polaroid land camera

Land Camera

Land cameras are the polaroid cameras made between 1947 and 1983 The first model was invented by Edwin Land, founder of Polaroid. On February 21, 1947 in New York City, Land demonstrated his camera to a meeting of the Optical Society of America. The first commercially available model was the Polaroid Land Camera Model 95, which produced prints in about 1 minute, and was first sold to the public in November, 1948.

The Film

Land's new approach was to employ diffusion transfer to move the dyes from the negative to the positive via a reagent. A negative sheet was exposed inside the camera, then lined up with a positive sheet and squeezed through a set of rollers which spread a reagent between the two layers, creating a developing film sandwich. The negative developed quickly, after which some of the unexposed silver halide grains (and the latent image it contained) were solubilized by the reagent and transferred by diffusion from the negative to the positive. After a minute, the back of the camera was opened and the negative peeled away to reveal the print.

In 1963, Land introduced Polacolor pack film, which made instant color photographs possible. This process involved pulling two tabs from the camera, the second which pulled the film sandwich through the rollers to develop out of the camera. The instant colour process is much more complex, involving a negative which contains 3 layers of emulsion sensitive to blue, green, and red. Underneath each layer are dye developing molecules in their complementary colours of yellow, magenta, and cyan. When light strikes an emulsion layer, it blocks the complementary dye below it. For instance, when blue strikes the blue sensitive emulsion layer, it blocks the yellow dye, but allows the magenta and cyan dyes to transfer to the positive, which combine to create blue. When green and red (yellow) strikes their respective layers, it blocks the complementary dyes of magenta and cyan below them, allowing only yellow dye to transfer to the positive.

In 1972, integral film was introduced which didn't require the user to time the development or peel apart the negative from the positive. This process was similar to polacolor film with added timing and receiving layers. The film itself integrates all the layers to expose, develop, and fix the photo into a plastic envelope commonly associated with a Polaroid photo. The SX-70 camera was the first to utilize this film.

Improvements in SX-70 film led to the higher speed 600 series film, then to different formats such as 500 series (captiva), and spectra.



The original cameras folded into the body and utilized bellows to protect the light path. The film was put on two spools, one with the negative roll, and one with the positive paper and reagent pods. The film developed inside the camera. The exception to this is the Polaroid Swinger, a hardbody rollfilm camera whose film was pulled out of the camera body to develop outside the camera. The film for rollfilm cameras was discontinued in 1992.

100 Series Pack Cameras

These cameras were developed after the rollfilm models and were designed to use the newly developed 100 series pack film. Like with the Swinger the film sandwich was pulled out of the camera to develop outside of the camera, but instead of two separate rolls the film was built into a compact easy loading film pack which contained 8 exposures. Hard body plastic models were marketed later a low cost alternative to the more expensive models with bellows. There are 4 generations of folding colorpack cameras the 100, the 200, the 300, and 400 series. Though pack film is still produced and used actively worldwide, Polaroid announced in 2008 the discontinuation of all of its film by 2009. Fujifilm still produces its version of Pack film which is compatible with Land pack film cameras.

SX-70 and 600

The SX-70 is a folding SLR camera that takes integral instant film. They were first brought to the market in 1972. There were many models including ones with sonar autofocus. There were also cheaper non folding versions such as the Pronto! and onestep. Later on the last Land cameras were made in the 1980s they were the Sun 600 cameras which used a high speed version of SX70 film, and included a built in electronic flash.

Sample Models

Model 800

Circa 1957-1962

Model 180



Model J66

Circa 1961-1963.

See also


External links

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