Sunday, March 8, 2009

Polaroid 104 Land Camera review


My first introduction to Peel Apart Instant was through my Polaroid 104 Land Camera. Like my Vito B, the owner was selling it on at an auction because he wasn't sure if it worked and if film was still made for it. Here's my review:

The Good
  • Solid Build. Components are simple (its the film thats complex!)
  • When done right, the depth of field can be superb
  • Looks Neat. I once walked around town with it taking pics - it gets tons of looks and comments, especially from teenagers!
  • Fuji FP 100c works well with it, is readily available film

The Bad
  • Polaroid Film is no longer made, so you have to rely Fuji Film. Polaroid film colours are not as saturate or vibrant as fuji, but has more subdued 'retro look'.
  • Battery is hard to come by locally, but can be bought on online. Incidently I read somewhere that you can use a 9volt without any issues, as long as you don't mind the battery sticky out of the holder. Buy online: http://www.batterymart.com/p-exell-a19px-531-4_5v-alkaline-battery.html
  • Shooting close ups is difficult. Get a tape meaure and meaure it exactly for close shots - 3.5 ft minimum, or 1.07 Meters (107 cm).
  • Very fiddly to pull film out. The piece of paper that you pull to get the film out has broken off more than once. you can slightly open the back to pull the film without exposing the film.

The Ugly
  • Eats Film - I am not sure what it is, but whether the film is expired or not, sometimes the films stick to each and can ruin entire pack. Especially suceptible to this is Fuji 100 Gloss Film. This can really frustrating as the film IS not cheap. It can be because the film is bad, I've had rolls that where flawless, rolls which 2 or 3 pics got stuck together, rolls which half the film where stuck together and twice.. where the entire roll was munted :(

The Verdict
Do I recommend it? Probably not. There are definitely better working cameras than this one, but you can get very good results from the camera. All my peel apart films posted here are from this camera, so you can get results from it (eg FP 100c Silk and Glossy, 669, UV ID, 125i, 669). In New Zealand, pack film cameras are hard to find for good price. Vintage camera stores have outrageous markups here so its best to look locallyon trademe or internationally on ebay for these types of cameras. I'll probably replace it with another pack film camera in the future.

Here is the first shot I took from the camera. Its a bit underexposed, but it was magic pulling it out the first time - don't read anything sexual into that ;)


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5 comments:

  1. can you use fuji film in replacement of polaroid 600?

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  2. Hi - I really wish you could but Fuji doesn't have any equivalent for Polaroid 600 film. They have their own film for Instax Cameras; instax film is Fuji version of Polaroid but cannot be used in Polaroid cameras :(

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  3. Hello!

    So, where would you say the line is drawn with expired packfilm, black&white and color? I just recently got a hold of some color from '78.. and I'm afraid there's not much chance for me. So, what would you say "too expired" is? Ha.

    Taylor.

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  4. Wow, a '78 vintage? Don't think that will work - i had 779 integral from '99 that worked (10 years), thats the oldest film I've had success with it. I had some pack film from '98 but the chemicals were completely dried up and the film didn't work. However, just out of sheer curiosity's sake, I would still give it go!

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  5. i'm a big fan of polaroid 100-400 series cameras, and just bought 104,can't wait to get started!!!really amazing review///

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