this is my superbowl

I took Friday off work to go to the semi-annual sale at the Schoolhouse Antique Mall in Washington. It’s the second week of April and October, and I haven’t missed one since I moved to Louisiana in March of 2010. Seems like there weren’t as many extra vendors this year, though. And a lot of the rooms in the schoolhouse were empty. When the economy sucks, antiques are one of those total non-essentials that are one of the first to fall by the wayside.

Anyway, I kept the damage minimal: some vintage postcards from Opelousas, a couple of silver-plated teaspoons for Mom (she didn’t feel well and couldn’t make it), and a Polaroid “The Button”. (Get a load of the balls on that seller: $300? I paid $18.) It’s the same camera as the Polaroid “rainbow” One Step, just with a different body. They were the last generation SX-70s, a bridge between the old folding SX-70s and the 600 series, the model that Polaroid more or less stuck with until their demise.

Yesterday I decided to poke into a few of the good antique stores in Lafayette. I thought it might be fun to have one of the rainbows as well; I could get one on eBay, but it’s more fun to find one in a store. (One good thing about these cameras is that the batteries were in the film pack, so corroded batteries in the camera is never a problem.) And whattaya know, I found one for $22 in the very first store I walked into.

I found an eBay seller that sells the flashbulb bars for $7 and bought one for each camera. I thought it would be fun to have them, even if I never use them (like the flash holder and bulbs for my Kodak Brownie Hawkeye).

I don’t know when I’ll actually use them. You can’t get new film for them anymore, of course. Unlike with the older bellows-style Land Cameras, there isn’t any Fuji film that’s compatible with it. You can either buy really expired film, or that Impossible Project stuff. It’s pricey–$23.95 for 8 exposures. I would happily pay it if the film were more stable, though. But it tends to fade or speckle or crystallize. The first year or so it seemed like they were trying to improve it, but all the stupid hipsters are willing to plunk down money for crappy film. So they’re like “Develop it in the dark between 72-75 degrees and store it upright in an airtight container!”, and they sell a bunch of accessories to try to keep the photos from looking like crap. So it’s not really in their best interest to make the film better. It’s a pity, I had really high hopes for IP when they launched.

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