Back in 2007, after I got back from work, my uncle called.
“hey, how are you? You’re in Jakarta right? I wonder, I got a luggage of Polaroid camera, are you interested?”
Hell yeah! Then I asked him, how much should I pay for it, then he said that the camera was actually a property of Garuda Indonesia Airlines. Since it’s not being used anymore, he grab the thing and took it home with him, one for him and one for me. Oh, my uncle works for Garuda Indonesia Airlines by the way, that’s why he can grab them.
After I got that call, my mind was wondering about it over and over again. A luggage of Polaroid… a ‘luggage’, one briefcase of Polaroid? A luggage full of polaroids? Well there should be at least a camera with lots of accessories or there could be a few camera. My oh my, I just can’t wait to go to his house and take care of it. The finally 3 days later I came to his house and after a few a few chats I go straight to where he place her in his room.
And then I met her…………………………….. ……. …………………. ……………………………………………. ………………….. ….. …….. …….. …… . ………… ……. …….. ……. …………….… … . ………… …………. …….… … . ……… …………………. …
mwahhahahahaaa…. It’s kind of a funny thing going there at the moment. Yes I’m a little disappointed. But I was amazed too. Well the ‘luggage thing is literally a single camera WITH a luggage as a part of the whole photo system. You can find the picture of the camera with the luggage here. I didn’t took the picture of the camera with the luggage because, I don’t know, I just don’t want to =). It’s sooooo huge! And it weights a lot. Maybe around 15Kg. well the luggage is actually filled with this card making mechanism. Since it’s a ID card maker, so there’s the automated cutting machine, the automated laminating machine, a timer (such as the oven thing and it sounds like it too!).
the camera itself doesn’t have a view finder at all. You have to place it accordingly to the instructions. The distance, the camera height and all, IF you’re taking an ID photo. Oor, you could just take the huge camera, release it from the luggage and unplug the cable power and shoot wherever you like. It makes 2 frames out of 1 polaroid pack film. There is this slider thing on the film back to make those 2 frames. Oh, and you have to take the ID card template out of the camera by simply open the back and take it out to take the shot, otherwise it’ll mess with your image later on.
I think she had quite a good lens here, it’s made of glass. A japan made if I’m not mistaken. I forgot. I have tested her for just a few frames. About 3 or 4 frames maybe. It did produce some images, the film was expired for 7 years, and its kept in the film back for quite a long time. I’ll post the shots I’ve made later. I think it’ll be great to do some experiments with her in the future. Meanwhile I’ll let her stay in my room for a little longer until I find some film packs =).
She’s simply irresistible. That’s the right word for her I’d say. She’s pretty big and made of plastic mostly. like any other Polaroid cameras. I actually never had a chance to take her for a walk since I first got her. The electricity just won’t work, and I’m not that good with that solder iron thing, but I’ll try it soon. All I know is the cable that connects the power from the battery was so brittle and a few of them were broken, and the circuit board is, I don’t know, maybe is broken too.
She’s so easy to use, easy to focus. just like using a rangefinder. Just aim, focus and click! There 2 selections of film speed in the front panel, 100 or 3000. The lighten and darken dial is also there, and that’s about it. Loading and developing the film is the same as other film pack cameras.
I got her when I was in Bandung. Around 2006. A friend of mine gave me his number, then I met this guy, he fixes Polaroid cameras. Back then he was a Polaroid photographer for weddings, graduation day, etc. From the way he speaks, gestures and all, I can tell that he’s very polite. We talked much about Polaroids while I gave him my broken Polaroid camera. Then the next few weeks, we met again and he offered me a few of his cameras. He told me that he’d better gave them to me rather than keeping them in the storage room. She came along with a few others that day. You can imagine how happy I was that day. It’s a good thing I drive a car, otherwise it’ll be difficult for me to bring them home.
I cleaned her up, and everything. Then I found an instruction of how to convert the batteries, then i found out that the camera isn’t working. There. Up ‘till now I kept her stored in a safe place in my room, waiting for my mood to get back to her to fix her and finally taking her for a walk. Here are a few picture samples from another friend of mine. He didn’t use a Polaroid 420, he used a Polaroid 104 automatic land camera (well mostly it’s the same camera, just a different number type and a few details) with an ID-UV film pack.
Ok, so, in this special day for me I’d like to post about something a bit special for me too. Well she’s not a very rare camera, nor a great camera to use. Ergonomically, I say that she’s the worst. And not practical at all. She’s not a rangefinder, so that the viewfinder is, well, what can I say, a bit useless. Yeah it shows you what’s in frame, but not that accurate too, since it’s not an SLR. But it sure is a damn bright viewfinder!
She’s so small, and the lens is just amazingly sharp. That makes her a great companion for snapshots everywhere. Since she’s a scale focusing camera, and changing the speed, aperture and ASA dial you’ll need to look it from the top, so I found that the best way using her is by taking the picture in waist level. I’m still getting used to the scale focusing lots of the time on the run. But then again, the results are amazingly sharp. The light meter is broken, so does my other cameras. So that should not be problem. For a camera that small, almost the same as my cigarette pack. But she delivered a high quality image.
I got her around February 2010. Yes, she’s a new member, the youngest in the family. what makes her more special for me is that I been wanting her for like, I don’t know, more than 6-7 years. It’s not that I’m not looking for her, I did. But when I found her siblings on the flea market, I just don’t want to take them home. Because of the condition and the unreasonable price. Back in November 2008, I saw her in an antique shop at Cihampelas street in Bandung. There were lots of other cameras too, like zorki’s, fed 5, leica III, lubitel, mamiya’s, Polaroids, zeiss ikon, contarex and so on. But they all looked so… hhh… all I know is how sad I am to look at them. Then while I was checking those cameras, right in the corner, there she was. Covered in dust. I looked at the price tag, 785,000,- IDR. Shit! I asked the sales girl “can I bargain the price?” she said “no, the price is fixed” I put her back right in the cupboard and leave.
More than a year later, I came back to that place. It was Friday. I was surprised to know that she’s still there, and also the other cameras. Untouched. I remembered how I left them a year before. I picked her up from the cupboard, and then asked the sales girl “I want it less then the price tag..” then she said “oh okay, but the owner is not here yet, she usually come at 6 pm”. “okay, I’ll be back at 6!”. Then I went to the office and can’t stop thinking about it at all. I really thought that she’s waiting for me to take her home
I go straight to the place after office, then talked to the sales girl and started to bargain. She asked me whether or not the camera is still working. All I said to her is that the shutter seems fine, but I don’t know about the rest. There are only a few minor dents on the corner, nothing so serious. The lens was very very clean! No dust, no scratch or whatsoever. And the inner side of the camera was like brand new. After for about half an hour bargaining, I finally get to take her home for 375,000,- IDR. Hell yeah!
When I finally got home, I started to clean her body. Then there she is, just like brand new. And I just can’t stop looking at her for the next few days. She’s just so adorable. Here are a few picture samples with her. Please kindly click me and me too.