Hasselblad medium-format cameras are film classics, but what happens when you mix an old, high-end Hasselblad with the modern, inexpensive Fujifilm Instax instant film? The Escura Hasselblad Portrait back adapts the medium format film camera to shoot the readily available Instax Mini film.
Putting cheap Instax film inside an expensive medium format Hasselblad V-system camera feels a bit like buying the $54,000 Mac Pro just to surf the web. But, while on the surface the pair seems to be an odd mix, there are a few perks to shooting Instax with a several-hundred-dollar camera instead of an $80 Instax point-and-shoot. At least enough for more than 400 backers to raise over $100,000 to launch the Hasselblad portrait on Kickstarter in just a few days.
While putting an Instax back on a medium-format film camera negates all the perks of using larger film for better background blur and more light-gathering power, the 6×6 medium format film is expensive. The expired FP100C film costs $7 for each photo, Escura says, while Instax film is less than a dollar each shot. That alone can help photographers fine-tune the shot before shooting with that pricey film.
The Hasselblad also has the manual controls that a Fuji point-and-shoot doesn’t, which will still allow for better depth of field using wide apertures. Hasselblad lenses are interchangeable and will offer more sharpness than what’s built into an instant film camera. And, of course, shooting with an old film camera with a waist-level viewfinder is a completely different user experience than working with a modern point-and-shoot film camera.
Escura says that the Hasselblad Portrait is designed to look and feel like the film back on the Hasselblad V-system cameras. A viewfinder adapter crops the view to fit with that smaller film size. Photographers can frame the image and shoot as they would with the regular film back. Once shot, a knob on the film back ejects the instant film photo.
The back is made from machined aluminum and wrapped with a fake leather to match the Hasselblad body. Escura says the Instax film back is also weather-sealed.
The Hasselblad Portrait comes from Escura, a brand that launched a battery-free Instax Mini film camera in 2018. Escura is part of the company Carbon, which launched in 2008 in Hong Kong.
To get that cheaper Instax film on a Hasselblad camera, backers will have to pledge about $232 and take that Kickstarter risk. The project was successfully funded after only two hours, but will need to successfully get through the production process before shipping to the earliest backers. Escura estimates that will happen in July.
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