The Polaroid Land Camera is Now 70 Years Old

For many of us, the news of the Polaroid Land Camera turning 70 years old this year will be one that brings back some nostalgia. But others don’t necessarily know what the Polaroid Land Camera was. You need, the Land Camera was designed to shoot an instant photo and worked with a rangefinder focusing system to do just that. Most of them have an old-timey vintage feel with a proper bellows, aperture, shutter, etc.

The Decades TV Network recently put out a video detailing the history of the camera. For a while, the consumer versions dominated the scene. These versions had two ISO settings: 100 and 600. Otherwise, you couldn’t change anything at all with the camera’s output. However, there was a return to the professional options: and one of them was the Polaroid 185 though the Polaroid 190 is probably one of the more famous options.

The Polaroid 100 is maybe the most famous consumer oriented version of the camera, though finding one in good condition is tough to do. You see, if you go to a thrift shop and see one, a rep will probably tell you that the camera didn’t use batteries and doesn’t need them. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. The consumer cameras all had batteries. In some cases, the previous owners left them in the camera and the batteries exploded–therefore causing damage to the camera. So you usually have to get some sort of conversion done.

But then there are other problems with the wiring and the light meter not working. In fact, finding one in good condition should really be done in person if you’re going to purchase one. Plus, you should check the bellows to ensure that they’re perfectly in tact and that the rangefinder seems accurate.

Polaroid also had a lens filter set for the camera. UV filters are very necessary and sometime the lens hood or the warming filter may be useful.

Unfortunately, the film designed to be used in these cameras isn’t being made anymore. But you can still pick up Fujifilm 100C or Fujifilm 3000B if you can get your hands on them. Hopefully Florian Kaps gets it revived.

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.