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A few months ago I discovered this beauty on Craigslist and purchased it from a friendly guy named Tim for $40.00. The camera was originally owned by the man’s father who was a photographer and it was stored in it’s original box in a damp basement for 30 years. The camera had slight water damage and mold grew on the camera and accessories. I ended up cleaning the camera and parts using clorox wipes and finishing it with alcohol wipes. After a few days of cleaning I started to play with the camera. I modified the battery to take AAA batteries and bought a couple of packs of Fuji FP 100c Film.
I wasn’t satisfied with the camera because the pictures were coming out either dark or over exposed, which was the normal problem with the Polaroid 103 Camera. Since it was all automatic I did not have control of how the images could come out. I searched online for a solution, and I even attempted to modify the camera’s board to convert this automatic camera into a maneul camera. I had no luck modifying the camera, even with the brilliant tutorial I found from Hackaday.com .
Finally, after searching forum after forum I had come across this website called Polaroidconversions.com and was introduced to a man named Option 8. After mailing off my camera to Option 8 in Florida not only he was able to convert my camera into a manuel Camera, he replaced and upgraded the lens, board, shutter, hacked the the M Sync to X Sync, replaced the rusty doors and damaged bellows !
Today, I received my old Polaroid Land Camera 103 from Option 8 and now my camera’s aperture can open as wide as 8.8,sync with my strobe lights, and has a manuel shutter speed that can be used in Bulb mode up or can clock it as fast as 1/1000 of a second! To some of you this description may seem like a foreign language in other words it’s like salvaging a classic muscle car from the 60’s and pimping it out with a rebuilt engine, candy paint and fresh leather interior.
I haven’t had the pleasure of testing this new and improved camera yet, but I am looking forward to shooting some new work with it! I have an RB67 which is a great camera, but this beauty is light weight and is easier for me to carry around casually. I am dying to see what the sync to shutter speed is on this. I hope it can capture at least 1/500 since with my Pro-foto 7B kit!
I love medium format film! Especially,Fuji’s FP 100c medium format film because you can get the instant gratification from instant film, and salvage the peel away negative film and scan it to display online and as a back up, Click here to see what I am talking about. There are other films medium format films that are a lot more beautiful like 120 film Kodak Portra 400, but the advantage of FP-100c film is it will develop right then and there.
If you’d like to purchase a Polaroid Camera check out Polaroidconversions.com. I’d like to know your experience with your new Polaroid Land Camera so shoot me a message or post a comment about your experience!