Introduction: 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
Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.
Step 1: Tools and Parts
You don't need much for these 2 mods. You will needs:
A small phillips screwdriver,
a pair of side cutters,
heat shrink and
a 2x AAA battery holder.
Step 2: 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
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
(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
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.