but no picture was ejected. After tugging for a while, I managed to get it out. Of course, the picture was blank. I continued walking and took another picture with the same results. The third picture at least ejected from the camera without any assistance with me, but it looked as if it had been taken with a 150-year-old camera rather than 52-year-old camera that it is. I continued walking and taking pictures and they all ejected and were all pretty much of the same quality. When I got to the last two pictures, I pressed the shutter release…and nothing happened. Frustrating, but then I remembered that while the old Polaroid film allowed 10 exposures, the modern variant only allows eight. I imagine that the first two exposures did not register on the frame counter, which showed that there were two left when in fact there the film pack was finished. When I got home, I couldn’t get the film pack out of the camera, but after some YouTube browsing I managed to figure out how to remove it and also how to clean the rollers (which now had some bluish grey gunk on them, probably from my efforts to remove the film from the camera when it wouldn’t eject by itself).

I don’t consider today’s efforts a total disaster though (although I might have done if I hadn’t gotten any pictures at all). I was bit disappointed with the results, but not at all surprised. It’s an old camera that’s been sitting around for a while. The film was beyond its sell by date. Clearly the camera is not working properly, but all things considered I quite liked the results. They have a certain vintage look that has a charm of its own.

I also wanted to see whether or not I’d like the instant camera experience. I was surprised to find that I did, and I intend to continue. I might see if I can get the camera repaired. I browsed around for a while and discovered that a lot of people had good things to say about Brooklyn Film Camera. I live close to NY City, so I’ll probably give them a call, and if possible, take it in for them to have a look. If they can fix it for a reasonable cost I’ll probably do it. If not I might consider getting another one that they already renovated. It’s such a beautiful camera that I wouldn’t at all mind putting it out for display.

All things considered it was an enjoyable experience.

Taken with a Polaroid SX-70. Pictures messed with in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

Film Camera 2024 -1: Polaroid SX-70

Even when they were in their heyday, I wasn’t much into instant cameras. I guess I shouldn’t even say instant cameras because back then there was only one brand: Polaroid. However, I witnessed the death and resurrection of Polaroid and admired they way that a group of determined and dedicated individuals had brought back both the film and the cameras. Good for them!

So when I was thinking about what new kind of camera I could try it occurred to me to go for a Polaroid camera. It seemed to me that the Polaroid SX-70 was arguably the best of the bunch so that was what I got, along with some Polaroid SX-70 black and white film.

The SX-70 is a folding single lens reflex Land camera which was produced by the Polaroid Corporation from 1972 to 1981. It helped popularize instant photography…There were a variety of models beginning in 1972 with the original SX-70, though all shared the same basic design. The first model had a plain focusing screen (the user was expected to be able to see the difference between in- and out-of focus) because Dr. Land wanted to encourage photographers to think they were looking at the subject, rather than through a viewfinder. When many users complained that focusing was difficult, especially in dim light, a split-image rangefinder prism was added. This feature is standard on all later manual focus models…Though expensive, the SX-70 was popular in the 1970s and retains a cult following today. Photographers such as Ansel Adams, Andy Warhol, Helmut Newton, and Walker Evans praised and used the SX-70. Helmut Newton used the camera for fashion shoots. Walker Evans began using the camera in 1973 when he was 70 years old. Not until the $40 Model 1000 OneStep using SX-70 film became the best-selling camera of the 1977 Christmas shopping season, however, did its technology become truly popular. More recently, it was the inspiration for the Belfast alternative band SX-70’s name. (Wikipedia).

I guess if it was good enough for Walker Evans it out to be good enough for me!

There’s a good review (along with some example photographs) at Polaroid SX-70 Land Camera Review & How to Use this Iconic Camera, by Sara Johansen. For another interesting take on this camera see: Polaroid SX-70 Instant Film Camera Review – The Pinnacle of Polaroid by James Tocchio on Casual Photophile, one of my favorite photography related sites.

It’s certainly a beautiful camera, and a technological marvel to boot.

Taken with a Panasonic Lumix GX85 and Leica DG Summilux 15mm f1.7

My Photography in 2023

Before I start to write about my photography in 2023, I think it would be good for me to talk more broadly about my photographic journey.

My interest in photography started in 1974 when my wife bought me my first serious camera: a Minolta Hi-Matic 7sII film camera, which I used extensively in the 1980s and 90s, along with a Canon AE-1, which I acquired several years later. At some point in the early-mid 2000s I switched to digital photograph, but somehow my interest in photography had waned. I didn’t feel like going out to take pictures and only took pictures of family vacations, family events etc.

Things changed in 2010. I had lost my primary digital camera. I later found it again but by that time I had purchased another one: A Panasonic Lumix LX-3. I loved this camera (still do). Somehow it reignited my love of photography, which was just as well because retirement was looming in 2012, and I needed to find something to do with myself.

After that I split my time between photography and doing things (plays, shows, meals out, travel etc.) with my wife. It was a good time.

This went on until late 2020 when my wife of 43 years unexpectedly passed away after a thankfully very brief illness (not COVID). This was a very tough time for me and I had to find something to keep me occupied, or I would have gone mad. Of course, that thing was photography and between late 2020 and late 2021 I was constantly out taking pictures.

Late in 2022 I volunteered to work for our local Historical Society. This was something I had been meaning to do for some time, but never gotten around to. Since then, I’ve been there virtually every workday from 9:00am-4:00pm. This doesn’t mean that I have given up photography. Far from it. I still take photographs, make photobooks and the occasional prints; collect old cameras and photobooks etc., just at a slightly diminished pace than before.

So photographically speaking this is what I’ve been doing during 2023.


Despite my commitments to the Historical Society, I’ve managed to get out on quite a few photowalks:

In addition to the above I walk a lot around the area where I live and take many pictures. All told I kept about 1,500 photographs in 2023. I took a lot more.

As in previous years I’ve created two year-end posts featuring my favorite photographs, one on favorite black and whites; and the other on favorite color photographs.


I maintain and will continue to maintain this blog, which I started in 2012. In 2023 I made 366 Blog Posts. The total number of posts since I started the blog is 4,359.


However, I have also become a little tired of the blog format. I will keep the blog as a kind of illustrated diary of what I’m up to, but in 2023 I created a more traditional website for myself. You can find it at


In previous years I’ve tried some more experimental (for me) approaches e.g. Macro Photography, Street Photography etc. In 2023 I tried my hand at infrared photography. I enjoyed it and will probably do more. I also want to learn more about video. I have cameras that can shoot video, but I didn’t have software to edit the results. I’ve now acquired some. I haven’t done much with it in 2023 but anticipate doing more in 2024.

I like to see my photographs in print but have little wall space to display them. So instead, I’ve focused on creating photobooks (more precisely ‘Zines’) of my work. In 2023 I created (or substantially modified an earlier version of) the following:

  • Opus 40. A remarkable large environmental sculpture in Saugerties, New York,
  • Golden Anniversary. Documenting my friends Marc and Rozanne Prisaments’ 50th Wedding Anniversary.
  • >A Tree:(revised): Around the Neighborhood No. 1. A series of photographs taken at the same time of single nearby tree.
  • A Pond: Around the Neighborhood No. 2. A series of Photographs taken around a nearby pond, which was once the outdoor pool of a famous resort hotel now gone.
  • Infrared. My attempts at infrared photography.
  • Quinceañera (revised). Documenting a friend’s granddaughter’s celebration.
  • Rivertowns No. 1: Along Albany Post Road, Tarrytown (revised). Part of an ongoing series of photographs of towns along the Hudson River.
  • Rivertowns No. 2: Dobbs Ferry. Part of an ongoing series of photographs of towns along the Hudson River.


In 2023 I continued to add to my collection of Photobooks by and about renowned photographers with the following:

  • Dream Street. W. Eugene Smith’s Pittsburgh Project by Sam Stephenson.
  • Looking at Images. A deeper look at selected photographs by Brooks Jensen.
  • Dido Moriyama by Bruna Dantas Lobato.
  • The Americans by Robert Frank.
  • Infrared Photography: Digital Techniques for Brilliant Images by Laurie Clein et al.
  • The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben.
  • Richard Misrach on Landscape and Meaning.
  • Mary Ellen Mark on the Portrait and the Moment.
  • Graciela Iturbide on Dreams, Symbols, and Imagination.
  • Peter Lindbergh on Fashion Photography.
  • Then: Photographs 1925-1995. By Alexander Liberman.
  • Larry Fink on Composition and Improvisation.
  • Todd Hido on Landscapes, Interiors and the Nude.
  • Time in New England by Paul Strand.
  • Examples: The Making of 40 Photographs by Ansel Adams.
  • The Portfolios of Ansel Adams. By Ansel Adams.
  • 1975 Masters of Contemporary Photography: Duane Michals. The Photographic Illusion: Using the Mind’s Eye to Created Photos for Collectors and Clients.
  • 1975 Masters of Contemporary Photography: Art Kane. The Persuasive Image: How a Portraitist and Storyteller Illuminates our Changing Culture.
  • 1975 Masters of Contemporary Photography: Elliott Erwitt. The Private Experience: Personal Insights of a Professional Photographer.
  • Let us Now Praise Famous Men by James Agee and Walker Evans.
  • Eudora Welty. Photographs by Eudora Welty and Reynolds Price.
  • Josef Koudelka: The Making of Exiles by Josef Koudelka.
  • Ansel Adams. An Autobiography. By Ansel Adams.
  • Atget. By John Szarkowski.
  • The Living Sea. By Hussain Aga Khan.


I’ve added a few new (to me) cameras to my collection of old/inexpensive cameras. My current focus is on medium format and older digital cameras:
Of late I’ve focused on medium format, and older digital cameras and added a few new cameras to my collection of old/inexpensive cameras:

  • Canon PowerShot Pro 1.
  • Sony Cybershot DSC-R1.
  • Sony Cybershot DSC-F828
  • Pentax K10D
  • Yashica Mat-124G
  • Petri RF
  • Kodak Art Deco Six-20
  • That’s about it other than for me to with anyone reading this a Happy and Prosperous New Year.