My love of all things Polaroid, and how it started…

The one that started it all for me, my Dad's Model 230 Land Camera

Thank you, Edwin Land

I plan to begin blogging about all things Polaroid. The camera that captured my earliest childhood memories was my father’s Land Camera Model 230 (which is pictured above). That same camera was handed down to me by my father, and is in perfect working order. It now is used to take beautiful pictures of my beloved 7 year old boy. I have since added another 230, a 240, an SX-70 Sonar, numerous 600’s, the Colorpack 2 and a Spectra First Edition. Santa brought me the new Polaroid 300 in December. I have portrait kits, close up kits, flash units, Polaroid leather attache cases, and other little accessories (UV filter, self timer, cloud filter). The classic Model 80b Highlander, in the original box, with the owner’s manual, is also in my possession. Film is not, as instant roll film hasn’t been made in years!

Despite the failures of the original Polaroid Corporation, it is the author’s opinion that Dr, Edwin Land, Polaroid’s CEO and guiding light, is one of the greatest inventors and innovators of our time. His number of patents is only second to Thomas Edison’s achievements. The word “genius” seems to sell the man short.

Polaroid as a brand today lives on today, in name, if nothing else. The author has very mixed feelings regarding Creative Director Lady Gaga. She will be discussed in later blogs. The author also has mixed views on the efforts of Dr. Florian Kaps, and The Impossible Project. Their efforts, and results with their still experimental films, will also be reviewed.

In the meantime, load up a folding Land Camera with some beautiful Fuji FP-100C, or FP-3000B, take some beautiful shots, and follow this blog. You will not be disappointed.

-Arthur, avid Polaroid enthusiast, Worcester, Massachusetts

Advertisements

15 thoughts on “My love of all things Polaroid, and how it started…

  1. I don’t have a folding camera but I’m enjoying the Fuji Instant films in my Mamiya RB67’s NPC Land Polaroid back! Great fun, I just got a shipment of 30 packs of FP-100C, FP-100B and FP-3000B! The 9 packs of FP-100C expire in April so I have some serious instant color shooting to do!

    • The same stuff! The unfortunate part is that Fuji discontinued the FP-100B recently, in both configurations. So you are very fortunate there. I have one pack of it in my Colorpack 2 camera. If you keep those 9 boxes of FP-100C cold stored, you should be fine. It is known as being very stable material.

      3000B is amazing film. The banner of this blog was shot on Edwin Land Boulevard, by the author, in Cambridge, with that material. It is very sharp, contrasty film.

      -A

      • I love the 3000B too, I got 11 packs of it in my order and 10 packs of the 100B, plus 9 packs of the 100C.

        Are you sure the 100B is going away though? I heard that but then heard it wasn’t. The expiry dates on it are good though the 3000B is better, some are January 2012.

        I will cold store my 100C packs and hopefully they’ll last though really I have just over 90 shots left of it and if I take a shot a day then February, March, April and it could be used up anyways.

        I might have to get a second Polaroid back or camera as I like having color and B&W on the go in regular film (have two 120 backs for my Mamiya as well).

  2. Yes- Fuji discontinued the 100 speed B&W materials. You likely have film from one of the last batches. The 3000 speed, and the 100 color, both live on.

    I also have a Hasselblad Polaroid back, but haven’t tried it yet.

    A

  3. It is too bad that the backs don’t fill the pack film area. My RB67 is close, it fills it vertically but not horizontally.

    Discontinued eh? Too bad as it is the sharpest of the three though it isn’t available light hand holdable like the 3000B. Well, I have 12 packs and there is still more in stock but it expired 2011-11. I put it all in cold storage after I took the picture:

    • Same with the Hasselblad, although I believe you are at 6×4.5, and not 6×6, like the Hassy. The backs were originally designed to test exposure, lighting, etc in the studio. Although I doubt there are many 120 format films with box speeds of 3000, if any.

      Yes, Fuji miffed a lot of instant fans when they discontinued that one. Although I love the contrast of the 3000 films. You really should scoop up a folding Land Camera- you will not be disappointed. They are fantastic little cameras. I do plan on writing a future blog on solutions/slight mods for using the Fuji films in them. There are a few things to know before doing so.

      -A

  4. My camera is 6×7 but the image on the pack film is actually the full height of 73mm and is a bit wider, 78mm or so. Still it makes me wish I had a full 6×9 camera for the 95mm width. I shall have to see if I can either get a 6×9 camera with a Polaroid back or if as you say there is a Polaroid camera I could pick up to get the full width.

    I do use them for test shots before switching to a proper film back. I find the FP-3000B works perfectly alongside Ilford Delta 3200 B&W film as both are in fact 3200 effective exposure value. The FP-100B of course works well alongside many 100 speed B&W films like Ilford Delta 100 and FP4+ and Kodak TMAX 100 and Plus-X. I use the FP-100C with Portra 160 for color work. The Polaroid backs and pack films are much cheaper than getting a digital back which covers less area, I think 6×4.5 is the biggest digital back out and costs at least $8000 which buys a lot of film!

    Must check Land cameras on eBay…

    • eBay is a dicey proposition to me. I have had better luck with the following- for quality, check out-

      -www.landcameras.com
      -www.instantoptions.com

      For great prices, touch and go quality, check out-

      -www.shopgoodwill.com
      -www.etsy.com
      -Your local Goodwill shop.
      -Your local Salvation Army shop.
      -Your local thrift shop.

      A

    • Yes- those are all members of the Automatic Land Camera series. The 180 and 195 are fully manual, and let you choose your own exposure settings. They are rare, and expensive. The others in the family have a L/D lighten darken wheel for some manual control. Another future blog topic!

  5. 220 looks like it has more aperture selections.

    Batteries, some say AAA conversions?

    Do any have PC sockets for flash or just flash bulbs from that era?

    Should be fun to pick one up, prices seem quite reasonable.

    • I plan on doing a blog entry at a later point on batteries. I use the classic Model 268 Flashguns. However, there are folks such as Cory at landcameras.com that do electronic flash conversions.

      These are, by and large, automatic cameras, and shutter speed/aperture is governed by the electronic eye. The cameras were the first with electronic shitters. I usually shy away from models such as the 220, as it used a plastic duplet (2 element) lens, and the step up models, the 230, 240, use a triplet (3 element) glass lens, which lets you use all of the neat accessories, like the close up kit, and the portrait kit. The 220 does not let you.

      You can see a full list at Nate/Option 8’s excellent http://www.instantoptions.com

      A

  6. Wow, you weren’t kidding about the 180 and 195 prices. Seems the rest go for around $50 while the manual models are $500-600 and up! Too bad as manual would be fun but I suppose the “electric eye” and “lighten darken” knob are part of the experience, most people wouldn’t have used the manual versions. Thanks for the link.

  7. Can you give me a preview of your battery information? Is it better to buy 531 batteries off eBay or to do or buy a camera with the 3xAAA conversion? I suppose it will no longer be original if I get the conversion but the 531 batteries are about $9 plus shipping. If they’ll last longer than the AAA’s then it might be worth it however. Thanks for any insight.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s