Does anyone have experience with Polaroid 450 or 360?

Discussion in 'Instant Cameras, Backs and Film' started by johnny9fingers, Jun 14, 2009.

  1. johnny9fingers

    johnny9fingers Member

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    I have been considering getting a Polaroid pack film camera. Is the model 450 & 360 well built, and do they accept the new Fuji pack films?

    Thanks,

    John
     
  2. johnny9fingers

    johnny9fingers Member

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    Same questions for the 180 too...... John
     
  3. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    I've got several polaroid pack film cameras and the best are the cheapies (colorpack). The 180 and 250 I have have delaminated bellows. Depends how they are stored and used. There's no fabric bellows to go bad with the colorpack series and the glass lens is quite good. I don't know how to tell when purchasing one online if it's got a glass or plastic lens. Since you likely won't be enlarging the results, it's not as much of an issue. They can be had for as little as $2. They take 2 aa batteries. http://www.camerapedia.org/wiki/Polaroid_Colorpack_2
    The polaroid ee cameras are nice too because they fold up but mine came with lots of holes in the bellows.
     
  4. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    The model 360 doesn't accept a normal flash and was designed to be used with a special rechargeable polaroid flash which was coupled to the focusing system. Google "Land List."
     
  5. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Member

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    I recommend looking at the Land List at http://www.rwhirled.com/landlist/landdcam-pack.htm. They have a full rundown of the features of each camera. The 450 and 360 are more consumer cameras, but with glass lenses, as opposed to the plastic that many or most of these cameras have. The 180 is a step up with a four element lens that has a pretty good reputation, a decent Sekosha shutter and manual exposure as a possibility. I do agree with wildbill, however, you are not likely to see major differences in the resulting photos since they cannot be enlarged and having a solid camera rather than bellows has some advantages.

    These all work perfectly with the Fuji film. The page for packfilm cameras on the Land List indicates whether the camera uses the 600 series (they also call it 100 series, I believe an old name) or 80 series. The 600 series is the same as the current 3 1/4 X 4 1/4 Fuji films. Almost everything on the page, and all of the ones mentioned above, can use the Fuji film. There are a couple of exceptions, but not many.
     
  6. geoferrell

    geoferrell Member

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    The Mamiya Universal can use a pack film polariod back that gives full coverage with the 75mm and the 127mm lenses, so that might be a consideration.
     
  7. johnny9fingers

    johnny9fingers Member

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    Thanks for the info everyone, but I still want to give one of these two cameras a try so have posted a wanted ad in the classifieds.

    Geoferrell, I have a Mamiya Universal with the 127mm lens and am learning the in's and out's with that camera as well.

    John
     
  8. amuderick

    amuderick Member

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    A few thoughts:

    1) Personally, I love my Polaroid 360. I refurbished the flash but never use it anymore. FP-3000B is sensitive enough that I can shoot almost anywhere in natural light. If you want to use a 3rd party flash, get a Polaroid 350. The camera is very rugged and has been dropped, swung around, packed in unprotected bags for about 4 years now. Since I have a spare, and they are cheap, I don't treat mine with kid gloves. Still, it holds up well.
    2) The lens of the 350/360 is glass and is nice quality. There are portrait and close-up kits available which are +1 and +2 diopters with matching viewfinder adapters. Also, available is an orange cloud filter that fits over the electronic eye and the lens to add contrast to B&W shots. Regarding the lens...the print is 3x4....all that talk about lp/mm and stuff is bogus on this format. I scan my prints and enlarge to 8x10 with excellent results. This film is large and not made to enlarge beyond 3x...because of that, the lens details are less relevant. The enlargement limitation is the film, not the lens.
    3) Sometimes you needs to press down on the pressure plate a bit and deform it so that it will accept the thicker Fuji film packs. Once this is done, you don't need to do it again. You can still use Polaroid film with the camera (if you can find it ;-). Pressing on the spring doesn't break anything.
    4) I shoot a lot of street photography with my 360. I find it creates an interesting social dynamic that leads to more photographic opportunities. I often gift the print and bring home the negative to scan. It appears much less confrontational than an SLR. The exposure latitude of the film is pretty narrow. With the negative side of it, there is more leeway. Still, the electronic eye and auto-exposure are very helpful. Otherwise, you'll need a light meter or a very good eye. The 180 camera has a faster lens which allows for more narrow DoF. That can be useful. But, it is fully manual. That might work for static shots but not for street IMHO.
    5) I have refurbished many 360's and find that the electronic eye tends to drift...sometimes on all settings...sometimes on specific ones (say ISO 75 Sunny). Sometimes the drift is beyond the L/D controls available on the camera. You can get a slotted o-ring at the hardware store which slides perfectly over the electronic eye. Glue a 1-2 stop ND filter on it (depending on what the camera needs). Then you can pop it on or off depending on the situation. Very convenient and very durable.
    6) You can use inexpensive CR123 batteries by using a rubber band to squeeze the battery holder shut. Like in this photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/amuderick/675332442/

    To sum it up: The camera will cost you the equivalent of two packs of film. It is solid and high quality. You can't go wrong for the price. All of the pack film shots on my Flickr stream (link above) are taken with my 360.
     
  9. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    I use the 350 and I love it. It's slow (F8 or thereabouts), and the mamiya/polaroid is much better even though it's fully manual, but that's not to say the 350 isn't an awesome camera. It's cheap enough to not care when you drop it. People think it's really cool because you get a print out of the camera. Anyways, I used a soldering iron and a 2 AAA battery holder from Radio Shack to improvise a battery replacement. It works great. You can use a 3rd party flash with it, but I'm fairly sure that it has to be taken from the right distance. The exposure system is designed to work with flash bulbs which have a fairly long duration of fire, so it closes the shutter once it's received proper exposure. The flash appears to fire so quickly that it can't do this. I'm going to stock up on flashbulbs personally. Have fun!
     
  10. johnny9fingers

    johnny9fingers Member

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  11. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    All three of those are nice solid cameras and will accept the Fuji packfilms.
     
  12. johnny9fingers

    johnny9fingers Member

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    I found a fellow on e-bay that refurbishes 110 Pathfinders. He puts the rangefinder from the 110b on a 110a, then converts it to use instant pack film. I know you can get a razzeled camera for 4X5, but these are svelt, refurbished and way cool. I can't wait for it to arrive.......