Po­laroid Orig­i­nals OneStep 2

Ge­off Har­ris sees if the re­vived Po­laroid is an in­stant clas­sic

Amateur Photographer - - Testbench -

THE OneStep 2 is the first in­stant cam­era to be launched by the re­vived Po­laroid Orig­i­nals brand, now owned by the Im­pos­si­ble Project. It’s a purely ana­logue cam­era that takes both 600 and the new i-Type film. De­spite its de­lib­er­ate ’70s styling, the OneStep 2 does have some mod­ern touches, in­clud­ing a bet­ter lens, recharge­able bat­tery with 60- day life (topped up by USB) and built-in flash. It’s great to see the Po­laroid name re­vived, but why does the OneStep 2 leave me rather cold?

First, it’s ugly. Sure, you can con­vince your­self that this plas­tic car­bun­cle is all very hip­ster, but it juts out like a beer gut and you’ll soon feel the weight. Sure, you can’t miss the big red shut­ter but­ton but the flash over­ride but­ton is fid­dly, as is the film door latch.

Sec­ond, op­tions are lim­ited. Apart from the shut­ter but­ton and flash over­ride, you have a two-setting ex­po­sure- com­pen­sa­tion slider (lighter or darker) and a self-timer. The man­ual rec­om­mends us­ing flash, even in­doors with de­cent light, but it’s of­ten over­pow­er­ing. Hit the flash over­ride, how­ever, and your prints can un­der­ex­pose. The fixed focus is ob­vi­ously ba­sic, but is ef­fec­tive enough from 60cm (about 2ft) to in­fin­ity - don’t try and get in too close.

Third, it takes 15 min­utes for the print to fully ex­pose, and it must be kept as dark as pos­si­ble while de­vel­op­ing, which rather re­duces the cam­era’s ap­peal at a party or wed­ding. As for the new film, it looks nice enough, with muted colours and the oc­ca­sional flaw adding to the retro charm, but the cost-per-print com­pares poorly with Fu­ji­film In­stax. Fif­teen pounds buys eight sheets of Po­laroid Orig­i­nals Color i-Type film, com­pared to 20 colour prints from Fu­ji­film. The new black & white film is im­pres­sive, how­ever, es­pe­cially for por­traits.

Ver­dict

It’s good to see Po­laroid cam­eras re­vived, but the OneStep 2 feels like too lit­tle too late, es­pe­cially at £110 plus film, and given the stiff com­pe­ti­tion from Fu­ji­film. While the iconic square prints will al­ways look cool – and the new film for­mu­la­tions can gen­er­ate in­ter­est­ing im­ages – the OneStep 2’s ‘Fisher Price’ de­sign, bare-bones op­tions, rel­a­tively high print­ing costs and slow print­ing times end up rain­ing on the Po­laroid re­vival pa­rade.

Lens The fixed lens has a use­ful 106mm fo­cal length and fo­cuses from about 60cm (2ft) to in­fin­ity. Printer It can take 15 min­utes for the print to fully ex­pose, so ‘in­stant’ is a rel­a­tive term here. Two-po­si­tion ex­po­sure slider The ex­po­sure com­pen­sa­tion slider (+/-) is about as ba­sic as it gets. Self-timer A self-timer and a tri­pod bush make this rather ba­sic cam­era a lit­tle more ver­sa­tile.

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