Nons Instant Back Review: Breathing New Life into Vintage Hasselblad V Cameras

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Image source: Jim Fisher

For photography enthusiasts, the Hasselblad V series represents a pinnacle of vintage medium format quality, offering superior optics and a mechanical build that has stood the test of time. However, in today’s digital age, these classic cameras risk becoming obsolete or relegated to the shelves of collectors. Enter the Nons Instant Back, an innovative accessory that bridges the gap between classic photography and modern instant print technology. This device allows owners of Hasselblad V cameras to use Fujifilm Instax Square film, combining the high-quality optics of Hasselblad with the immediacy and fun of instant photos. In this review, we explore whether the Nons Instant Back is a worthwhile investment for Hasselblad enthusiasts looking to give their old cameras a new lease on life.

Design and Build Quality

Image credit: Jim Fisher

The Nons Instant Back is thoughtfully designed to integrate seamlessly with the Hasselblad V series cameras. It maintains the aesthetic and ergonomic standards of the Hasselblad system, feeling both robust and elegantly made, which is no small feat considering it has to match one of the most iconic camera systems ever built. The back is constructed from durable materials that mimic the quality of the original Hasselblad parts, ensuring that it doesn’t feel out of place when attached to the camera.

Installation and Ease of Use

Installing the Nons Instant Back is straightforward. It attaches to the camera where the traditional film back would normally go, locking in place securely with minimal effort. This ease of installation makes it accessible even to those who may not be mechanically inclined. The simplicity continues in operation. Once attached, using the Nons Instant Back with Fujifilm Instax Square film is as simple as loading the film and shooting. This ease of use significantly lowers the entry barrier for Hasselblad owners who might be daunted by the complexities of film photography or the nuances of vintage equipment.

Image Quality and Performance

The real test of the Nons Instant Back is how well it leverages the renowned quality of Hasselblad optics with the Instax film. The results are impressive. The medium format lens of the Hasselblad V series cameras brings an exceptional level of detail and depth to the instant prints, surpassing what is typically expected from instant film cameras. The larger lens format, combined with the unique characteristics of Instax film, produces images with a retro aesthetic that still retains a high degree of sharpness and dynamic range.

However, users should manage their expectations appropriately; Instax film does not match the resolution and color fidelity of traditional medium format film used in these cameras. Instead, it offers a charming and somewhat nostalgic feel, which is part of its appeal.

Practicality and Fun Factor

The Nons Instant Back adds a layer of practicality and fun to using Hasselblad V series cameras. It transforms a potentially cumbersome film photography process into something more immediate and shareable. For weddings, parties, or other social gatherings, being able to produce instant prints from a camera as impressive as a Hasselblad can be a conversation starter and delight guests. Additionally, it offers photographers a new way to interact with their subjects and environments, seeing results in moments rather than hours or days.

Compatibility and Versatility

One of the key advantages of the Nons Instant Back is its compatibility with the entire range of Hasselblad V series cameras. This versatility ensures that many photographers who own different models from this series can enjoy the benefits of instant photography without needing multiple accessories or adjustments.

Pricing and Value

Considering the niche market of this product, the Nons Instant Back is reasonably priced, especially when you factor in the build quality and the unique functionality it offers. For Hasselblad owners, this is a relatively small investment that significantly expands the utility and enjoyment of their cameras.

Conclusion

The Nons Instant Back is a compelling accessory for Hasselblad V series owners. It combines the high-end performance of vintage medium format cameras with the fun and accessibility of instant film. The build quality, ease of use, and the ability to breathe new life into classic equipment make it a worthwhile purchase for both serious photographers and enthusiasts alike.

While it won’t replace traditional film backs for high-resolution photography needs, it does provide a delightful alternative for those looking to experiment or capture memories in a new and exciting way. Whether you are a seasoned Hasselblad user or a newcomer to the world of medium format photography, the Nons Instant Back offers a unique way to expand your photographic repertoire and enjoy instant print photography.

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