Polaroid Automatic 100 Land Camera Film

By | 12/10/2022

In 1963, the Polaroid Corporation introduced the Automated 100 Land Camera (also known equally the Model 100). Named after Polaroid co-founder and genius inventor Edwin State, the State Cameras would go on to be a successful line of cameras for the company, produced in one form or another until the early 2000’s.

Table of contents

  • i
    The Polaroid Automatic 100 in pictures

    • ane.1
    • 1.ii
      Shutter and lens
  • 2
  • 3
    Using the Camera
  • 4

    • 4.1
    • 4.2
    • 4.iii
      Timer/release cables
    • iv.four
      Timer and cold clip
    • 4.v
      Portrait kit and close-up lens kit
  • five
    The Automatic 100 in practical apply and other considerations

    • 5.1
      Why would you want to purchase and use an Automated 100?
    • 5.ii
      Drawbacks of the Automatic 100 and why you might not want 1
    • five.3
      Power Source
    • 5.4
      Parts availability
    • 5.five
      Lack of manual controls
    • 5.6
    • 5.7

The Polaroid Automatic 100 in pictures

The Polaroid Automated 100 State Photographic camera is a folding photographic camera with a coupled rangefinder focusing mechanism. Information technology is designed to have a 10-exposure pack of instant peel-apart motion picture (packfilm). When not in apply, the camera folds into itself and has a plastic cover that utilizes a magnetic latch to stay closed. When the cover is swung down, it can remain on the camera by a hinge mechanism or disassemble completely. The lens/shutter assembly is pulled forward which extends the bellows and the rangefinder machinery swings up for use.


The body of this photographic camera is entirely metal with a standard threaded tripod socket on the base. When fully collapsed with the comprehend attached, the camera measures approximately 4 ½ inches tall past seven ½ inches wide by 2 ½ inches in length (approximately eleven.iv x 19 x 6.3cm). When the bellows are extended the total length of the camera will vary based on focus setting. The bellows are synthetic of a vinyl outer later on with a fabric inner layer. Two rings are set into the top of the body for the zipper of a carrying strap.

Shutter and lens

The Automatic 100 has a completely electronic shutter with a range of x seconds to ane/1200thursday
of a 2nd. Because of its electronic design, the shutter will non work properly without a battery. The lens is a 114mm f/8.eight glass design.

The photographic camera operates in a kind of discontinuity priority style and cannot exist operated manually. A “scene selector” mechanism adjusts the aperture (two settings) and film speed is set via a cycle on the bottom of the shutter assembly (flick speeds of 75, 150, 300, and 3000 ISO are selectable).

Bulb flash is synchronized with the shutter and the flash unit connects via a proprietary connector of the side of the shutter assembly. Past using the “lighten/darken” exposure compensation control, the exposure can exist adjusted from -ane to +2 stops.


Carve up viewfinder-rangefinder mechanisms are combined in the same housing on the top of the camera. The rangefinder (pocket-size window labelled “focus”) is used to focus the photographic camera and the viewfinder window (larger window labelled “view”) is used to frame the shot.

The viewfinder window automatically compensates for parallax and the entire focusing assembly is coupled to the camera. Additionally, a small pictogram is present on the focusing lever if you prefer to use zone focusing. Yous’ll see a person, a couple and  a mural.

Using the Camera

Polaroid took extra intendance to make this camera like shooting fish in a barrel to use for the novice photographer. Each “step” of taking a motion-picture show is numbered on the camera itself. There are four steps in total (which assume starting from a point where the film is loaded and the shutter is already cocked).

  • Starting time, focus the photographic camera looking through the rangefinder window and using the labeled (1) focusing mechanism.
  • 2nd, slowly press the shutter push (two).
  • Third, after tripping the shutter, push button downwardly on the (3) button to reset the shutter (multiple exposures are possible by resetting the shutter and tripping it again).
  • Finally, pull the pocket-size white tab from the right side of the camera (4) and and then smoothly pull out the larger tab that follows.

As you lot pull the larger tab out of the photographic camera the film is pulled through rollers inside of the photographic camera. The rollers interruption the small pods full of programmer and reagent attached to every negative. This chemic mixture coats the negative and paper, and after the advisable amount of time is spent in development, the print is peeled apart from the negative for a fully developed photograph.

With some types of color and blackness and white packfilm the negative can be kept and after treatment, farther prints can exist fabricated from it using a more than traditional printmaking process (see below). Usually, the paper pull-tab and negative are just thrown away (Polaroid encouraged users not to be litterbugs).


Polaroid produced a number of accessories to work with the Automatic 100 and other cameras in the 100, 200, and 300 lines. The ones shown here are what came with the accessory set I purchased years ago. Accessory model numbers are besides listed with each accompaniment. Other accessories are too available which are variations of the ones shown here or are specific to certain Land Camera models.


The #268 flash unit was the standard flash accessory for almost all of the folding Polaroid packfilm cameras. Information technology clips on to the tiptop left of the camera and connects to the shutter assembly using a proprietary connector that is based on the common Prontor-Compur (PC) connector.

The flash accepts M3 flashbulbs and is powered by a single AA-battery. The flash head swivels, allowing you to utilize bounce flash without having to disconnect the flash unit and bespeak it by mitt. The Automatic 100 is designed to apply flashbulbs and an electronic flash cannot be used with the photographic camera unless the camera is modified to work with one. This is because the photographic camera shutter is designed to synchronize with flashbulbs, which ignite slightly ahead of the shutter opening. If an electronic flash were used, it would fire prior to the shutter opening and leave you with an underexposed photo.

On the topic of flashbulbs (From my Mamiya Super 23/Universal Printing review):

“For those unfamiliar with the difference betwixt electronic flash and flashbulbs, an Internet search tin can easily provide you with a detailed explanation on both. In full general, modernistic electronic flash units utilise a small tube filled with a gas. When a high voltage current is passed through the tube, the gas ionizes and produces a brilliant flash of light. The full light output is variable and the flash unit is reusable, meaning it can exist flashed over and over once more.

“Flashbulbs, by comparison, only have 1 output, total. They produce their light by burning foil or thin wire crammed inside of a glass bulb. They can be used only in one case earlier needing to be replaced by a new seedling. They fire quite brightly for their size and existence on the receiving stop of an ignited flashbulb upward close is kind of like looking at the sun. Y’all volition be seeing a spot in your vision for a while afterwards.

“For tasks which many current-day photographers would utilize a photographic camera with wink to accomplish, an electronic wink unit of measurement is more versatile and cost-effective than using quondam-apply flashbulbs that can exist difficult and expensive to source. However, if you want to dump a ton (scientific measurements here) of light at something, a flashbulb is the way to go.”

A bluish-tinted wink shield is attached to the front of the reflector. Information technology has the dual function of preventing pieces of an exploding flashbulb from flying out of the flash at your discipline and also to correct the color of the low-cal coming from the flashbulb when using color movie. For this reason it is non recommended to employ M3B flash bulbs which are blueish coated, unless y’all are trying to accomplish a specific artistic/artistic result.


” data-medium-file=”https://emulsive.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/KW-Polaroid-Automatic100-9-300×200.jpg” data-large-file=”https://emulsive.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/KW-Polaroid-Automatic100-9-1024×683.jpg” loading=”lazy” width=”1024″ height=”683″ src=”https://emulsive.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/KW-Polaroid-Automatic100-9-1024×683.jpg” alt=”Automatic 100 with cable release and Polaroid #516 Cloud Filter” data-id=”55641″ data-link=”https://emulsive.org/kw-polaroid-automatic100-9″ class=”wp-image-55641″ srcset=”https://emulsive.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/KW-Polaroid-Automatic100-9-1024×683.jpg 1024w, https://emulsive.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/KW-Polaroid-Automatic100-9-300×200.jpg 300w, https://emulsive.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/KW-Polaroid-Automatic100-9-150×100.jpg 150w, https://emulsive.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/KW-Polaroid-Automatic100-9-768×512.jpg 768w, https://emulsive.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/KW-Polaroid-Automatic100-9-1200×800.jpg 1200w, https://emulsive.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/KW-Polaroid-Automatic100-9-400×267.jpg 400w, https://emulsive.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/KW-Polaroid-Automatic100-9.jpg 1500w” sizes=”(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px” data-lazy-srcset=”https://emulsive.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/KW-Polaroid-Automatic100-9-1024×683.jpg 1024w, https://emulsive.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/KW-Polaroid-Automatic100-9-300×200.jpg 300w, https://emulsive.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/KW-Polaroid-Automatic100-9-150×100.jpg 150w, https://emulsive.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/KW-Polaroid-Automatic100-9-768×512.jpg 768w, https://emulsive.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/KW-Polaroid-Automatic100-9-1200×800.jpg 1200w, https://emulsive.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/KW-Polaroid-Automatic100-9-400×267.jpg 400w, https://emulsive.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/KW-Polaroid-Automatic100-9.jpg 1500w” data-lazy-src=”https://emulsive.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/KW-Polaroid-Automatic100-9-1024×683.jpg?is-pending-load=1″ data-old-srcset=”data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAIAAAAAAAP///yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7″>

Automatic 100 with cable release and Polaroid #516 Cloud Filter

For long exposures, the #191 Cable Release is a more suitable choice. Similar to the cocky-timer, it friction fits over the shutter button. Information technology isn’t very long so it is not a adept choice for remote shooting. Information technology also has a lock mechanism that keeps the button depressed so information technology isn’t necessary to hold the release for the entire duration of the exposure.

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Timer and cold prune

Portrait kit and shut-upward lens kit

The #581 Portrait and #583 Shut-Upwardly Kits are fantastic accessories for the Automatic 100. They look a flake awkward when attaching and removing them from the camera but don’t let that dissuade you from using them.

The normal focusing range of the Automatic 100 is nigh 43 inches (1.1m) to infinity. With the Portrait Kit attached, the focusing distance changes to 19-42 inches (0.5-1m). Shut headshots can be taken with this, which I recollect packfilm is particularly suited for. The kit is comprised of 3 components: a friction-fit magnifying lens, an opaque clip-on flash diffuser, and gear up of “goggles” that fit over the viewfinder assembly which compensates for distance and parallax when using the portrait lens.

Similarly, the Close-Upwards kit features the aforementioned 3 components although the magnification is greater. This allows for a focusing distance between nine-15 inches (0.2-.4m). The clip-on flash diffuser is more than opaque than the one in the Portrait Kit for greater flash diffusion.

In practical use, the Close-Up kit is trickier to use because at such close focusing distances parallax is no longer compensated for. Afterwards focusing with the rangefinder it is necessary to tilt the camera upward a bit so the lens is really pointed at your subject area. However, one time this is done there is the possibility of the photographic camera no longer being on the same plane as the subject yous would like in focus.

For best results when using this kit, use a tripod and the cable release and be actress sure you haven’t moved the camera out of the proper focus when reframing the shot to adjust for the parallax.

The Automatic 100 in practical use and other considerations

Why would you desire to buy and apply an Automatic 100?

Above all, I consider this camera and ones like it incredibly fun to use. Apparently, there are easier ways to accept photographs and obtain prints but information technology was an amazing convenience in its day to non simply take a picture merely to have the print at the same time. If multiple prints were desired, at 1 point Polaroid offered a duplicating service and could make wallet size, aforementioned size, 5×7, and eight×10 enlargements. In the present day, information technology is easy plenty to browse the impress and make your own enlargements.

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