Tag Archives: Polaroid

Polaroid Mailers & Misc. Inserts

Not really manuals, but interesting (to me at least) as historical information.

I got Land Camera 210 information when I picked up another 250 at a thrift store.

Thorough. A manual to tell you where to find your manual.

Thorough. A manual to tell you where to find your manual.


That’s a lot of patents on one of the simpler Land cameras.


A lot of old Polaroids come with cases and paperwork. The mailers for getting copies of your prints are interesting. I lined these up in what I think is chronological order based on the prices. I scanned the whole thing for the oldest one. In typical Edwin Land fashion, it is logical and well laid out.

Fold the sides & bottom, insert prints, & seal.

Fold the sides & bottom, insert prints, & seal.


Visa was still "BankAmericard" & Mastercard was still "Master Charge".

Visa was still “BankAmericard” & Mastercard was still “Master Charge”.

I guessed this one is later because B&W prints are $0.05 more.

I guessed this one is later because B&W prints are $0.05 more.


The tidy package when it's all folded up.

The tidy package when it’s all folded up.


This is another example of how much thought went into this little mailer. You can see the instructions on the inside right below where someone would lick to seal the package, “Reminder – Tear off California address if you live closer to Massachusetts”. Both parts of the flap are gummed to seal the envelope. I made a GIF but decided it’s annoying.

Keep the flap and the California address shows.

Keep the flap and the California address shows.


Tear off the flap and it exposes the Cambridge address.

Tear off the flap and it exposes the Cambridge address.


I may have 1 and 2 transposed. The kids seem like an older ad and the 1st one has a “new product” the “11 X 14 Custom Gallery”. It also makes sense that PS181S-2 comes before PS181-X. Now I’ve convinced myself that the 1st one should be in the middle. Oh well, I’m not going to rearrange everything now.

Pretty sure this is the newest. It has an effective date, prices are higher, and...

Pretty sure this is the newest. It has an effective date, prices are higher, and…


Polaroid is no longer paying the postage.

Polaroid is no longer paying the postage.


The outside of the 1974 mailer. Groovy.

The outside of the 1974 mailer. Groovy.


I have no idea if Edwin Land had anything to do with the copy order mailers but it seems like the kind of thing he would obsess over until it was perfect.

Have a GIF. It is annoying. Muahahahaha!

Have a GIF. It is annoying. Muahahahaha!

Polaroid ProPack Revisited (with old non-instant film)

With the broken rollers and pinholes in the bellows, I felt like this camera didn’t get a fair shake. This will probably make more sense if you see the original post first.

I had some unopened film in the freezer…

Here’s the film:

VERSAPAN GAFSTAR - not kidding about the heavy base. This stuff is thick.

VERSAPAN GAFSTAR – not kidding about the heavy base. This stuff is thick.


Type 2831.

Type 2831.


It's only 46 years expired. Piece of cake.

It’s only 46 years expired. Piece of cake.


100 pack film is 3.25×4.25 inches so this is a little too tall to fit in a film pack. I trimmed it in the dark bag. My cutter won’t fit in the bag so I used scissors. It came out as an irregular quadrilateral rather than a rectangle but it fit.

I haven’t repaired the bellows so I wrapped it, similar to the job on the Kodak Six-20.

The paper that was around the film roll and black console tape.

The paper that was around the film roll and black console tape.


And finally…
An image!

An image!


The setting for original pack film on the camera is ISO 80 but Fujifilm FP100-C works without adjustment. From what I can find (not much) the GAF Versapan was ISO 125 when new. I’ve had it frozen but I don’t know its history so I figured it lost some speed. I got it backwards in my head and adjusted the Polaroid’s exposure dial to darken about 1/2 click. It is a bit dark but I didn’t have to do much post-processing, just cropping and dust cleanup, so I think this film is still ISO 100-ish. Developed for 5 minutes in HC-110 dilution B (1+31). I’ll have to do more testing. Now that I know it works and have a rough idea of speed, I can make 116 film and use some more ancient cameras!

One final note. It’s pan film, as in panchromatic, but the color sensitivities are interesting. And… never mind the cats knocked the balloons off the chair so I can’t map the colors. Any way, the colors are interesting. More testing to come.

52 Cameras: #191 – Polaroid Super Colorpack


I forgot to add it has the standard lighten/darken control around the light sensor.



Only seven images including the ones in the video. I used three testing another camera.

Part of it is in focus but the wind was whipping the bush.

Part of it is in focus but the wind was whipping the bush.


Nice colors on a gloomy day.

Nice colors on a gloomy day.


Hungry kitty.

Hungry kitty.

52 Cameras: # 185 — Polaroid ProPack




Update 20 December 2019: I shot a frame of GAF Versapan in this camera. This post got too long so I moved it to another post

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A lot of duplication with what is in the video. 10 frames in the pack & the first one jammed. Another, I had a dud bulb in a flash cube and it was black.

This is frame 2. Frame 1 jammed & I exposed this one getting it out.

This is frame 2. Frame 1 jammed & I exposed this one getting it out.


You can tell the bellows pinholes are small because the ghosts have diffraction effects.

You can tell the bellows pinholes are small because the ghosts have diffraction effects.


Looking for an article about diffraction, I discovered digital bellows leak filters are a thing.

Asters in the yard.

Asters in the yard.


Jem & Goober. No sunlight but I was right under the kitchen lights.

Jem & Goober. No sunlight but I was right under the kitchen lights.


Tried spreading developer with a bottle while it processed.

Tried spreading developer with a bottle while it processed.


The manual dev-goo spreading worked a little. The lighter area at middle left would have been blank. Not keeping tight control of pressure, I also lifted some developer – the white areas in the print – and spread it too thin – the light area to the right of Goober. I’d only seen the fern pattern with integral film before. Maybe I can tweak roller pressure and get better results out of Polaroid Originals/Impossible film.

Borrowed the rollers from a Color SuperPack and got proper developing.

Borrowed the rollers from a Color SuperPack and got proper developing.


The picture of Trinity above is a bit overexposed. I was too close and forgot to turn down the ProFlash power setting.

Looking closer, this isn't missing development, it's the bathroom wall. Dev problem would be on the left.

Looking closer, this isn’t missing development, it’s the bathroom wall. Dev problem would be on the left.


Cropped square and auto white balance in GIMP.

Cropped square and auto white balance in GIMP.


I couldn’t figure out why I was getting the beach-ball-of-death while resizing images in Preview. I’d opened the images stored on the iMac from the laptop. Apparently, I was closing Preview before the saves were complete and it did strange things.
The only interesting strange thing.

The only interesting strange thing.

Phound Photos Volume 12

I was so stoked when I saw the old 3000 speed film inside the Polaroid 100 with the Zeiss viewfinder, I didn’t thoroughly go through the kit. Inside the cold clip was this old sepia Polaroid print.

Looks like an airport terminal.

Looks like an airport terminal.

On the back is what looks like the letter ‘H’ and the number 815341. It seems to be part of the print and not a catalog number or something added later.

I started looking up what the codes mean. What I found referenced other information on the back of the print. I hadn’t seen anything but shining a flashlight on it, I could see more information. I mangled the scan to get enough contrast but here it is.

Hidden (as in faded to near invisibility) information.

Hidden (as in faded to near invisibility) information.


Upper left, lying on its back is a ‘5’. This was the fifth print in the pack.

“POLACOLOR ® 75 SPEED TYPE 108”. Interesting. This isn’t sepia, it’s color, just really faded.

The blob at the far right goes with the manufacturing code — it should end with a letter. I didn’t chop off the scan, the letter is just badly placed and only half on the print.

According to this document (820K PDF), ‘H’ is the month of manufacture, so, August. The first digit is the year of manufacture, so ‘8’, but 19_what_8? It would seem to be 1968 since the same document says “renamed Type 108 Polacolor 2, 1975”.

Screen grab from the document.  I'm confused

Screen grab from the document. I’m confused

The example shown in the document for Polaroid Land Pack Film is confusing. The example serial number is “H612591 P” and they give August, 1976. It seems that the example should say “Polacolor 2” since it’s after 1975. Unless they mean it was renamed to “Type 108 Polacolor” in 2, 1975 (as in February, 1975)? Or maybe the film name change doesn’t correspond to what’s printed on the back of the print?

OK, I will have to dig more for what decade. This other document (155K PDF) from 1998, shows better what the other numbers mean.

The next 2 digits in H 815341, the “15”, are numbers showing what machine made the film pack. The next 2 digits, “34” are more useful. Using the lookup table on page 7 of the 2nd document, “34” means the ‘A’ shift on the 12th of the month.

So, this print was made on machine 15, during ‘A’ shift, on 12 August, in either 1968 or 1978.

I’ll try dating the 3000 film that was in the camera. Of course, like Midge, the print may have nothing to do with the camera.

Update (still 1 March 2019): The 3000 film wasn’t as old as I thought. It was made 10 May 2001 so it’s no help trying to date the photo. At least I know for later films, the date codes work.

2nd update (still 1 March 2019):
Heritage Auctions had Andy Warhol Polaroids on Polacolor 2 and it does say it.

Polacolor 2 does say "Polacolor 2". H107621

Polacolor 2 does say “Polacolor 2”. H107621


They say “circa 1970s” for the photo but the film Warhol used was made in August of 1981. It can’t be 1971 because the film wasn’t labeled “Polacolor 2” until after 1975.

Finally, I’m happy enough with the evidence to say my print’s film was made 12 August 1968.

Developing Ancient Polaroid Pack Film Negatives

Update 1 March 2019
Trying to date a print I found with the camera, I looked up the date codes on the back of the positives. The film is not as old as I thought. It’s Type 667, the successor to the 107C film referenced below. Using the documents from the Phound Photo entry, the B&W film with manufacturing code E1V142801H is:

Made after 1996 (from the format of the code).
E=made in May.
1=2001 (the first 1 year after 1996).
V=made at the Vale of Leven plant in Scotland.
14=identifies it was made on machine #14.
28=shift A on 10th of month.
01=component change (I have no idea what this means).
H=Type 667 film (coaterless, 10 frames per pack).
End of Update 1 March 2019



I got another pack film camera, a 100 with the Zeiss rangefinder from a 250. It had a pack of Polaroid Type 107 3000 B&W film in it. I pulled one on the very long odds that the developing pods might be good. Nope, dry as a bone. I put a battery in the camera and tried the shutter and it seems to work fine.

I pulled the shutter test frame out of the camera in a dark bag and tried developing it. I’d read somewhere that you could develop the negatives from pack film but I’d never seen an example or tried it. On one Flickr discussion group, someone suggested you could treat it like old Kodak Panatomic-X. So, I had to dig for developing info about one extinct film (according to Wikipedia, Panatomic-X hasn’t been made since 1987) so I could try it on another extinct film.

The instructions I got with the 107 film in the camera call for coating the prints. The coater-less version, 107C, came out in 1978. I don’t know if Polaroid kept making 107 after 107C came out but even 107C hasn’t been made since 1998. If I’d realized it was that old I might have saved a frame. Probably not, the first thing people do when looking at an old camera in a thrift shop is to open it. Any way, the instructions I found called for HC-110 dilution B (1+31) at 68F for 4.5 minutes.

I don’t have any normal tanks that can develop large format negatives. The Polaroid image (excluding the border) is 7.3 X 9.5cm. In one of those “buy the lot to get the one thing you want” purchases, I got a Cibachrome color processing drum (PDF manual). It was made to do prints without using a series of open trays. Cibachrome was an awesome process, direct to positive, full color prints. Sadly, I learned about it too late. It too is an extinct product.

This is the shutter test shot. Developed in HC-110, dilution H (1+63) at 68F for 9 minutes. I frequently use half the concentration for twice the time. It’s a little gentler on old negatives (old paper negative in this case) and it helps to have a little time leeway. The results are pretty similar to HC-110 B. This was a go/no-go test so getting anything was the goal.

Negative image taken with my iPhone.

Negative image taken with my iPhone.

No idea what it is but it’s not my target, the kitchen lights. I tried bleaching the negative but all I did was take off some of the emulsion.

A proper scan at 600 DPI after the bleaching attempt.

A proper scan at 600 DPI after the bleaching attempt.


The scan inverted.  Still no idea -- probably nothing.

The scan inverted. Still no idea — probably nothing.

I had nothing but variables: an unknown film, shot in an unknown camera, developed with an unknown process. I know, I’ll use a different camera I haven’t tested!

I pulled the remaining three frames out of the film pack and put them into a light tight box. Wrangling a Polaroid and a box in a small changing bag is an exercise in patience. Once that was done, I removed the extra paper, developing pods, and positives, leaving just the negatives emulsion side up (I think) in the box. The next magic act was getting a negative out of the box and into the test camera, a Kodak Autographic No. 3A (1918-27) which is nearly as big as the Polaroid.

I shot a test and then psyched myself out that I didn’t have the emulsion facing the subject. Just to be sure, I put the beast back in the dark bag, turned the film over and shot it again. I shot the same subject so I still don’t know if I had it right the first time.

My meter app doesn’t have ISO 3000 so I guesstimated that the film would have lost some speed and used 2500. I used the fastest shutter on the old Kodak, 1/100 second and f/16. That was really fortunate since the aperture on the camera is labeled in US (Universal System) units not f-stops. I have a screen grab of an old table comparing aperture systems somewhere. At least I didn’t have to stop everything and find it because I remembered that f-stops and US cross each other at 16

I was getting impatient so I used HC-110 B for 4.5 minutes this time. The framing is terrible but the blobs of dark on the negative are definitely the kitchen lights.

A negative!

A negative!

Fugly, but it's a photograph.

Fugly, but it’s a photograph.

Did I prove anything? Yeah sort of. I know old Polaroid negatives will produce an image. Is it useful information? Probably not to anyone but me but that was the point. Photography forums (fora?) are as bad as Apple discussion groups. There’s always some snarky little bitch who says, “Why waste time? Just go buy X”. That misses the point. I want to know. I already know I can go buy something — there’s no challenge in that.

52 Cameras: # 134 — Polaroid Sun 600 LMS




Scanned on a CanoScan 9000f at 600DPI. These are resized to 1024 pixels on the short side.
The first two are also in the video. There are 8 frames in a pack of Impossible film — it’s not like I have 36 images to choose from, plus, I really like them.
Zoe.  No idea why it happened but I love the colors on the white walls.

Zoe. No idea why it happened but I love the colors on the white walls.


Most RVs run the gamut from butt-ugly to "meh".  Airstreams are cool.

Most RVs run the gamut from butt-ugly to “meh”. Airstreams are cool.


This is a lame picture but it’s the result of an experiment so I included it. I used a telephoto adapter for a Canon AF35ML/Super Sure Shot/Autoboy Super (which sadly, I don’t have working yet). I framed using the adapter lens held over the viewfinder lens and then moved it over the taking lens. I was a little sloppy with the framing (no tripod) and got my finger in the picture but it works! That means I can use an even longer telephoto, a wide angle, or even a fish-eye adapter. I do need to adjust for the loss of light next time — there ain’t no free lunch.
There's a hummingbird in there somewhere.

There’s a hummingbird in there somewhere.


Another developer-didn’t-quite-reach splat. Still, not bad for film that’s been expired for 2 years.
My sweeties, chillin' on the couch.

My sweeties, chillin’ on the couch.


Just after sunset using flash override.  Highlighting the foliage in the foreground would've looked weird.

Just after sunset using flash override. Highlighting the foliage in the foreground would’ve looked weird.


My other swwetie, Trinity.  She has a 6th sense like Zoe, and starts moving when a shutter fires.

My other swwetie, Trinity. She has a 6th sense like Zoe, and starts moving when a shutter fires.


Last frame in the pack -- walking into the sun on our street.

Last frame in the pack — walking into the sun on our street.




A sexy little beast.

A sexy little beast.


Frog tongue.

Frog tongue.


Nice clean film chamber and rollers.

Nice clean film chamber and rollers.


Original case.

Original case.


Detail of the strange override button.

Detail of the strange override button.

52 Cameras: # 112 — Polaroid SX-70 Sonar




Not much in addition to what’s in the video — Impossible only gives you 8 frames per pack. I had a blank “oops”, too close flash over exposure, and accidentally took two shots of Pokey.
J-Man looking all cool.

J-Man looking all cool.


Princess Zoe.

Princess Zoe.


With the extra frame, I think Pokey will make a cool emulsion lift.

With the extra frame, I think Pokey will make a cool emulsion lift.


I was cutting out wormy bits to make juice with some of our apples.

I was cutting out wormy bits to make juice with some of our apples.


I met John for drinks after he did the Big-T route as training for the John Muir Trail.

I met John for drinks after he did the Big-T route as training for the John Muir Trail.

I did some tweaks on the exposure levels on these.