instantphoto.eu                      Polaroid 120 (Conversion)  

This camera was the top of the line in the 1960s. The so-called "Pathfinder" line began with the 110 in 1952. It had a 127mm f/4.5 4-element Wollensak Raptar lens, a collapsible viewfinder and a Kalart rangefinder next to it. It was followed by the 110A in 1957, which had mainly a 127mm f/4.7 4-element Rodenstock Ysarex lens, a viewfinder with automatic parallax compensation and a second window for a rangefinder. In 1960 the 110B appeared with a single-window view/rangefinder which was produced until 1964. The 110 A and B have a pinhole device (f/90) as the shortest time is 1/300, which otherwise limits the use of ISO 3000 film outside.

The 120 was introduced in 1961 for foreign markets and produced until 1965. It has a 127mm f/4.7 4-element Yashinon lens, shortest shutter time is 1/500 and the aperture has f/64 and f/90 stops. It does not have the
single-window view/rangefinder. If you want one, you can buy a 900 which is cheap and swap the rangefinder. This was done for my camera.

As all these cameras were built for roll film, long gone, they have to be adapted to 100 pack film. It is said that the lenses cover 4x5 format. So other adaptions are possible. Instax Wide versions have also been made.

Some pictures:

Front. From left: tripod thread, focussing wheel, opening button.

Converted back. Single window range/viewfinder with parallax compensation.

This is what the original back looked like. Note the old 2-window view- and rangefinder. There is a wink-light attached to the shoe.

Seen from above. accessory shoe with contact.

Seen from below. Second tripod thread.

Left side.

Camera open, bellows not extended. Lens protection up.

Camera open. The shutter release is the silver bar next to the distance scale.

The lens
. Around the lens: the dented ring around the lens barrel sets the speed, left: cable release socket, a bit further up: lever to set synchro, top: shutter cocking lever, further down: flash socket, right: aperture setting. the aperture lever can be lifted a little bit to couple speed and aperture for EV setting. The EV scale is on the lower part of the lens (5-22), on the photo the little indicator reads "11".

he EV (Light value) system was promoted by Anselm Adams, who was a councelor for Polaroid in those days. The system was adopted by other firms for some time like for the Zeiss Super Ikonta IV or the russian Iskra.

Camera open, seen from "above". You can see the speeds indicated on the upper part of the lens barrel.

Camera open, seen from "below". Synchro contact on the lens barrel.

View/rangefinder with bright framelines.

Typical outfit with leather case, wink-light and its flash bulb extension, coater, postcarders and a special EV light meter.

Special EV light meter. This is a rare Japanese built version. Common is the #625, made by Gossen. More information here.

Genuine leather bag closed.

The camera is easy to handle. Open the front, sqeeze the tab on the camera bed under the lens and extend the bellows, it clicks into place. Cock the shutter, set speed and aperture, focus and frame your subject and push the shutter release. That's it. Pull out the photo as on any other Polaroid Pack camera. To close the camera, squeeze the tab again, push the front standard back, push the struts and it will close.

After more than 50 years this is still a sturdy, well working camera with a prime lens.