Monday, June 16, 2014

Video Review: Polaroid Automatic 250 Land Camera and Polapan 664 Film

Taken with iPhone 5S. Railtown District, Vancouver.

Old cameras. Old Polaroid cameras. Rangefinder cameras. If you love all 3 of these things, you need to buy a Polaroid Land Camera. Not the goofy ones that came later with integral film, but the older ones that take the peel-apart 3.25 x 4.25 films (667, 669, 664, etc.). My dream is to own the more specialized models that have manual exposure control (model 180, 185, 190, 195); but the 250 is still a great camera and fun to use.

I won't go into too much detail since I have my YouTube video to explain many of the features of this camera. Basically its a great introduction to Polaroid's peel-apart film cameras without spending too much money. The 250 model typically sells for around $150-200, although it's getting harder and harder to find it with the original case, flash, and portrait lens. The more expensive models are easily in the $500 range, some go for even more (check out Mijonju's video on his 185 Classic Edwin Land). The model 250 is reasonably priced and performs well, and every camera collection should have one of these, not on the shelf, but in the camera bag!

iPhone 5S picture. Quick photoshoot with my wife. Railtown District, Vancouver



The two big hassles with this camera (and the entire series) is the battery (4.5V Everready) and the film it takes. The battery is no problem. Just modify it so it can take 3 AAA batteries, easily fixed. The next issue is the film. I'm lucky enough to have over a case of expired Polaroid film still, but most have to hunt these down at double the price they sold for new. Fujifilm also makes film for this format (it's the same format as what passport cameras took, which helped keep this film format alive 30 years longer than it should have). However, they recently discontinued the FP3000B, which was the ISO 3000 black and white equivalent of Polaroid's 667 (I still have a few left!!), and many are worried about the lifespan of the presently current FP100C (colour ISO 100). 

If you look on Flick'r and Instagram, pack film shooters are stocking up and hoarding these discontinued films, buying dedicated mini fridges to store their treasured film stock. Since the Impossible Project has bought the last Polaroid factory and has re-introduced most of the integral film of Polaroid's prolific past, I hope they plan to release the 3.25 x 4.25 peel-apart films as well. If not, perhaps Lomography can become the last minute hero? 

Please enjoy my video and let me know if you have any questions. I'll post an upcoming article on how to save the negative on these peel-apart films by bleaching it (check out this cool YouTube video), and also show scanned images I've taken as well. Thanks for visiting and happy shooting!

Munetake

BHT

Taken with iPhone 5S. This was at my feet while shooting my video. It got pretty messy, but I cleaned up after!


2 comments:

  1. Another helpful e-mail from Gerry:

    Morning Take,

    You may be interested that a used camera shop here in Victoria has New Fuji Polaroid B&W film in stock and is reasonably priced.

    Regards Gerry

    http://camera-traders.com/fujifilm-fp3000b-instant-black-and-white-film/dp/64

    That's regular price!! If you love the FP100B, stock up now before they're all gone!!

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