What do you get when you combine instant photos with a high-performance camera? This is what photographer Isaac Blankensmith was trying to answer when he spent two days Frankensteining together something he calls the Hasselblad-Instax. Along with fellow photographer Eddie Cohen, Blankensmith merged a Hasselblad 500C/M and a FujiFilm Instax 9 to create a magical hybrid.

By taking apart each camera and laser cutting a few new pieces, they were able to create a high-end instant camera that takes promising photographs. While Blankensmith points out that Hasselblad did make a large instant back for their 500 series in order to help photographers with test shoots and light metering, the film is quite expensive and it’s larger than the camera can expose. So, he was spurred to make something that would be compact and cost-effective.

Though the initial product has some kinks like light leaks and a few focusing issues, it’s still beautiful to see the enhanced quality that the Hasselblad brings to the instant film. Let’s take a step by step look at how Blankensmith and Cohen brought their project to life.

Photographer Isaac Blankensmith spent a weekend piecing together a hybrid Hasselblad and Instax camera.

Hasselblad Instax Hybrid by Isaac Blankensmith

Though Hasselblad made an instant back for its 500 series cameras, the film is expensive and the results aren’t ideal.

Hasselblad Instax Hybrid by Isaac Blankensmith

After sketching out an idea, Blankensmith and fellow photographer Eddie Cohen got to work.

Hasselblad Instax Hybrid by Isaac Blankensmith

First, they took apart the FujiFilm Instax to get an understanding of its inner mechanisms.

Hasselblad Instax Hybrid by Isaac Blankensmith

“If you’re going to try taking apart any sort of camera, be careful of the flash capacitor. It stores enough energy to give you a good zap.”

Hasselblad Instax Hybrid by Isaac Blankensmith

They carefully studied the ejector, which spreads the developing chemicals over the film, and created a custom mechanism that would allow them to get the instant film as close as possible to the exposure plane of the Hasselblad.

Hasselblad Instax Hybrid by Isaac Blankensmith

The biggest challenge was the laser-cut mounting plate. Though they used a template, there are still some light leaks that make their way through. “We’ll keep telling ourselves that this adds to the charm.”

Hasselblad Instax Hybrid by Isaac Blankensmith

They created a few of the custom parts in acrylic along with remnants of the Instax.

Hasselblad Instax Hybrid by Isaac Blankensmith

Hasselblad Instax Hybrid by Isaac Blankensmith

The standard Hasselblad back next to the customized instant back.

Once mounted, they were ready to get their film loaded and take some test shots.

Hasselblad Instax Hybrid by Isaac BlankensmithHasselblad Instax Hybrid by Isaac Blankensmith

There are still some issues due to the slight difference in focal length and light leaks.

Hasselblad Instax Hybrid by Isaac Blankensmith

“We were really happy with our first tests. The full frame of the film is exposed and the images are sharper than we’ve ever seen on this type of film.”

Hasselblad Instax Hybrid by Isaac Blankensmith

Now, they need to go out and do some further shooting with their new, hybrid Hasselblad-Instax.

Hasselblad Instax Hybrid by Isaac BlankensmithIsaac Blankensmith: Website | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by Isaac Blankensmith.

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