Revitalize a Polaroid Land Camera

posted Nov 10, 2013, 8:02 AM by Yung Amos   [ updated Nov 10, 2013, 9:04 AM ]

My Polaroid Land Camera #240

Polaroid Land Camera is a piece of art in Photography history. It is a camera uses Instant Peel Film. You can now buy cheap second hand Land Camera from ebay.com at low cost. Some modification to the battery compartment should be done as these machine powered by either 4.5V or 3V batteries that were not produced for long.

I have two Land Camera - A #350 with Zeiss Range Finder and Glass Lens and a #240 with Polaroid Range Finder.

Some repairs had been done to these two camera :

#350 - repaired the light leaking bellow with electrical tape 
#240 - rewired a broken circuit inside the shutter compartment to make the shutter work again, and make a 3xLR44 battery holder for this machine.

Both machine uses glass lens and the image quality are awesome.

These cameras are truly "Analog" Photography, even the auto-exposure circuit is running in analog mode. If you are looking for a complete experience in Analog Photography, I highly recommend you to get one.

As these cameras are coming from 1960s, problems or malfunctions are expected. There are many Land Camera enthusiast on the Internet, their experiences and the workaround suggested are a good resources to hack these machines.

There are some "gear-head" modified their Land Camera from fully automatic shutter control to completely manual shutter control. Those are so cool. However, it may not be convenience to the user when every shots have to be light measured and adjust their shutter speed before they can take a photo. 

What if there is a solution to combine the best of manual shutter control and the best of automatic shutter control?

Now, I am planning to revitalize another Polaroid Land camera, probably a broken one. Add in a manual shutter control with an option to use the "A" (Automatic) mode.  So, whenever I need an automatic shutter control for responsive photography, the option is there.

Here are the specifications:

  1. Powered by 6V (2 x CR123A) battery
  2. Power on when expanding the bellow
  3. 12 manual shutter speed
    1. 1/1000s
    2. 1/500s
    3. 1/250s
    4. 1/125s
    5. 1/60s
    6. 1/30s
    7. 1/15s
    8. 1/8s
    9. 1/4s
    10. 1/2s
    11. 1s
    12. B-mode
  4. 1 Automatic mode (A-mode)
  5. Operated by a AT89C2051 MCU
  6. LDR photo cell for automatc exposure measurement
  7. with X-shoe for Flash
  8. 6 Aperture size:  f/8.8, f/12.5, f/17.5, f/25, f/35, f/42 (manually selected)
  9. An LED indicates the electronic shutter fired properly
  10. 3-elements Glass Lens
These specifications lead to a number of models : #100, #230, #240, #250, #340, #350, #360, #440, #450

Model #230, #340, #440 have plastic casing which may be easier to drill but their appearances (after these 50 years) cannot be good as the other models in metal casing.

Now, the first step of this project is to find a good but electronically faulty Land Camera. I don't want to destroy my good-to-use camera without a reason.

Wish me good luck.




In the meantime, please take a look on below link for some DIY repair information about these nicely built Land Camera: