instantphoto.eu              Polaroid 195 and 180
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These are two of the non-automatic Polaroid cameras with manual exposure setting. They have much brighter optics. They were only slightly more expensive (30$) than the top range automatic cameras of the same period. Until 2007, the end of pack film, these were very sought-after models and the prices were beyond reason, but have come down a lot. Nevertheless they are expensive still.

The housing of the film is based on the 100 model, an entirely metal body without the battery compartment. These are the main features of the original 195 and 180 cameras:

- Lens: 114mm, f/3.8 4-element Tominon, f/4.5 for the 180
- Shutter: Seikosha leaf shutter, 1 - 1/500 sec
- Flash: M and X sync.
- Built-in self-timer ("V" setting on flash sync lever)
- Manual exposure. (either by conventional shutter/aperture settings, or by the EV system)
- Separate-window range/viewfinder assembly (like Model 100), single window for the 180
- Built-in mechanical development timer, none for the 180.

The 195 is a Special Edition, built by Polaroid for a reknown American photographer, specially made to his demands. He wanted the best features of all the cameras. It has been used quite a lot. I bought it from his son for only little money. The changes are:

- based on a 360 body with it's electronic timer and it's
- Zeiss single-window viewfinder
- hot-shoe instead of custom 360 flash shoe, a very useful feature.

Some photos (180 model at the bottom of the page):

The Polaroid 195 "Special Edition"


Right side


Left side

Bottom with tripod mount

Seen from above


Folded with attached cover.

And now some photos of the180 model:

The 180 model.

Camera front.

Plain back.

Finder with big eyepiece, hard to find.

The front is the same as the ordinary one.

The 180 was the first manual pack film camera, aimed at professional photographers. I doubt about the production dates on the web, given as 1965 to 1969 for the 180 and 1974 to 1976 for the 195. For the 180 they might be correct. It makes sense that they bought the more expensive Zeiss finder for a new professional model and then decided to build it into the other the top models from 1969 onwards. But I doubt a production gap between 1969 and 1974. Seen the second hand offers, there seem to be more 195 models than 180. So the 195 might have been on the market in 1969. 1969 is the date of the timers built into the cameras, electronical as mechanical ones. As the 195 needs no battery, it makes sense to choose the mechanical timer. Why they opted for the less comfortable 2-window Polaroid finder, I don't know, maybe they didn't want to exceed the $200 price tag.

There was an elusive 185 model, only given to Dr. Land's friends and business partners. It featured a built-in coupled CdS exposure meter, center needle type. The meter needle is visible in a window on the back of the lensboard, and is visible from the viewfinder. It is said that it had a f/5.6 Mamiya Sekor lens, maybe 127mm, but I have never seen one.

Polaroid Japan made another 185 model, called NPC 185 in 2000. This camera has little in common with the other Polaroid cameras. A number of 2000 have been made. And there was a non-US 190 model, similar to the 180 and 195. Those I have seen, have the faster f/3.8 lens of the 195, but all had a Zeiss finder and an electronic timer.