Blog by Michael Raso
For the last 6 months I’ve been shooting almost exclusively with Polaroid Automatic Land Cameras. I’ve been blogging , pod casting and making videos about this wonderful series of cameras, so I’m not surprised that I’m now getting e-mails about camera problems. I’d like to share an e-mail exchange with you. Perhaps it’ll help you with your Polaroid Automatic Land Camera!
Hi, I just purchased a Polaroid 420 from the FPP Store. It got here fine, looks great, loaded it up with FP-100c and my first shot came out just fine. Every shot I’ve tried since then has been coming out black – no image – just a black rectangle. My ISO is set right (75), I’m cocking the shutter, I can hear it go ping when I press the shutter release, the film seems to come out from the machine just fine, I’m letting the negative sit while it develops as directed by Fuji, but when I peal, no image. I haven’t tried anything film other than the original ten FP-100c that I loaded initially. Any idea what might be happening?
Many thanks for any advice you might be able to give me.
Peter via e-mail
Michael Raso to Peter:
Sounds like the camera shutter isn’t getting power or you are not keeping your finger on the shutter when exposing your image.
Firstly, lets test the shutter. (Without film in the camera) shoot in an indoor room. Cock and then press the shutter (keeping your finger on the shutter til it opens and then closes). Do you hear the shutter open, then close. Try in various light situations. Dim, dim light will leave the shutter open. If you swing your camera into a light mid-shot, you’ll hear the shutter close.
Still no “click – click”? Might be a power problem.
Carefully open the battery compartment, remove and then return the batteries into their compartment making sure the batteries are making a connection.
Repeat step one. When shooting make sure you keep your finger depressed on the shutter til the camera shutter opens then closes. You will hear two clicks when shooting in dim light. (meaning the shutter is operating)
Please let me know your results!
Film Photography Podcast
Peter replied back:
Doctor, your diagnosis was excellent. User error. I wasn’t holding down the shutter release button long enough. I was hitting it and releasing rather than holding it down. Thank you!
FPP Episode Episode 36 – June 1, 2011 features a spotlight on the Polaroid Automatic 420.
Purchase your own Polaroid 420 Camera at the FPP Store!