Holy cow, is Fujifilm’s FP-100C nice stuff. I shot Polaroid’s Types 88 and 108 color pack films in the 1970s and 1980s and was never impressed with the color rendition. But just look at the red the FP-100C returned. It’s so bold that it almost reaches out from the print and smacks you across the face.

Autumn bush

Unfortunately, my Polaroid Automatic 250 camera has developed an electrical gremlin. The two packs of FP-100C I shot yielded only four images, all of which were test photos after yet another repair attempt.

Enough with the cars already

But when my 250 works, it delivers the finest results of any instant camera I’ve shot. I think it’s because all of my other instant cameras have plastic lenses while the 250 uses a three-element glass lens. It returns images that are pretty sharp even in the corners.

However, the 250 is challenging to use even when its electrical problems are tamed. Pulling the first three or four images out of the camera always involves opening the back of this big, clumsy camera a little. You see, those Fujifilm packs aren’t as rigid as the Polaroid packs of yore and so the folding 250’s innards clamp that film down too tight. You need to vent the pressure to get those first prints out of the camera.

The rigid-bodied packfilm cameras, such as my Big Swinger 3000, don’t have that problem. The Big Swinger’s single-element plastic meniscus lens is nothing to write home about, though. And the camera is about to become useless as soon as stock of the only film it can use, Fujifilm’s discontinued FP-3000B, runs out.

Others love the Big Swinger’s lens for its slightly dreamy quality. One such gentleman is Eric, who writes the Load Film in Subdued Light blog. He enjoys that lens so much that, upon learning of FP-3000B’s demise, he pulled the lens out of his Big Swinger and inserted it into another rigid-bodied packfilm camera, the Colorpack II, which can take the slower FP-100C color film. (Read about it here.)

During that surgery, he discovered a three-element glass lens inside the Colorpack II. Aha! I immediately bought a Colorpack II on eBay. (The place is lousy with them, and most of them go for under 20 bucks shipped.) I have five packs of film waiting for it – two FP-3000B and three FP-100C. I remain inexplicably charmed by instant photography, and I am determined to find a reliable camera when I want to scratch that instant itch.

I’m less charmed by the integral-film cameras, like my One600 and my SX-70.

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6 responses to “Shooting Fujifilm FP-100C”

  1. Bernie Kasper Avatar

    That is some incredible color Jim !!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Those reds are just shocking!

  2. smitty1063 Avatar

    I really love that Fuji color.I have a Polaroid 100 with the 3 element glass,
    And it does look sharper than my 220
    With the plastic lens.Keep on shooting that 100c,looks great:)

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thanks! I have a pack in the Colorpack II right now.

  3. pesoto74 Avatar

    I think that if the Fuji film had been around back in the 70’s I might have gotten into instant film more. I like it a lot more than the Polaroid films that were around back then.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Me too. They’re what the Polaroid films should have been.

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