View Full Version : I can't believe this...

03-17-2005, 20:19
I thought I had all the cameras I could possibly need.

I was wrong.

Being incredibly bored, I was surfing the web looking up all the old cameras my family has owned through the years and I ran across on old, old friend... the folding Polaroid Land Camera Model 101. This was the first camera my dad ever showed me how to use at the tender age of, oh, five I suppose.

I stopped. I looked. I looked again. And said, "Wow... but I bet they don't make film for them anymore."

More Googling ensued. I found that they do still make pack film which will work with these cameras as well as the alkaline batteries for the electronic shutter. I did my best Keanu Reeves impression and said, "Whoah. Dude."

More Googling. I found a like-new 101 in box, with case, flash unit (M3 bulbs, anyone?), manual, original box, everything. The photos looked good, lens looked clean and clear, price looked good. I plunked down the plastic.

I haven't received an email confirming that the seller still has it in stock, but I'm playing the odds here and guessing there hasn't been a rush on this particular item.

The best part of the whole thing? It may not be trendy, it may only have a three-element lens, but it's unit focusing with a coupled rangefinder :)

Somehow, in some weird way, this just totally makes up for a really crappy day.

03-17-2005, 20:39
yep.....that's why I don't "google" anymore:) ...

03-17-2005, 21:08
At least I can say I stayed away from eBay on this one :)

back alley
03-17-2005, 21:10
yep.....that's why I don't "google" anymore:) ...

now, that's funny!!!!


oh and congrats on your nostalgic find!

03-17-2005, 21:33
Sorry about the bad day-

Now for a bit of good. I remember the smell of the developing Polaroid and waving them about waiting for them to dry. An early form of photgraphic immediacy, one more thing digital killed.

I'll bet it will be a lot less "fidgety" than one of the digital wonders

03-17-2005, 21:56
I have to admit, I'm really excited about this. There must be some serendipity involved here, as a friend of mine who is thinking about modeling asked me if I'd be willing to take a few pictures of her. I was planning on doing the shoot with digital, but the Polaroid might be just the ticket to get some old-fashioned looking portraits easily and maybe make the shoot a little more fun and relaxed for both of us.

03-17-2005, 21:59
I'm also excited about the availability of a much larger negative which should be loads easier to scan on my flatbed. To paraphrase Gordon, the sheer terror inspired by the flashgun could add to the fun factor as well.

Warren T.
03-17-2005, 22:17
Wow! You made me feel nolstalgic. I still have a Polaroid Land Camera (I don't have it handy so I can't tell you the model #). It is in its original, worn out vinyl case/kit including flashbulbs. I didn't know that film is still available for this camera. I think the battery compartment is corroded. I wonder if I can revive it. Oh, and mine is also the one with rangefinder focusing.


03-17-2005, 22:27
Doug, it sounds like good clean fun! The B&W with negative is pretty cool; I believe that's Type 55PN. Something like that. I have a lesser model, I think it's a 230 or 250, that I haven't used in years. Should drag it out...

Brian Sweeney
03-18-2005, 03:16
I have a model 101. The 3-element all-glass lens is plenty sharp as you essentially get a contact print. Film is readily available. I have shot film out-of-date by 1-year with great results and 3-year out-of-date for "practice shots".

I prefer shooting with a model 250 for the Zeiss finder and "indoor without flash" setting for ASA3000 B&W.

But I have the original model 104 that my Dad taught me to use in the '60s. It still works.

> One more thing that Digital Killed.

I took my Polaroid SLR680 to a Birthday party for one of Nikki's little friends this past Saturday. One ten-year old girl saw it and announced "Those cameras are so Cool!" Polaroid should drop the price of its film, increase the quality of its cameras, and aim them at new parents and kids.

03-18-2005, 03:59
I have had about 4 of these models too. Its easy to convert them to use a couple AA batteries instead of the hard to find battery. Everyone of them worked too. That positive/negative stuff is neat. The print looks terrible but the negative is very good and large. A local store is dumping their 3000 speed B&W film so I am going to try some this weekend in my $5 propack(ee100special). Who came up with these names for Polaroid? Names like Pronto, Clincher, etc...I have tried their color film and it was pretty bad. I have seen that Fuji makes color and b&w film for polaroids with better color.

Bill K.
03-18-2005, 04:21
Several years ago, my son in-law brought me a Model 160 Polaroid in absolutetly pristeen condition. His friend was cleaning house and was about to put it into the trash can.

This was identical to one I had used at work years ago and I knew it would take great pictures. In my exitement I tried to find film for it but was told by Polaroid in Canada that it was no longer available.

Now I find out that film is available and would love to get some. This particular model takes Type 47 (3000 ASA) or Type 42 (200 ASA)

Perhaps dkirchge can direct me to a source of film.

By the way, this camera is a "Rangefinder" and is built like a tank.

Regards to all

Bill K.

03-18-2005, 05:20
Shake it... Shake it... Shake it .... Like a Polaroid picture...

Never tried one, but I'd loooove to!!!!


03-18-2005, 05:31
Bill K.....you sure about type 47 film being produced now? It was discontinued in 1992. I dont see it on polaroids website. Last I heard they were not going to produce anymore roll film. Maybe you have it confused with "pack" film that they still make?

Bill K.
03-18-2005, 06:15
Hi Rob,

You are right. Type 47 was discontinued some time ago.

I mis-understood dkirchge's post. He did mention pack film which will not work in my Model 160.

It's too bad. I would have loved to try this beast out again. For now, it sits poudly on the bookshelf in my office. (along with other folders and at least one RF, an ANSCO SUPER MEMAR with an f2.0 lens)


Bill K.

03-18-2005, 06:43
I've unleashed a monster :)

Warren T.
03-18-2005, 06:47
Hi Folks, I was curious so I dug out my old camera. It's a model 340, and it uses either type 107 and type 108 film. So this film is still available?


Bill K.
03-18-2005, 06:57
Doug K.

You have brought back some fond memories. I still have a couple of B&W Polaroid pictures from the 60's and they look OK. It's a good thing I coated them with the "special coating gizmo" supplied with each roll.


Bill K.

03-18-2005, 07:32
Everything you wanted to know about polaroid cameras, right here...
The 100,200,300,400 series were all rangefinders so they fit in here..
Someone got a scanner that can scanner the larger neg from the PN
type film so I can see how it turns out?

BJ Bignell
03-18-2005, 08:10

Sorry to burst your bubble, but Polaroid advises that you don't "shake it like a Polaroid picture": http://www.cnn.com/2004/TECH/ptech/02/17/polaroid.warns.reut/

Aw, hell, do whatever you like! I'm not the Polaroid police!


03-18-2005, 09:18
Hi Folks, I was curious so I dug out my old camera. It's a model 340, and it uses either type 107 and type 108 film. So this film is still available?


According to the Land List (link was provided above), the 660-series pack films should work fine.

Warren T.
03-18-2005, 09:37
Can anyone point me to some recent scans/samples of pictures taken with these vintage Land Cameras? I want to see if it's worth trying again. I have many happy memories of my dad and me playing with this camera. I should probably revive it just for the memories.

I looked at my 340 kit, and I found a 12 pack of M3 bulbs, with 10 unused.

There is also a black tube that I think was the protective coating applicator, and a bunch of stick on backing mats for prints.

I looked at the battery compartment, and thankfully it's not badly corroded. One of the battery clips is a little green, that's all. I wonder if I can use a q-tip and baking soda solution to clean it off. Would that work, or is there a better way.

The lens is clean, but the viewfinder is a little murky, and the bellows and everything else looks to be in excellent shape.

Boy, another can of worms for me to get into. :)


03-18-2005, 09:57
vinegar will clean the battery terminals up in no time. I cant recall opening one of my rangefiners to clean it, I think I just cleaned the outside glass.

03-20-2005, 16:26
Well, at the flea market today I scored a real nice 250 model with flash and a pack of blue m3 bulbs..Gotta get a battery to test the shutter. BTW I took off the two screws on the side of the zeiss rangefinder and just cleaned the outside glass. It is well protected from dust on the inside. This came with the bigger case also for $5...

03-20-2005, 17:02
Do I detect a trend starting? :)

Wayne R. Scott
03-20-2005, 17:36
Polaroid 665 pack film is available from:


They also carry the sodium sulfite used to clear the "goop" from the negative. In addition they have a special bucket for clearing the negatives, but I am too tight to pay $50.00 for a bucket.

I hate this site!!! I just dug out my Polaroid 250 because of this thread. Now I have to buy some film and make a negative holder for 3.25x4.25" negatives.


03-20-2005, 17:47
Calumet Photo has the bucket for $39.99 along with a starter pack of sodium sulfite powder.

I know how you feel, Wayne, I've already started looking at ways to get the best scans....

03-20-2005, 22:39
My enlarger only handles up to 6x9cm, so Polaroid 665 negs are too large to handle. But now with flatbed scanners that can scan negs, there's a possibility of getting prints through the digital route!

Long ago, Kodak made Tri-X (and I'm sure other emulsions) in 16-exposure 3 1/4 x 4 1/4 film packs. There was a paper tab that you pull, just like Polaroid films, except the tab's function was to pull the exposed sheet around to the back of the pack and make the next sheet ready to shoot.

Well, I shot a Tri-X film pack in a borrowed Polaroid 180, back when I worked in a camera shop. The Kodak pack was a bit smaller than a Polaroid pack dimensionally, so I stuck it INSIDE a used/empty Polaroid pack to keep it properly located in the camera. Worked fine, except that it still slipped around in there. My boss and I devved the film in a regular cut-film tank with stainless frames for the individual sheets. So I have some big Tri-X negs of snowy South Dakota Badlands in my files that have never been printed. Yet!

I think if I shot Polaroid now, I'd want something more than the small contact print that comes out; I'd want a neg to play with too!

03-21-2005, 04:41
You could make a black matboard for a negative holder on your polaroids, but you would maybe loose the edges of the negative due to your enlarger but I would try that once if you already have the darkroom setup.

03-25-2005, 19:14
IT'S HERE IT'S HERE IT'S HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm definitely excited. Pulled everything out of the original Polaroid case, spread it out, and had a look-see. The camera is a little dusty but not bad at all, lens elements seem clean and clear with no fungus, scratches, or haze. The bellows is supple, intact and light-tight, the rangefinder is aligned and focus seems accurate although I should rip apart one of the old film packs and make a quickie ground glass to check that for sure. The battery is dead as a doornail, which I expected, and the corrosion in the battery chamber is very minimal. I even have ONE M3 flashbulb to play with, although I'd better choose my shot carefully.

Should clean up very nicely indeed and be a good shooter once I clean the battery chamber and replace the battery. Now off to the store tomorrow for film!

03-25-2005, 20:55
What kind of pack film choices does the store offer? I suppose it doesn't matter greatly for a first test though! Looking forward to seeing your samples here...

03-26-2005, 10:22
I think my choices will be limited to 667 or 669, but for a first test that should be sufficient. At least I'll be able to see if there are any major defects before I sink money into the negative clearing bucket, chemicals, etc. The tough part will be tracking down a local source for 531/PX19 batteries. Adorama has them in stock but I HATE the wait... :)

04-08-2005, 22:53
I was given a Polaroid Land Camera 2000 that was my grandmothers. I know it isn't in the same league as the ones you guys have but it is priceless to me. It take SX-70 fillm packs and there is a store here that has at least one pack in stock. Just need to justify the $25 expense.


04-09-2005, 00:29
Justification? We don't need no stinkin' justification... ahem.

As I noted in my thread "Help!!!!", I have now verified that the shutter works like it's supposed to with a fresh battery connected. Once I finish the repair to the battery connector and slap in a pack of 667, I will be an instant-photo-takin' fool!

Or maybe just a fool. Anyway, I'm excited to see what this baby will do. Now to find a supply of M3 flashbulbs...