It all started when Kevin asked for a Polaroid 600 camera. His fiancée stepped up to the plate and found him beautiful 1983 Polaroid Sun 600 LMS. After shooting through the first pack of film it was time to push the limits. Being the lighting guy he is, the idea was hatched to somehow shoot off camera flash with the Polaroid 600.
Originally the plan was to use the optical slaves on the LumoPro LP160’s triggered by the Polaroid’s flash. To avoid the Polaroids flash from effecting the shot he was going to use some foil to bounce the flash up on to the ceiling and hopefully enough light would trigger the optical slaves on the LP160’s.
At about $3 a shot, that plan was a little risky and potentially expensive, so an external optical slave was bought.
Attaching the external optical slave to the front of the Polaroid’s flash then using the available PC port, attaching it to Pocketwizards was fairly simple. Better yet it would guarantee the 3 light setup would fire.
With the flashes firing the next challenge was the lack of manual controls on the Polaroid 600. After a bit of research it was determined that the camera was capable of shutter speeds between 1/30-1/200th and an effective aperture of f/14-f/45. The problem is there was no way of actually setting exact exposure values. However there was an exposure compensation dial allowing for a darker or lighter image. Setting the dial to underexposed the image would hopefully allow for the flash to fire and the correct exposure achieved.
The lighting setup involved three lights: a main, fill and hair.
Cheating just a little, Kevin used his 5d Mark II, to get an idea of the exposure. Guessing what Polaroids settings would be he set max shutter speed of 1/200th, f/14 and the only true value he knew was the film speed of 600. The 5d Mark II doesn’t have an ISO value of 600 so 640 was chosen.
After all of this it was time to shoot. In about 5 minutes the first frame would be visible. The shutter button was pressed, the camera took the shot, the flashes fired and it was time to wait…
After the 5 minute wait, the photo was ready. Ok it was underexposed but it worked. Kevin bumped the power up a stop on all the lights and shot a second.
SUCCESS!! after such a long process Kevin had created an exposed photo with a Polaroid 600 using off camera flash.
Have you done anything like what Kevin did. If so let us know.