Need Medium Format Quality From an Instant Camera? Build Yourself a Hasselblad-Instax

Need Medium Format Quality From an Instant Camera? Build Yourself a Hasselblad-Instax

What do you do if you want a camera that has the quality and gorgeous depth of field of medium format with the immediacy and fun of an instant? Well, if you're a hardware interaction designer, you take the front half of a Hasselblad 500C/M and attach it to the back half of a Fujifilm Instax Mini 9.

Designer Isaac Blankensmith has given new meaning to the concept of a hybrid camera by harvesting the front of a Hasselblad 500C/M and the rear of a FujiFilm Instax Mini 9, engineering a surreal mongrel that offers the best of both worlds.

As Blankensmith notes, Hasselblad's own Polaroid back was far from ideal, so with photographer friend Eddie Cohen, he spent a weekend seeing if an instant camera could create a better solution. The two-day limit was a deliberate choice to ensure that the project wasn't given too much thought. What's made the final camera particularly successful is that the finished product has not compromised any of the distinctive elements of either camera.

For more photos and details of the process, be sure to check out Blankensmith's website. He'll be putting his new toy to the test over the coming weeks, so find him on Instagram to check out the results.

Blankensmith refers to his hybrid as a "franken-camera," but I think it has to be called the Hasselstax. Or perhaps that should be the Instablad? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

All images courtesy of Isaac Blankensmith.

Andy Day's picture

Andy Day is a British photographer and writer living in France. He began photographing parkour in 2003 and has been doing weird things in the city and elsewhere ever since. He's addicted to climbing and owns a fairly useless dog. He has an MA in Sociology & Photography which often makes him ponder what all of this really means.

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Medium format system cameras all had polaroid backs available. I used an NPC on my Bronica, and all would have produced much better quality than the instax film.

I see instant film backs for sale online all the time. Still... this guys camera is neat

Yeah but if you want to shoot insant film with a medium format camera nowadays you have to stick with integral films like instax because peel-apart packfilms for these polabacks are all discontinued and the remaining expired rests are insanely expensive.

Haven't used it in a while but yeah I just have an original Polaroid back but then I shoot on Polaroid Land Camera that it was built to shoot with too

These hipsters never heard of a polaroid back.

If you´re such a smartass you surely must know that these polabacks are designed for peel-apart packfilm like Polapan 667 or Fuji FP-100C/3000B which are discontiued. In order to be able to shoot instant film with a medium format camera you must find a way to shoot available integral instant film like instax or Polaroid 600. These backs cannot shoot integral film.

I wonder if it would've been easier to mod the old polaback for new film. Is that physically possible?

unfortunately not, because the integral film is a bit too thick and it has no paper attached to it that would pull it trough the squeezing rollers to spread the developer across the image. integral film needs to be pushed through the rollers from the inside of the back while packfilm is pulled from the outside.

Fuji needs to look at this market for real.

Its a nice idea. I wonder if a medium size negative film spare the whole developing etc. Would but film back on the mainstream...