Over the past few days I have been posting some Polaroid photos taken with a Polaroid Automatic 230 Land Camera. For those of you not familiar with older Polaroid cameras, I thought I’d explain exactly what this camera is.
The Polaroid Automatic 230 Land Camera is a folding pack camera in the “200 series” available from 1967 to 1969. It has a plastic body with a 114mm f/8.8 glass lens. The camera use 100 series peel apart pack film which is 3 1/4″ x 4 1/4″ in size. The actual image size is 2 7/8″ x 3 3/4″ centered on the frame.
Focusing is achieved by using a rangefinder that is separate from the viewfinder. The viewfinder assembly is on a hinge that allows for it to be folded down when storing the camera inside its case.
To focus, a lever attached to the bellows is moved left or right and there is a pictogram indicating which way to move for closer focus (a man) or infinity (a man standing in front of a mountain).
Film speed is chosen using a dial under the lens. The available speeds are 75, 150, 300 and 3000. So if a film such as 672 (ISO 400) is used, some exposure compensation is required. The yellow button under the lens assembly is the “scene selector” which adjusts the aperture.
Recommendations for which scene to use are listed on the top of the lens assembly for each of the film speeds and a yellow square shows the currently selected scene.
Numbered buttons indicate the sequence for taking a shot. Step 1 is focus and step 2 is press the shutter.
Step 3 is reset the shutter for the next shot. In reality, this is done before step 1 of course.
Finally step 4 is remove the film from the camera by pulling on the paper tab.