Sunday, November 1, 2009

EE100 Special Polaroid Camera Review

Ah the EE100 Special, yes it indeed is special. Like most polaroid cameras available on online auctions, owners have long abandoned these jewels in favour of snappy little digital cameras. I was able to pic this one up on the cheap.

The first thing you will on the EE100 Special has very sketchy details.? Hey I even found it here as listed as a digital camera!

First of all, EE100 Special is a Packfilm Camera, and you can still buy film for this (get yourself some expired Polaroid Packfilm (type 100) or FP-100c film. You will notice there are some funky features, most notably, the square plastic lever on the side. What is this thing?


I posed the question on a flickr polaroid forum, in which user Becky replied:

That is the flash cube diffuser which probly can be taken off...cough...ripped...as it basically doesn't do much. But some more than likely swear by it. I never found use for it. You can also find that thing on several other Polaroid models.

So if you flash cubes (in which this camera doesn't) it would basic take off some overexposure caused by flash. My diffuser remains a vestigial limb on on my camera.

Another feature is that it allows 3000 ASA film or 75 ASA (you can use 75 setting for most of your polaroid/fuji films). The 3000 setting is primarily for black and white films, and said to be useful for low lighting. I haven't used it, but its nice to know its there (circled in red below):


Ok the biggest complaint on the internets about this camera are light leaks. Like all older Polaroid cameras with bellows, your gonna get light leaks, these are commonly caused but tiny holes in the bellows themselves. Here is an example photo with light leaks:


Generally, the bright the light outside, the stronger the light leaks. However, don't be dismayed and buy a digital camera just yet, or moan on the Flickr forum about horrible this camera is!You can fix the light leaks to large degree, and quite cheaply. And you don't have to go into a very dark cave and shining a torch inside the bellows to find the microscopic holes.

Now, this ain't pretty solution, its working solution. What you need is a back T-Shirt, so find that old black AC/DC T-shirt (the one numerous stains of unknown origins) and rip off the sleeves:


After doing this, wrap the black sleeve over the bellows like this:

Try cover as much of the bellows as possible. The added bonus is that you also have sleeve-less black t-shirt, so you can now show off your biceps from lifting crates of expired Polaroid film you bought from Ebay (you have been hoarding film, haven't you?). Now the camera ain't gonna win any beauty contests, however - some of your pictures might!

This should eliminate most light leaks (some occasionally sneak through) but you can wrap the bellows with another black sleeve.

This EE100 Special has become my favourite packfilm camera, I use it all the time. In short I love it, I reckon it takes splendid photos and is super durable.

Some notes:
  • To set the picture to darken, turn it down to the 'O' feature not the filled in 'O' at the top. I made this mistake several times and got a very pale photo as a result.
  • If you plan to do close ups, make sure you invest in measuring tape (and for you Yanks out there, make sure you get one with the metric system). You set the distance by turn the lens to the appropriate distance. If you shoot alot at 1 metre, i've noticed that you usually add about 5-10 centimetres extra - my shots at exactly 1 metre are a bit blurry.
  • Unlike my 104 Polaroid Camera, this doesn't eat Fuji FP-100C film. I've never had a problem pulling out film from this camera!
  • Its plastic, but durable. Seems like these cameras (aside from the bellows) have a good shelf life. You can often find these on the cheap, its well worth it.
  • Like any Polaroid camera, you might waste a few films getting a few shots right. This is the badge we where as Polaroid photographers. Smokers have there cigarettes, we have our film. They are both cause severe addictions and are expensive habits. However, cigarettes are bad, full stop. Polaroid film can you take you both to the depths of despair to the heights of ecstasy. Polaroid Film is much more rewarding addiction.
Now get out there and shoot some film!

8 comments:

  1. haha:) thanks so much for this article! i am thinking of buying one of these (ee100 special) or a "ProPack" but I've figured out it's almost the same...or maybe not?

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  2. Do you have any manual/instructions on how to use this camera?

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  3. Hi Jill,
    I've never found any instructions for this camera, however it functions just like any other Polaroid Packfilm camera - check out http://www.rwhirled.com/landlist/how2-packuse.htm

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  4. Thanks for this site! My work was going to put their old EE100S in the bin before rescuing it. Only word of advice is to make sure the bellows is fully extended and clicks into place. If you don't, then your focus will be off.
    Mitch from Ottawa

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  5. i just bought one and i'm taking the first pictures, but they come out black. i tried the camera first and everything seemed to work just fine. i'm leaving the film developing for the right time, so i have no idea what i'm doing wrong. any suggestions?

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  6. Hi Gabriel, apologies for taking a long time to respond, i missed your comment. Sounds like it could be the film, I had a similar experience with my 104 Polaroid camera:

    http://www.parahanga.com/2009/03/tough-day-with-polaroid-104-wasted.html

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  7. Great site.

    Just picked up an EE100 special, and it had the dreaded light leaks.
    Go purchase some black soft fabric paint at your local craft store.
    Mine cost $6 for 100mls, and I bet I could do 10 cameras with this little amount.
    Two coats, and from 20 pin holes to zero.
    A little stiff, but not bad at all.
    I only did the inside, so you could do the outside if you still had issues.
    Hope this helps other EE100 users.

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  8. Thats a much more elegant solution, thanks for the tip!

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