Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Polaroid Misfits

shoot-308These two are the Polaroid misfit twins.

They were made around the same time by Polaroid. They both use the older style peel apart films. When Polaroid went under the production of these films was picked up by Fuji Film, but they have discontinued all of the stocks with the exception of one. FP100C, the ASA 100 color film is still made. Both of the black and white films in 100 and 3000 speed are discontinued. It’s not known how much longer Fuji plans to make this film.

Their model numbers are very close, indicating they’re pretty similar cameras.

They both have plastic bodies that lack tripod mounts. They both use the same system of operation that outlines the sequence of taking the picture. They both focus using bellows. But there the similarities end. The 220 has a 114mm f/8.8 plastic two element lens. The 230 has a 114mm f/8.8 three element glass lens. Even though the basics are pretty much the same, these two lenses give different results. The 230’s lens is noticeably sharper. The 220 has a fixed viewfinder/rangefinder on top of the camera body. The 230 has a combination that folds up, making it a little smaller when stowed away.

shoot-309The cameras are both automatic exposure via the “Electric Eye” in the front. This system is powered by a battery that used to be pretty common to find, but has since become a bit rarer and a bit more expensive. They can still be found with some looking, but they run around $13 to $15 dollars in some places. In contrast, the rigid body Polaroids run off of $3 worth of AA batteries. As a result, the most common modification is to convert the system to another battery. These conversions use AAA or AA batteries most of the time but some prefer to convert to the CR123 that powers most of the compact auto-focus cameras from the 1980s since it does not require any cutting or modification of the compartment. I started the conversion of this camera to AAA batteries. I got it wired up temporarily using electrical tape. I tested it. It worked, but I sat it aside before finishing it up and soldering everything in place. I never got around to fixing up the 220.

I don’t have any real plans for using them in the future. I may convert the 230 to a fully manual camera using a Speed Graphic lens, a Copal shutter, and a board. The 220 has a shutter problem which would need to be addressed as well, so I could go with either of them. In the end though, I may just get rid of them. I’m needing fewer Misfits on the shelf and in the future.

If you’re thinking of getting a Land Camera like these, go see Cory at Rare Medium and pick up one of his masterpieces. His cameras are beautifully restored and worth every penny.

Polaroid Misfits

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