My wife was out doing yard sales today and found me a minty Polaroid 250 Land camera! This thing is gorgeous, and the rangefinder works great. Considering it was made in 67" the batt compartment looks new. I think I will be converting it to AAA.
Anyone using one?
I have one, although I haven't used it for a while now, although I do have some Fuji color film in the fridge for it. They're pretty nice. Someone (I think in the late 80's or early 90's) bought it for me at a garage sale and I put it away in a filing cabinet and forgot all about it. A couple of years ago I was looking for something else and I found it. I ordered a battery for it, cleaned the rangefinder and it works fine (so far). I even bought a close up attachment for it.
I use one:
Yes, I have one of these and have used it quite a bit. I've even connected the thing to a ProPhoto Acute 7b 1200 W/s strobe system ($3000+?) with wireless sync triggers and it works perfectly!
The 250 seems to be the best built vintage pack film camera (aside from some of the super-expensive and super-rare ones) that you can get with the others just being cheaper versions of the 250. I also have one of the cheaper ones that has a plastic body, plastic viewfinder, no rangefinder, but at least has a glass lens. And a friend from high school sent me a Polaroid ProPak which, though a much more recent design, actually has a number of disadvantages such as the plastic lens, no rangefinder, no standard sync port, and other stuff.
Unless everything really just looks perfect, and maybe even if it doesn't, I'd take the whole thing apart and clean everything out, oil everything, etc.
Two things that you absolutely want to do with the back area even if you don't take anything apart:
1) there's a foam rubber strip gasket thing toward the henge side that acts as a light seal between the film pack and the edge of the holder. This is almost certainly deteriorated by now and will be crumbling into little bits. You want to clean that out with Q-Tips and alcohol, bamboo skewers, or similar, or you're going to be periodically getting bits of that crap on the lens or film on the inside of the camera. You want to spray the camera out with compressed air or a blower can once you've got all of that scratched out.
2) There's this strip-like spring on the film door that's designed to put pressure on the film pack when the door is closed. This was designed for the original metal film packs, but any modern film packs you use such as Fujifilm FP-100C, etc, are made of plastic and if you don't rip that spring out it will make it very difficult to pull prints out without tearing/jamming. (I already wasted a pack or two of film before figuring this out.) I just bent both halves on mine until they snaped, removed them, and haven't seen any downside after shooting several more packs of film.
Also check out the various web pages people have created about clearing off FP-100C negatives to make them transparent, and look into Fujifilm emulsion lift transfers. (Main thing to know is that once you peel the emulsion off of the paper print, it won't stick to anything without glue unlike the original Polaroid film. On the plus side it's significantly harder to rip the Fuji emulsion and easier to get it off.)
And yes, "convert" or hack the battery connection! Don't buy one of those funky archaic batteries. Check to see which voltage yours uses, but mine I think needed 6V and I just took 4 AAA (1.5v) batteries, soldered them together with wire, taped them together with electrical tape (to form a makeshift battery pack) and then hardwired it in place of the battery holder. So I didn't even bother with the battery holder and I have mine working just fine for 6 months, and even when my homemade battery pack dies I can still just cut it out and replace it with a AAA battery holder or make a new battery pack.
Last edited by aterimagery; 09-22-2012 at 12:41 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Yepp, I have a 250 too. Lovely camera. I cleaned it up and did the AAA conversion. Used the battery holder from a cheap 4.5v LED torch. Mine works a treat. The only aspect I have had to work around is the electric eye is less sensitive than it once was. A one stop compensation on the darken/lighten wheel is all that is needed. It's enormous fun at parties and events, giving away prints on the spot make for many a happy bunny.
Eirik (aka Ezzie)
Super 66 | DIY 4x5 | DIY 6x17 | SP 1000 | Flexaret | Rolleiflex | Kalloflex | Weltix | Royal 35-M | Leica M4-2 | Polaroid 250 | Polaroid 110A / 600SE conversion | Vito CL
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it's the best of the automatic models. as it has no timer, I had no problems with fuji packs. 3v are sufficient for all the models, even if 4.5v are indicated. I would suggest a cr123 3v battery conversion. the battery keeps for ages and is easy to find.
Thanks for all the great info everyone! I will be doing some cleaning etc. The foam seals are good w/ no crumbling. But plan on cleaning and lube anyway. Everything is surprisingly clean already. It was well taken care of..
Aterimagery, especially thanks regarding the spring setup and the fuji film!
This unit uses the 4.5volt battery, so I am thinking on the 3 triple A batteries, CR123's can get expensive.
Last edited by 2bits; 09-22-2012 at 09:32 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Three AAAs will be fine. Just remove the battery clip and there is plenty of room for the holder. They use 9v connectors. You can get a pack of 5 from Radio Shack for about $2.50. Sometimes a 4.5v shutter will work with a 3v battery but don't count on it. The Polaroid repair manual calls for a minimum of 4.1v and I've seen shutters that won't work with 4.0v. Quality has been spotty on the 4.5v cells, especially those made in China. I bought a batch and most were less than 4v. The vendor replaced them but I no longer trust the quality.
For 3v cameras I prefer CR123s. They last longer and never leak. Good batteries should last for years in a Polaroid.