Introduction: Polaroid Land Camera Fujifilm and Battery Mod

Picture of Polaroid Land Camera Fujifilm and Battery Mod

Getting hold of Polaroid 100 series film is pretty difficult and expensive since Polaroid stopped making it several years ago. Luckily Fujifilm still make 100 series instant film.

However, the Fuji packfilm is slightly different from the Polaroid film as it is made from plastic and not metal. This becomes an issue with the folding Polaroid Land Cameras that use this film, as there is a big spring inside the camera that was used to keep pressure on the pack. On the old Polaroid packs the metal pack could spread the pressure from this spring. The plastic Fuji packs can't do this and the film jams when you try to pull it out and most likely end up tearing the paper tab. Removing this spring fixes this issue.

The electric shutter and if available the electric print timer in these cameras uses either 1 or 2 unusual sized batteries. Again, the batteries are hard to get hold of and expensive. Adding a AAA battery holder means you can use easily available batteries for your camera.

In this example, I am using a 3V Polaroid 350 Land Camera.

EDIT: Many thanks for the editors that selected this instructable to be featured! It is appreciated. :D

Step 1: Tools and Parts

Picture of Tools and Parts

You don't need much for these 2 mods. You will needs:

A small phillips screwdriver,
a pair of side cutters,
solder,
soldering iron,
heat shrink and
a 2x AAA battery holder.

Step 2: AAA Battery Conversion

Picture of AAA Battery Conversion

Remove the existing battery holder by removing the 2 screws. Save one of the screws for later.

The white wires are positive and the black are negative. Cut off the connectors on the holders and strip back the wires. Remember to put the heat shrink on before you solder the wires together! Solder both white wires on the camera to the red wire on the battery holder. Solder both black wires on the camera to the black wire on the holder. Slide the heat shrink over the solder joint and shrink it with the heat from the soldering iron.

Once this has cooled check the solder joints are still good and coil the excess wire in the bottom of the battery bay. Then line up one of the holes in the battery holder with the already tapped holes in the battery bay. My holder had a hole in the middle of it and there was a screw hole already in the middle of the bay that lined up with it nicely.

Step 3: Fujifilm Conversion

Picture of Fujifilm Conversion

As I mentioned at the start, the problem with using Fujifilm packfilm in these unmodified Land Cameras is that it can jam because there is too much pressure on the filmpack. This means that the paper tab just tears instead of pulling out. The severity of this problem seems to vary depending on which model you are using, but all can benefit with this modification.

Open the back of the camera and identify the two big 'lever' type springs on the back door of the camera. Bend them up until they snap off. Be careful as this may leave sharp edges.

Step 4: Testing

Picture of Testing

(Both these tests assume there is no film in the camera and you've put charged/fresh batteries in the holder).

To test the battery mod has worked, we need to test the electronic print timer (if fitted) and the electronic shutter. To test the print timer, open the rear door on the camera and using the red handle lift the rollers. Against the exit flap there's a little square lever in the corner. Press the lever and it activates the print timer. Look on the other side of the camera back and you should see the light illuminated as shown.

To test the shutter, cock the shutter and then cover the 'electric eye' on the lens board with your hand. With your other hand, fire the shutter and hold the shutter release down. You should hear a click. Now remove your hand from the 'electric eye' and point the camera to a light source. You should hear the shutter close. You can now let go of the shutter button.

If there is no second click of the shutter, the shutter is closing as soon as you release it. This is most likely because there is no power reaching it. Check your solder junctions and polarity and then retest.

Step 5: Load Film and Result

Picture of Load Film and Result

Time to load some film! At the time of writing there are only three different types of film available for this camera. They are:

Fuji FP-3000B - 3200 ASA Black and White, Gloss Prints
Fuji FP-100C - 100 ASA Colour, Gloss Prints
Fuji FP-100C Silk - 100 ASA Colour, Matt Prints

There used to be FP-100B and FP-300B also, but these have been discontinued. I haven't seen FP-300B for sale for a long time, but still occasionally see FP-100B.

The 2nd photo attached is a night time long exposure using FP-100C.

http://www.reddit.com/r/Polaroid/

Comments

RomeoR6 (author)2016-02-10

Good Afternoon;

I was wondering what the original Battery size and voltage was for the 365 flash that you use with the 363 charger. Please help. :-(

zzpza (author)RomeoR62016-02-10

Sorry, I don't have a clue. But you might find the info on the Land List website:

http://www.rwhirled.com/landlist/landacc.htm

Hope that helps,

Jules.

ljm911 (author)2015-04-01

I could not find the print timer activation lever. is it by the red tab or in the other corner?

zzpza (author)ljm9112015-05-10

Sorry I didn't see your comment sooner. I have film in my camera at the moment so can't check. The lever is black if I remember correctly.

Crazzymax (author)2015-05-10

So instead of needing two separate sources of 3v, I can use one 3v source to power both the timer and the shutter?

zzpza (author)Crazzymax2015-05-10

That is correct. :)

ivan.radoslovic.92 (author)2014-11-30

Hello, i have an question about battery conversion, How long the 2AA battery last if i"m using timer and camera? Thank you

zzpza (author)ivan.radoslovic.922014-11-30

They last ages. I've never run them flat. I usually charge them (NiMh) once a year. Obviously if you were using the camera a lot them they might need charging more frequently.

ivan.radoslovic.92 (author)zzpza2014-12-04

okay, so if i use it like every day one picture, then 2AA baterry will be enought to power timer and camera for 6 months?

jamlad (author)2013-11-05

While the battery pack hack is perfectly valid, and nice to see somebody putting up a guide, I would dissuade someone from breaking off the springs. The springs are there to maintain the exposure in the focus plane.

There are two alternative methods to address the pressure problem without permanent altering the design of the camera: use bobby pins to pin back the springs into the casing, or acquire the metal blackplate from some old Polaroid film and swap onto the plastic Fuji pack. Heck, I have about 20 of them kicking about just for donating to newbies.

zzpza (author)jamlad2013-11-05

To each their own. I've shot 1.5 Fuji FP-100C pro packs (20 boxes of 10 prints per pro pack) with my modified 350. If I had to swap a metal back on the new pack each time, I simply wouldn't bother using the camera.

If anyone does have a film plane issue (I've personally performed this mod on 8 cameras without issue, and I didn't invent it so there are many more people happily using it) it's a simply a matter of adding a suitable thickness foam pad where the spring was. No more binding caused by the original spring and you get some pressure on the back of the pack.

nickademuss (author)2012-01-20

Great fix!

I have a land, I might do this to get that vintage look...

I use film for than I do digital, it makes me slow down, and choose my subjects better, I really like my 4x5!

randofo (author)2012-01-16

Nice. I had not considered removing the spring before or that this might have been causing some of the development issues. I may make this mod to my camera.

zzpza (author)randofo2012-01-17

Thank you! I had a Polaroid 320 before this and I hadn't really noticed the issue on that camera until I removed the springs. It really does make it so much easier to pull out the dark slide and then each print also. If you can notice any different in the amount of pressure required to pull the first print versus the last print from a filmpack, I would recommend this mod.

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