This is the POLAROID I-2, the most advanced camera for I-type film for now. The first modern camera for I-type
film was the Impossible I-1 camera with a somewhat awkward design, but
with advanced features, accessible via Bluetooth from a smartphone app.
When the Impossible project was sold to the new Polaroid company,
rebaptisized Polaroid Originals, the I-1 was replaced by a OneStep 2
model. Its design was inspired by the old OneStep series, which were
simple non-folding cameras for SX-70 film without flash. Obviously they
kept the base from the I-1 and its built-in rechargeable battery for
the use of I-type film. They put a flash into the old-style housing,
but kept the design very close to the old Polaroid cameras. The OneStep
2 lost the advanced features. These were back with the OneStep +.
The Polaroid I-2 is an OneStep
+ with a much better lens, autofocus, 2 displays, one in the finder and
one on the back of the camera, to access all features on the camera
without a smartphone. You have full access to different modes:
automatic, aperture priority, speed priority, manual, multi-exposure
and a self-timer. The housing has more rounded edges.
Lens: 3-element 98mm autofocus, F8, 0.4m - ∞, controlled via a stepping motor
Shutter: 1/250~30s, Bulb mode up to 99hrs
Aperture: F 8-64
Flash range: 2.5m F8 (ISO 600)
Lithium-Ion Polymer Battery, Type C charging input
Dimensions: 150 x 120 x 91 mm Weight: 563g
Compatible with i-Type film, 600 film, SX-70 film
Full camera control via smartphone app and Bluetooth
2.5mm external flash sync. port
Outer and viewfinder display for aperture, shutter speed, modes, film count, battery level, functions
Tripod mount on base of camera
Cap taken off. The camera detects and warns, if you forgot to take the cap off.
Bigger lens. To the left: flash, extremely weak, range
only up to up to 2.5m at F8. At the film ISO of 600 this is a GN of 20,
which means that it's a GN of only 8 at ISO 100, which is the flash
reference. Shutter button. To the right: focussing system and finder
window. Under the lens: 2 LED, one for Bluetooth pairing, the other for the self timer.
Right side. Film compartment unlock. Strap lug near the back.
Left side. Second strap lug.
from above. The ribbed part of the lens barrel works a a selection
wheel to either side to jog through the settings. Darken/lightem switch with a +/- 2 EV range.
view. Viewer. USB socket and flash socket at the bottom. Screen with mode select button, on/off button, flash button with flash control lamp. There is a screen shown in the viewer with even a bit more information.
Automatic mode. The camera proposes the smallest aperture with the
lowest hand holdable speed (around 1/50). On the picture it's a low
light situation, so it proposes F8.
You can jog through the apertures, speed is autmatically adapted. The
screen also indicates the battery charge and the number of photos left.
Aperture priority mode. You can jog through the apartures, appropriate speed is proposed.
Speed priority mode. You can jog through the speeds, appropriate aperture is proposed.
Manual mode. Now there is an exposure balance meter. You can set the
aperture first via the dial, a click on the mode button lets you select
the speed via the dial. The meter indicates under- and overexposure.
Multi exposure mode. You can select up to 4. The camera calculates the values, which are shown by half pressing the shutter.
Self timer mode. You can choose 3, 6, 9 and 12 seconds. It sets automatic mode. Other modes are only possible via the app.
Camera paired to a smartphone,
First photo made. Yes, it's Christmas...
The camera is easy to use in automatic mode, it's like a point and shoot, it's automatic. It gets it right under most circumstances. As darken/lighten is 2 EV, there is a good range to adapt. The flash is set automatically, but it can be switched off. The flash
is extremely weak, even at F8 its range is only 2.5m, if you want a
smaller aperture for more DOF, it's insufficient (at F16 it's only
0.8m!). Why they put such a limited flash into such an expensive
camera, I do not understand. But there is a socket to connect an
external flash and a manual mode, so real flash pictures are possible.
The different modes are fine to have and easy to manage. The meter in manual mode is a very good help. The camera stays in the mode and settings you have used when shut down. This is very professional. If you switched off the flash, it stays switched off. If you were in aperture mode, the camera stays with aperture mode again, even if you needed a new cartridge.A great idea.
The finder shows a clear and
bright image. It is not parallax corrected, but there is an indication
frame, just think of it if you go close. The screen at the bottom of
the finder image is a very good idea, all information is visible
without taking the camera off your eye. Depending on how you hold the
camera to your eye, there is flare. Maybe a rubber eyepiece would help.
The camera has an autofocus
system which cannot be overridden. It works very well, half pressing
the shutter shows the measured distance on both screen, just in case
of. There is a spot in the finder which indicates the measuring spot.
If your subject is off center, you can aim your subject, half press the
shutter, keep it half pressed, frame again and then press the shutter
completely. The half pressing point is only a very slight touch, so be careful.
The app works fine, no problem.
It's the same app as for the Onestep +. The app needs Bluetooth and
location to be switched on. It pairs easily with the camera. You can
remote control your camera and it's a great help if you have poor
The camera doesn't detect the film type. There is no howto in the manual. If you want to switch between them, there are 5 steps: 1. Turn on the camera. 2. Open the film door. 3. Press the mode OK button. 4. Use the selection dial to switch between the film types, i-Type, SX-70 and 600. 5. Press mode OK to confirm your desired film type.
You can check the film type by opening the film door and looking at the cartridge. If you notice it needs to be changed, follow steps 1 and 3 to 5 and change it accordingly.
So there is an impressing choice of possibilities with this camera.
With a little bit of experience you can get a good picture under nearly
any circumstances. Handling is fine and fluid, it feels good in your
hands. It is really expensive, but at the moment there is no other
camera for Polaroid film that offers so many possibilities. If ever it
gets updated, I would wish a more powerful flash, a parallax corrected
frame in the viewer and a rubber eyepiece. Anyway, it's a nice camera,
a fun to have. A real tool for more ambitious instant photographers.
Here are some photos taken with the camera, scanned with no post-treatment:
The phots are scanned with 400 DPI which is much more than life size. If you hold
them in your hand and look at them, they seem sharper. So one about life
This is what you see in your hand. It's the fourth photo.
One of the first photos. Interior with natural light, no flash. F8.
Cologne, Rothgerberbach (main threspassing road), Very bright winter day with deep shaddows.
Short distance, about 0.6m
Cologne, St. Pantaleon church. Bright winter day with deep shades.
Entrance to St. Pantaleon, some backlight.
Cologne, New Tax Offices (1950s), bright winter day.
Detail of the entrance to St. Pantaleon.
Therse were "all automatic" photos, just point and shoot. The photos are sharp, exposure is extremely well done. In my opinion they are the best results I have seen yet, although I own 3 modified SLR670 cameras. The recent film has the quality, old Polaroid film had many years ago or is even better. The only difference is the time it takes to develop. The following photos were taken with non-automatic modes:
Night photo, aperture mode, F16 and about 4s.
St. Pantaleon again, gray winter day, time mode, 1/250 and F22.
Cologne, a City Park, gray winter day, aperture mode, F8 and 1/125s. Focus on the tree in the foreground, ~1m. Shallow DOF (or nice bokeh), the background is soft.
Cologne, a City Park, gray
winter day, aperture mode, F22 and 1/40s hand held, I had no tripod with
me to test a smaller aperture. Focus on the tree in the foreground, ~1m. The difference to the previous photo is well visible.
The photos are much better than I expected. I am pleased with the qualty of the camera as with the quality of recent film. The results of the automatic mode are very good, the camera gets it right under all circumstances. The other modes leave nothing to desire for more ambitious photographers. So it's a really good product. It's only the price which will keep most people from buying it. And the price of Polaroid film...