How do I aim and frame with the OneStep 2?

If you’re having trouble with your Polaroid OneStep 2 – like finding that your subject isn’t as centered as you thought, or that the photo hasn’t come out quite as it looked through the viewfinder, here’s some guidelines on how to get the best results.

Note that this article is specifically for the OneStep 2 without a viewfinder (as pictured below).

There are two main things to look out for when framing a photo with the OneStep 2: (i) holding the camera properly, and (ii) accounting for parallax (the difference between the position of an object as it appears to you, and as it appears through the camera’s lens).


1. How to hold the OneStep 2

Make sure you are holding the camera so it is parallel to the floor, i.e. don’t tilt it side-to-side or front-to-back.


Right-Eye-RV.jpg  Right-Eye-False-RV.jpg
Camera is level
Eye is 5 cm from viewfinder
Camera is tilted upwards
Eye is too close to viewfinder

An easy trick to ensure that you are holding the camera parallel to the ground is to start by holding it one foot away from your eye, then slowly draw it towards your eye, keeping the camera level…

Setup-2.jpg  Setup.jpg  Right-Eye-LV.jpg
The back of the camera body should rest on your cheek, with 2″ (5 cm) between your eye and the viewfinder.


2. Accounting for Parallax

The OneStep 2 uses a traditional viewfinder located slightly above and to the right of the camera’s lens. This means that what you see through the viewfinder is from a different perspective than what the lens is seeing. As a result, you’ll need to adjust your aim to compose your shot correctly.

This is especially true when shooting subjects that are closer than 4 feet (1.2 meters) away, such as portraits. When taking a photo of something close-up, it’s a good rule of thumb to adjust your aim slightly downwards and to the right. Again: line up your shot, and then adjust by aiming a little downwards and a little to the right.

Try this quick experiment at home:

This issue of perspective is commonly called “parallax”, and can be easily recreated at home to help you better understand this concept. Start by holding out your index finger 2 inches (5 cm) away from your face. Close one eye at a time, and pay attention to your finger. You should notice your finger “shifting” position depending on which eye you’re looking with, as each eye is in a slightly different position when looking at your finger. The same thing is happening with your camera’s viewfinder and lens.

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