Hello Kim Catton,
The Polaroid Automatic line of cameras is largely different in construction, or in rangefinder, roughly:
100 Automatic - glass lens, exposure compensation, TTL Flash (bulb) and exposure, flash sync
250 Automatic - improves rangefinder to have viewing and focus window in same window; two versions of rangefinder for these, with a slightly higher magnification in early versions, parallax correction in rangefinder (crude)
350 Automatic - adds electronic timer for film peeling; uses different battery than 100 or 250
360 Automatic - changes the 3000 ASA setting; has a rechargable flash unit (avoid)
450 Automatic - different flash than 350 or 360 that uses AAA batteries
In general, the flash sync for the Polaroid flash has a weird extra plug, but it will connect to a regular sync cord for using modern flash. I have the old Polaroid bulb flash for my 250 Automatic. While that is TTL flash control with a bulb, in practise it is not that great. My preference is to use a more modern flash with a sync cord, either with the flash unit set to automatic, or by manually setting the flash. It is also useful with studio strobes, if you meter first with a hand held flash meter.
The model 180, 190, or slightly rarer 185 are all manual shutter and nicer four element lenses. Unfortunately these are all high priced, despite being based upon body designs similar to the other steel body Automatic models. Also, all the other model numbers for this range are plastic body designs, and often plastic lenses.
A G Studio
Thanks alot.. one thing hit me when I was looking at the 250 model on ebay (and the other models as well) when you buy the 669 film does it then come in rolls or as sheet film ? I have never really tried the polaroid thing you see. If it is a roll then how is it done, I mean... how is the peeling apart thing done? do you have to take the whole roll and then "develope" it at one time or can you do one picture as soon as you have exposed?
regards, kim - confusing... I know :O) sorry
the film is in a pack. you place the whole pack in the base of the daylab (for example) and then use one sheet at at time. ou pull it from the base , let it develop for the time needed (depending on the process) and then peel it apart.
I am not going to use a daylab but a camera (250 i think) - how is the process of film-loading and all that when using this?
It's the same back.
One issue that Gordon didn't mention is that some of the automatic Polaroid cameras use a hard-to-get 3v battery. I believe RadioShack.com is a source, but the local corner store is not.
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Oops, not my thorough self when I posted that. So here we go:
Originally Posted by BrianShaw
100 and 250 Automatic use #531, which is a 4.5 volt battery.
350, 360, and 450 Automatic use #532, which is a 3 volt battery.
Both types are hard to find, though sometimes an electronic supply place will have them. Apparently some computers and other electronic gear used these batteries, though little else did. The earlier suggestion of converting to AA or AAA batteries might be an idea, though if you are not technically inclined, or have never done soldering of connections, it might be better to avoid converting. You can sometimes find Polaroid batteries on EBAY for any of these cameras. If you get the old style battery, it will probably last a few years.
I did a conversion to a CR123A, which is actually a 3 volt Lithium battery. It works fine in the 250 Automatic, though when I use 100 ISO film (669 or 690) I set the camera to 75 ISO. The 250 Automatic has 75, 150, 300 and 3000 ISO settings, and has a form of exposure compensation on the front of the lens. When you first get the camera, you will shoot a few test images to figure out where to set the exposure compensation, since most of the newer pack films you would want to use for transfers are ISO 100.
The issue of the original batteries lasting so many years is usually why these cameras have corrosion in the battery compartment. Most of the time you can scrape them clean and put a new battery in it. On really bad corrosion cameras, the terminal connector wire might be broken, which means soldering a new wire into it. Mine had broken and corroded wires, which is the main reason I did a battery conversion.
A G Studio