Automatic 340 shutter operation

Discussion in 'Instant Cameras, Backs and Film' started by fencer, Nov 25, 2013.

  1. fencer

    fencer Member

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    Hi all,

    Recently I came across an old Polaroid Automatic 340 camera. Couldn't resist and now it's mine. I have absolutely no experience with Polaroids, though.
    Now, to the point: Trying to resurrect the camera I replaced the old Everready 531 battery with 3 x 1.5V button cells. The shutter began to work, but it behaves strange - when I cock it and press the button, it remains open until I release the button. Does it mean my Polaroid is broken? Maybe I should just tweak with the settings?

    Any advice would be appreciated.
     
  2. Terry Christian

    Terry Christian Subscriber

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    What kind of light are you in? When the batteries are working, holding the button down will allow the camera's shutter to stay open as long or as short as it needs to, given the lighting conditions and the set film's ISO (75/100 or 3000).

    The Film Photography Project has posted several videos on YouTube featuring how to refurbish and operate Polaroid Land Cameras.
     
  3. fencer

    fencer Member

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    I'm indoors under a 100-Watt bulb.
     
  4. alienmeatsack

    alienmeatsack Member

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    Like Terry said, the shutter will stay open based on three things...


    • Amount of light you are aiming at
    • ISO setting (3000/75 ISO aka Black and White/Color)
    • Brightness selector setting

    There should be 2 clicks. First is that shutter cock lever popping back up as soon as you push the shutter button. Even if there are no batteries, or they are dead, you should get the first click regardless.

    Second click should be anywhere from moments later to a while later depending on the above. What I would do is aim the camera at a bright light source, make sure it's set to 3000 (no film in it) and set the brightness adjustment to the standard setting. Then cock the shutter and fire, holding until the 2nd click is heard. Make a note of the time it took. Then, aim the camera somewhat away from the light and repeat the process. The shutter length should increase depending on the change in the light.

    Also, make sure to hold the shutter down until you hear that second click, even if it takes a while. If you never hear it, it's the batteries or insides that aren't working. if it just takes a while, it's an exposure issue most likely.

    You can also open the back and look through the opening to see the shutter open and close and try both ISO settings to see if they make any difference to narrow down the issue.
     
  5. fencer

    fencer Member

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    Guys, thank you both. You've been very helpful.

    I played with the controls, but with no luck. Then I went to check my makeshift replacement battery and found out there was no proper contact and the camera was not getting power every time.
    Solved this and now it works just fantastic. Hopefully there won't be any more problems. Time to get some packfilm!
     
  6. Terry Christian

    Terry Christian Subscriber

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    Great to hear, Fencer!
    I have a 420, and I cut enough of the battery compartment "guts" out to hold a 4-AAA battery holder from Radio Shack that I rewired to take 3 AAA rather than 4.

    Another simple test you can do to check your batteries is to hold the camera up to a light and hold your finger over the electric eye. Hold down the shutter button. If your batteries are good, you shouldn't hear the second click until you uncover the electric eye.
     
  7. alienmeatsack

    alienmeatsack Member

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    Excellent to hear! Glad it was as simple as fixing the battery contacts. Now you can get to the task of taking some lovely photos with that camera. :D

    Stock up on your FP3000b while you can find it, and grab as much FP100c as you can afford and get busy taking fun photos :D
     
  8. xya

    xya Member

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    button cells are not strong enough, you need proper batteries. however 3v are sufficient, even for the oldest 100 versions. it has been tested quite often, it works. so either get a battery converter ready made on a big auction site or put 2 AA or AAA batteries together and enjoy your camera.
     
  9. fencer

    fencer Member

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    What you mean by "not strong enough"?

    Insufficient capacity or currrent?

    I've been thinking of utilizing an empty shell of the original 531 battery and maybe I could work around this problem by stuffing inside 6 cells with proper wiring.
     
  10. xya

    xya Member

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  11. fencer

    fencer Member

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    Well, if you say so... I think I'm gonna give a 3-volt battery a try.

    Thanks!