I use a Polaroid Macro 5 SLR 1200, which I really think is one of the unsung heroes when it comes to Polaroid cameras! Not very many people use them – let’s face it, they’re not the most portable camera out there. But hands down, I’ve gotten my best results on Impossible film with this camera! I’d really have to say that it’s my favorite Polaroid – and I’ve shot a LOT of Polaroids.
The Macro 5 was mostly used by doctors, dentists, and law enforcement – anyone that might need to take close-up pictures of body parts, evidence, etc. That’s good news for the collector – these were cameras that primarily stayed in an office, so the ones that are still around are in really good shape. Mine is pristine and even came with the original case.
The Macro 5 focuses anywhere from 3″ to about 26″, I believe. I primarily use it on either the 3″ or the 5″ setting. 3″ is crazy close – closer than you might think! For example, at that magnification, I can’t fit the face of a Barbie doll within the frame of the photo. So, you can REALLY get in close and focus on super-tiny details. You focus the camera by the use of two tiny light beams – kind of like lasers. Once they are aligned on your target, you’re good to go. The camera has two flashes, one on either side – you can fire left, right, or both. It operates with four batteries but I believe those primarily control the flash and the focusing beams – if I’m not mistaken, the camera functions are controlled by the battery pack in the film.
If you’re interested in getting one of these cameras for yourself, my best advice is to stalk eBay and be patient! The Buy It Now prices on these are usually really high. Wait for an auction to come along – those usually go for much less. Of course, if you just can’t wait, it’s worth the price, right?
My favorite film ever for this camera was PZ680 Color Protection from The Impossible Project – I’ve taken some of my favorite photos to date with that! As you can see, flowers are my favorite subject to shoot in color – the little details are so awesome and it’s just fun to watch them develop. I am a HUGE fan of the Black Frame black and white film from Impossible – I’ve shot it in every version of it they make! For my doll work, that frame just lends something to the photos, I think.
I’m always happy to help people with any questions they might have on this camera! Get in touch with me on Twitter (@ShellySometimes) or on my web site, www.shellysometimes.com!