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  • Mike

The Polaroid Land Model 250, a retrospective review.

This is a review of the Polaroid Land Model 250 camera that used type 100-series Packfilm. The film is not made any more, nor can expired stock be bought for a reasonable price any more making this format effectively dead. I have performed some experiments with using Fujifilm Instax in this camera with limited success. It's clear that this camera is obsolete and will continue to be so, probably forever. Rather than be disappointed that we can't shoot film through this camera, lets look at it and admire it for what it was and what it is now.

The Polaroid Land Model 250 is one in a series of automatic cameras manufactured by Polaroid back in the late 1960s. The series of land cameras this camera belongs in started with the Automatic 100 and finishing at the Automatic 450. Like all cameras in this line it features automatic exposure, bellows for the lens, and uses the 100-series Packfilm producing a 7.2×9.5cm print.

For viewfinder and focusing assist, the camera uses a Zeiss-Ikon, single-window, parallax-corrected assembly, as you slide the focusing slider for the viewfinder it slides the bellows for the main lens in and out. The main lens is a 3 element glass lens (114mm f8.8) made by Zeiss. A flash is available for this camera and it uses M3 flashbulbs. The flash is part number #268. The camera also needs power for the shutter speed control and flash. The battery is a #531 4.5V alkaline battery.

How to shoot a Polaroid Land Model 250 camera.

Ah, that's the trick isn't it? Trying to get a camera with an archaic film type to work with something else. Instant film is hard to replace and you only have a few poor options if you want to shoot this camera. First, you'll need to find a replacement for the #531 4.5V alkaline battery. There are old stock batteries still available but there are also 3D printed replacements on Ebay for about the same price. The next hurdle is the film itself. As stated at the beginning the camera uses Type 100 film. There is exactly one supplier that is making it, One Instant. One Instant film currently retails for $1.19 a shot plus shipping. There are possibilities for conversion to use other film types such as the Fuji Instax line and even medium format film, but both possibilities involve taking a single picture and then removing it and developing it in a darkroom after every shot with no possibility of reloading easily. I tried this with both medium format film and Instax Mini and had poor results with both. I think it's pretty fair to say that this film format is dead for anyone but the most die-hard fan of the camera itself. But at least it looks really cool on a shelf, it's such a neat looking camera.

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