Help with polaroid pack removal and portrait/passport camera
Um I bought a silly beast of a camera off of ebay and I've never used a medium format back. I have a polaroid 103 camera that uses the same packfilm so I know how to operate it but this camera is weird and annoyingly comes with 665 film which I'd rather like to save than be forced to use up testing the camera! So my questions are...
- can I safely remove the pack and all those nicely folded tabs and everything will be fine? I don't think this has a darkslide so I'd remove it in a darkback and transfer it to an empty 8x10 paper box and black plastic bag for safe keeping.
- Has anyone ever seen this freak before? It's not even polaroid branded, just has a polaroid back which appears to be attached by some plastic rails that are screwed in.
I was trying to be really patient but then i thought hey i'll try shooting one shot of the 665. tried it. pulled tab, no tab came out the roller slot. damnit. Tried fixing it, tried again, same thing, gave up and put the camera and 8x10 paper box & bag into the changing bag, took out the whole pack and put it away for another day
On the plus side, it means i can get a good look at the camera. It's actually a 4x5 polaroid back that takes the 100/660 series film packs! This means I can even fit my 4x5 darkslide onto the back of this beast. Except those screw down runners don't allow you to slide out the darkslide when you're done so it's incredibly inconvenient. Still, you might be looking at my first 4x5 camera... simple box camera like thing, 4 square (?!) apertures, 1 shutterspeed (that is powerful and wobbles the camera somewhat).
The rollers and everything inside the polaroid back were gross with loads of red gunk everywhere. It's taking forever for me to clean it out with damp cotton swabs. Maybe when I'm done I'll stick another pack of film in and try again tomorrow if we have any sunshine...
What is your beast? A new toy! (After a couple of mods)
Most likely a multi-portrait camera... I couldn't really make out the front of the camera clearly, but from your description (portrait/passport camera) the idea is to have 4 identical pictures on one sheet of instant film. I have a few of these (okay- more than a few) and I have converted them to Pinhole cameras. The shutters in the 4-image cameras aren't as useful (unless you want 4 identical images on one sheet) but the 2-image cameras can take an interesting Stereo image.
More than likely- that pack of film isn't going to be useful... If it has sat around too long the chemistry in the pods dries out. You'll know this is the case when you try to remove a sheet & it instantly seperates. If it is color film, then the colors will be quite off. If it doesn't seperate- then shoot it to learn how the camera works.
You're probably going to be hearing from a lot of the "gloom & doom" types over the demise of Polaroid, and the worthiness of this item... Just ignore them. Once the hype dies down & the sane ones realize that Fuji already makes some fantastic color instant film everything will be fine.
You might consider using it like a Lomo multi-image, if you can cover 3 of the lenses and then rotate the covers... That way you could take 4 different images on one sheet! You might also consider removing the glass from the lenses & replacing them with pinholes and doing the same thing.
If you have any questions about how to do any of this- you can PM me... I've done this to a couple dozen cameras over the years- it's fun to repurpose old tools to make new toys!
John "Alpha Flying Monkey" Moore
Mine has shutters over the lenses so I can already have it take a different picture for each quarter of a sheet. I'm using some expired in 2006 B&W polaroid film in it right now which works okay, chemistry hasn't dried out, it's lost a little speed, I think, but when it's ISO3000 B&W, that doesn't matter too much.
No point talking about doom and gloom, except for my beloved sx-70 which won't have 600 integral film anymore, I prefer Fujifilm's packs anyway. I've only worked with polaroid's 667 B&W film but compared to FP-100C, the chemistry is too gooey when you're peeling the picture off.
I'm more of a box camera person than a pinhole person so I'll stick with it... I found out that it can take a normal 4x5 darkslide so I might have a go doing that after I've shot this pack of film. Only problem about having 4 pictures per sheet is that I now have the equivalent of an extra long roll of 35mm film (40 images a pack). At least I get to see 4 images at a time unlike roll film where you have to wait until the end
I was just curious, more than anything, about it lacking any offical Polaroid branding on it. The only "branding" we can work out is the six blue squares/rectangles at the bottom...