Cameras+Films now has the BIG STAX instant camera!
The BIG STAX is a hybrid/hack/mod Texolux system created by joining a vintage Polaroid BIG SHOT Portrait Camera front-end with a FujiFilm INSTAX WIDE instant film camera back. This mod breathes new life into a marvelous, quirky, rigid-box camera, originally designed solely for portraits using pack-film, the last of which expired in 2018 and has been rising to insane levels of risk and cost for any that’s old and unused…
BIG SHOT vs. BIG STAX — what stays and what goes?
- We kept the entire FRONT of the Big Shot camera, including its:
- Legendary, fabulous 220mm f/29 plastic lens,
- Single-speed (1/43 — 1/52 sec.) mechanical shutter-release,
- Integral thumb-rest (watch out — they break),
- Three-position aperture control — standard, lighter, darker,
- The Magicube socket and translucent flash-diffuser lens,
- The Big Shot grip-handle, with its fixed-focus rangefinder,
- And the requisite “Big Shot Shuffle” focusing technique…
- We got rid of the Big Shot’s BACK end, including its:
- Clumsy, difficult-to-open-and-load, wire-clamp-locking back panel with integral 60-second mechanical timer,
- The pack-film innards — film holder, rollers/spreaders, and the pull-eject flaps, etc.
INSTAX WIDE vs. BIG STAX — what stays and what goes?
- We kept the BACK end of the Instax Wide camera, including its:
- Reliable film loading and ejecting mechanism,
- Ability to use readily-available Instax Wide instant films!
- We got rid of the Instax Wide’s FRONT end, including its:
- Lens with simplified closeup/distance focus settings,
- Shutter release…
Our Big Stax Collaboration
How did our collaboration with the maker of Big Stax cameras get started? From 2018–2019, we accumulated an entire shelf of Big Shot cameras, two bags, a bunch of boxes and manuals, by bidding on auction lots of single and mixed groups of items. In early 2020, we were in conversations with MiNT Camera in Hong Kong to do something with all the Big Shots since pack-film is pretty much dead. Unfortunately, the pandemic lockdowns put new projects on hold, so we ended up selling a few individual Big Shot cameras for those with pack-film in their refrigerator, and waited to see if things would pick up.
In mid-2022, a professional photographer who loves instant film posted to the Big Shot group on Facebook that he was looking for a Big Shot camera. I replied that I had lots of them in stock and he could take his pick from our Big Shot shelf shown in the photo… He bought one with a manual in perfect condition, but someone else in the group asked about the rest of them… It turned out to be the Big Stax guy and he wanted them ALL! We discussed condition of each of the cameras, came up with a price, and I started figuring out how to ship them in bulk to Europe from Connecticut (see below). Voila — our Big Stax collaboration was launched!
Process: Packing up 26 Big Shots!
All 26 Arrived Safely! Unboxing in Paris…
Bookmark this page and check back for updates on our first production run of BIG STAX cameras, along with sample shots taken by our team and the first buyers…