Polaroid camera

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I want a Polaroid camera to check lighting setup. I don't expect to use it much so I don't care what kind of film it uses and how expensive is the film as long as it's available and the camera is VERY cheap. The camera needs to have flash x-sync and manual exposure (lens in leaf shutter). I don't care how sharp it is. I've seen a milion of cheap Polaroids on eBay but I don't know if film is available for any of them. Do you know any of them meet the mentioned requirements?

-- Sorin Varzaru (svarzaru@bigfoot.com), March 15, 2001


Sorin: Pull up "Polaroid Camera" on a web search. There is lots of info there on the cameras and film. The best bet if you're using 4x5 film is to find a used Polaroid sheet film adapter. That way you can shoot one sheet of film at a time. The other suggestion is to locate a used Polaroid camera and check with the camera stores about film before you buy it.


-- Doug Paramore (dougmary@alaweb.com), March 15, 2001.

Thank you Doug, but please give me credit for searching the web first. If you know of a link that answers my question, please feel free to post it. And I hope I would've came up with the 4x5 back ideea if I had a 4x5. I'd like to belive I'm not a complete idiot. For the record, I shoot 35mm, 6x9 with a Speed graphic and 8x10. Polacolor for 35mm is not even close to what I want, there are no polaroid backs for 2x3 graflock (except for a strange Lane that is very weird to use due to the plane of focus change) and the polaroid holder + processor for 8x10 is ridiculously expensive.

-- Sorin Varzaru (svarzaru@bigfoot.com), March 15, 2001.

polaroid 180, 195, and 600se are each $400+. what else has x-sync? which 8x10 are you using? maybe you could find a cheap 4x5 reducing back and polaroid 405 pack film holder. the 405 holder is graflock compatable - maybe it will work with what you already have.

-- adam friedberg (asfberg@hotmail.com), March 15, 2001.

sorry, i just noticed you have a 2x3 graflock. linhof and others made polaroid backs for 6x9 cameras. could one of these work?

-- adam friedberg (asfberg@hotmail.com), March 15, 2001.

If you're just looking for lighting feedback, get a polapack camera 100 series (up to 450). Pack film is relatively cheap and generally available in color or B&W.

-- Bill (bmitch@home.com), March 15, 2001.

This is just a thought, but there's nothing really "cheap" about any type of Polaroid film in general. Especially if you get in a situation where you are going to burn up half a pack just trying to get your lighting right. I'd say to go with one of the pack film cameras if you can find one with X synch (or buy a rebuilt NPS camera $$), but the problem with these is that not all leaf shutters are the same. So, for flash exposure you're pretty safe, but for critical ambient light tests, your speeds may be a bit off. I think actually getting a reducing back, and 405/545 holder are probably best. This probably isn't the answer you want to hear, but who ever said large format (8x10 especially) was cheap...

-- DK Thompson (kthompson@moh.dcr.state.nc.us), March 16, 2001.

Here, this is a pretty comprehensive website for Polaroid cameras, it's called The Landlist:


You can find other Polaroid sites if you look at the camera collecting/toy camera sites.

-- DK Thompson (kthompson@moh.dcr.state.nc.us), March 16, 2001.

There are several reason I didn't want to consider reducing back for the 8x10 or Polaroid back for the 2x3 graflock (even if they are available although I'm pretty sure they are not).

1. I want to shoot with those cameras and I don't really want to fiddle with changing backs ( and lenses since on the 8x10 I;d have to use a much shorter lens to get a similar perspective).

2. The reducing back on the 8x10 would make it diffecult to move around and see how it looks like from different positions.

So for those reasons, I wanted a separate compact camera. About the cost, I already said I don't care how much the film costs as long as the camera is REALLY cheap. That is because I'm sure this will not see much use at all. I rarely do this kind of pictures (indoors with complex lighting) and there is no justification whatsoever to fork $500 in equipment that would gather dust on a shelf.

So, that is the reason I was asking if any of those cheap Polaroids with a leaf shutter on eBay is using film that can still found somewhere.

-- Sorin Varzaru (svarzaru@bigfoot.com), March 16, 2001.

i don't know which polaroids those are on ebay but i'm guessing if they have leaf shutters and are cheap they are unconverted 110a's or 110b's. if so there is no film for these. they can be converted to take available pack film but, again, this is money (about $250 last time i checked). the converted ones usually sell for $450 or more.

i don't know everything about polaroids but i have seen a lot of them. i have never seen or heard of a cheap polaroid with x-sync and a leaf shutter (with adjustable speeds) that takes modern, available polaroid material.

maybe you will be lucky and find someone who doesn't know what they have selling a 180 or 195 cheaply.

-- adam friedberg (asfberg@hotmail.com), March 16, 2001.

It sounds like you're saying 2 different things here, you want to check composition and lighting. I bought an old pack film camera for like $10 from a junk bin at a local store. It's a model 340 (no X synch) I suppose you could figure out a way to fire it on bulb or something and just pop your strobes...(if you were really cheap) I've done this with old rollfilm cameras and a 283. If you're just checking exposures, you don't need to see the whole shot. That's why I was suggesting a reducing back, not so you could check out views. Like I said, Polaroid film is not cheap. $500 is not going to go far if you start burning up film, even pack film.

-- DK Thompson (kthopmpson@moh.dcr.state.nc.us), March 16, 2001.

I learned photography on a 180 that my Dad bought new -- and he knew it was going to be a collectible when he bought it. They're not rare but they're pricey. Other than the 180 series, you're outta luck in Polaroid cameras.

A Speed Graphic with a pack film back would be slightly cheaper. A reducing back for your 8x10 would be the best option. And a Minolta Spot F does spot flash metering and spot ambient metering, but is up around the price of the good Polaroid cameras.

-- John O'Connell (boywonderiloveyou@hotmail.com), March 16, 2001.

Doug Paramore: I hope your feelings weren't hurt by Sorin's seemingly brusk response. I've noticed you spend alot of time trying to be helpful to every poster; it's been a tough couple of days for you on this site, no? Andre

-- Andre Noble (andrenoble@usa.net), March 17, 2001.

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