Advice sought on Polaroid Camera

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poorusher

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Hello

Some time ago I posted this: (there was a url link here which no longer exists)

I am interested in old and crude colour film stock, and recently I have been thinking about getting a polaroid camera for this reason. Check: Dead Link Removed then the project called Yuck!!! (this is a website I am building for a makeup artist).

I love these prints. But where do I start with a Polaroid cameras, I have no idea. Could I get something on ebay. Do I need to know about film types? The only Polaroid I ever had was an instamatic thing that took SX70.

Sorry if I sound an ignoramous, I am.
 

Brac

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I don't know anything about Ebay (have never used it) but I know a bit about Polaroid cameras. Personally I wouldn't call the colours crude but the quality is not as good as conventional film. They have made a whole range of cameras over a 55 year period and as a result there are a lot of different film formats, not all of which are still available.

The very earliest took their own type of rollfilm which are no longer available. Then there was a long series of simple box type cameras and more sophisticated folding cameras, some with rangefinder, which took a filmpack which consisted of originally 8 (now 10) individual picture sheets which each had to be pulled out of the camera and the picture then peeled off the backing paper. These filmpacks are still available in colour (eg Type 669) & B&W. You do not get a re-useable negative except with one specialist B&W film so the print needs to be rephotographed or scanned for further copies.

The problem with many (all?) of these cameras is that they require a 4.5 volt alkaline battery called PX19 which can be very difficult to find though I think Silverprint did or does still stock them. Fuji also makes colour filmpacks which fit though I am not sure if the speed is compatible. These cameras were originally designed for 80ASA (colour) & 3000ASA (B&W).

Some of the boxtype filmpack cameras took a square picture and I'm not sure if these filmpacks are still made.

The SX70 was I think the first Polaroid film that was integral ie there was no peeling involved. A number of cameras were made for this but next Polaroid introduced cameras that took a faster integral type film - the 600 series. They still make cameras for the latter and both 600 series & SX70 film is still available.

There have been other recent Polaroid formats and a couple of Fuji ones.

My guess (and it is that) is that the best place to start looking for any of these, secondhand, is at charity shops & car boot sales. Many would have been bought by casual snappers who have probably gone over to, dare I say it, digital so there must be stacks of these old Polaroids floating around somewhere. Myself I love the folders if you can get the battery, I still have one myself which I refuse to part with!

Best of luck.
 

Shmoo

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The SX 70/Time Zero film will give you 3" x 3" photo with some brilliant color. You can also manipulate the image for about 2 hours after the shot. The earlier you work with the emulsion, the more drastic the effect...later (say 10-12 minutes) the effect can be as subtle as an impressionist painting. I have a couple of these in my personal gallery.

The 4x5 film is great also. Type 79 gives you great color at a higher speed, but for the most part, it is the end result in itself. Type 59 is another animal. The speed is slower (65-80 ISO), but once the shot is taken, you can either transfer the image (peel apart the film early and press the chemistry onto watercolor paper) or actually lift the emulsion off an place it on paper, wood, etc. In this case you are actually boiling and lifting off the image from the backing.

Polaroid has a good CD that is free for these techniques. Have fun with it.

S
 
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poorusher

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Brac

Many thanks, you've really brought me up to speed. I didn't mean that the film is crude, but it seems to have an 'atmosphere' that I am interested in. I know that they are used by professionals for checking light/exposure etc.

I bought my SX70 camera for peanuts in some charity shop, it's great but not what I am after. There is an artist called Lucas Samaras who does very interesting things with SX70, moulding the print, pushing the emulsion etc.

So my next question Polaroid 10x8? Can see the backs on their site but which camera will it work with?
 

Shmoo

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Polaroid 8x10 is used with either a large format 8x10 camera using an 8x10 polaroid back or a Daylab with an 8x10 adapter plus an 8x10 back. If you use the daylab, you can shoot 35mm and project on to the polaroid film which is held by the polaroid back. None of these options is inexpensive, by the way (unless you can rent a Daylab).
 

jeanba3000

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Dead Link Removed you can find a list of nearly all Polaroid cameras and some informations about them, the films, etc.

The best ones are the pro 180, 185, 190 and 195, because totally manual operated with a traditionnal shutter and works without a battery (no built-in lightmeter unlike the others), but they are more rare and expensive than the others.

I own a 180 pro and it's a wonderfull camera to use, especially with the 667 film (black & white 3000 iso), the 665 (black & white 100 iso with negative) and the 679 (colour 100 iso that permits emulsion transfert).
 

Elox

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jdef said:
Batteries for packfilm cameras are available through Radio Shack, for about $12. SNIP

Well, the last time I bought some I found that Polaroid was selling them for $8.95. Or, I found an equivalent battery w/o the snaps at my local electronics supplier for $6 and I modified the battery holder.

JeffW
 
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