On land cameras...

Discussion in 'Instant Cameras, Backs and Film' started by Stephanie Brim, Apr 21, 2008.

  1. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    Now that Polaroid has gone out of business I've gotten interested in trying this whole 'instant film' thing. I'd be happy if I could find a pack film holder that would work with a Crown Graphic or similar, but I'm thinking that buying an older land camera made for pack film may be the better way to go.

    What are your opinions of the 200 series cameras? I'm looking at the 250 and thinking that it looks like some kind of alien technology, which is exactly my kind of thing. :smile:
     
  2. mabman

    mabman Member

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    A few months back I bought a 250 in great shape for about $30 from eBay, complete with close-up kit, and a flash bulb unit.

    Using pack film is definitely a new experience - I've only put 1 pack through it so far, but it's been very interesting. My first pack was 667 (3000 ISO) - very deep blacks.

    The only thing to watch out for is the battery - it was designed to take a 4.5v mercury battery which is not available anymore. I just taped 3 x 1.5v "N" batteries together end-to-end with the the leads in the right place, and it's fine - it even fits in the battery compartment.
     
  3. sjperry

    sjperry Member

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    As part of my small business, I convert the 100 to 450 models to take available batteries. For 3 volt models, I use two AAA's. For 4.5 volt models I use three N type batteries. As part of this conversion I install permanent battery holders. If you want to contact me, e-mail stephen.j.perry@att.net.
    Thanks
     
  4. mabman

    mabman Member

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    Incidentally, I should point out that Fuji is still *in* the instant film business and makes very good pack film of their own :smile:
     
  5. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    Well, I plan to try those as well, but I want to try Type 664.
     
  6. Murray@uptowngallery

    Murray@uptowngallery Member

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    Some of the older Polaroid packers have nice flipdown split-screen rangefinders. Possibly 250. Pretty sure 350 did too.
     
  7. rwyoung

    rwyoung Member

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    The 4.5V battery is still available. The battery type was "531", sometimes known as "A19PX" and was an alkaline, not mercury. Some of the 900 series roll film cameras required a small 1.2V mercury battery for their exposure meters. Good reference site for Polaroid cameras is the Land List, here is the page on batteries : http://www.rwhirled.com/landlist/landbatt.htm

    Googling for "531 battery" and you get lots and lots of sales hits. However the battery itself isn't particularly cheap. Last one I bought was through Freestyle Photo but only because I was ordering other stuff. You can get them cheaper.

    Or you can do the modification and use three alkaline 1.5V batteries in series. AAA and N cells will work. You can find plastic N cell holders through distributors like Mouser (www.mouser.com) made by Keystone. Or you can solder the batteries directly. But work quickly and cleanly or you cook the electrolyte and just have a dead battery with a wire soldered to it. You can buy 9V battery clips and hack them apart to get the mating pieces you need. The black wire is the low potential (-) and the white wire will be the high potential (+).
     
  8. Alex Hawley

    Alex Hawley Member

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    I don't know if you can still find any 664 or not. The Fuji FP100B is the same speed and works in the same film holder.

    I saw a refurbished 250 go for pretty darn few bucks the other day on the auction site. If you really want to go the deluxe route, and have several hundred dollars to blow, you can get a 110A or 110B that's been converted to pack film. Expensive for sure but they are darn good cameras. Do a Google for Razzledog and see some examples.
     
  9. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    Oh, I've googled. That's what got me started on this whole thing. Razzle is a second step, I think. I want to make sure I like using the camera before I spend several hundred dollars on something. $40 or $50 is about my limit. :wink:
     
  10. rwyoung

    rwyoung Member

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    To clarify, when I gave wire colors I should also have said these are based on the Model 100. YMMV.
     
  11. DBP

    DBP Member

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    The 100 series are cheap, reliable and relatively easy to use. I think I paid $10 for my model 100. The battery was a bit more expensive.
     
  12. Brac

    Brac Member

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    In the UK the battery is sometimes known as PX19. It can still be got (with some persistence) eg http://www.smallbattery.company.org.uk/ where it sells for GBP 11.49 including postage. A bit cheaper if you buy two. In my experience their shelf life is not too brilliant.
     
  13. HerrBremerhaven

    HerrBremerhaven Member

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    Hello Stephanie,

    There were two versions of the Polaroid 250 Automatic. One has a little better eye relief on the rangefinder than the other, though essentially they work the same. I have a 250 Automatic that I bought several years ago, with nearly every accessory, and it works great. Whatever battery you fit might end up being a lifetime battery, because these cameras use little battery power to operate. The close-up kit is a nice accessory to get, since you can get much tighter crops on people images by it allowing you to stand much closer to your subject. If you have a regular PC type flash sync cord, that will work in the Polaroid sync, just not with TTL control. The 350, 360 and 450 Automatic are similar, though use a different flash system.

    Overall these are lots of fun, and allow you to learn a discipline of carefully selecting shots. This is excellent training for large format. I looked into Littmann and Razzle too, though decided I could do much better; so I am making my own ultra slim conversion with a four way movement adjustable front lens standard. This is possible because I have access to a milling machine and use to make custom parts for roadracing motorcycles; in other words, I don't really suggest trying to convert your own, even though it is possible. If you do get a Polaroid 250 Automatic, you might find that is more than enough; for the price you could always get another and load it with different film.

    Ciao!

    Gordon Moat Photography
     
  14. sun of sand

    sun of sand Member

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    Old thread but the 250 is one of the best you can get with a good lens
    I sold a brand new one for $200.

    664 film I just don't really like much. I have a 180 land and never use it because I just can't seem to get prints that I like using the film. Maybe I'll try color ..not sure if Fuji makes color instant. Probably.
     
  15. jasonjoo

    jasonjoo Member

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    I'm not sure if the prices have changed since maybe... 6-8 months ago, but I purchased 2, Model 450s on eBay for $10 bucks (shipped!) and $20 bucks (shipped). The model 450 is a nice camera, but I have not tried any other models. I found a battery online for $12 dollars, which was more expensive than the camera itself!

    Jason
     
  16. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    I just posted some pice in my gallery from a polaroid colorpack II i got for $2. It's tiny and very light weight. The prints are sharper than those from my heavy 250.
     
  17. DBP

    DBP Member

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    Just picked up a Model 320 for $0.99 plus $8 shipping. Needed a $0.99 battery holder to convert it to use AAA cells. That and a few minutes with pliers and soldering iron and it now works fine.
     
  18. HerrBremerhaven

    HerrBremerhaven Member

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    Since Polaroid is winding down their films and production, once supply dwindles Fuji will be the only choice. Currently they sell many more instant films in Japan than the rest of the world, though they are considering expanding their global offerings.

    http://www.fujifilm.com/products/instant_photo/films/index.html

    The FP100C is a great colour instant film, with much better quality control than Polaroid. The colour is somewhat more saturated than type 669 and not quite as much as type 690. There is also a larger size available called FP100C45, though it will not work in the old Polaroid pack film cameras.

    Ciao!

    Gordon Moat Photography