information and inspiration
for students, teachers and hobbyists
About Tools Products Activities Galleries Projects Links Contact Facebook LinkedIn  flickr


Electronic Guidebook for High-Speed Flash Photography

revised 12-00

back to Table of Contents


Appendix C.  Using Polaroid cameras


Two Polaroid cameras that are often used for general recording purposes are the EE Special and the 240 Automatic Land. These cameras can also be used with electronic flash for high-speed photography. One should use type 667 film, an ISO-3000 black-and-white film. Getting good exposures can be tricky, since neither camera has an aperture ring. Also, the cameras cannot be placed closer than 1 m from the subject. On the EE Special, the lens is focused by turning a dial on the lens to the measured camera-to-subject distance. On the 240 Land, a lever near the shutter button is pushed back-and-forth, and a rangefinder is used to determine the best focus.


Both cameras have a photoelectric cell that measures ambient light and automatically adjusts the shutter speed for proper exposure. For high-speed photography, this cell should be covered with something opaque. This will allow the shutter to be held open as long as necessary in readiness for the flash discharge.


Given below are recommendations for obtaining good exposures with these cameras. It is assumed that a Vivitar 283 flash unit is placed half as far from the subject as the camera is and that the unit is set for minimum intensity and duration (see Activity 2). If the camera were placed at its closest focusing distance of 1 m, the flash unit would then be half a meter away. These would be typical conditions for many photographic situations.


Polaroid EE Special Camera

Set the slide bar on top of the camera to the 3000ER setting. If the photograph is overexposed, you can reduce the exposure by holding a neutral density filter over the front of the lens during the exposure. Unfortunately, the only other control over exposure is to change the flash-to-subject distance.


240 Automatic Land Camera

Set the film speed dial under the lens to 3000. Beside this dial is a lever that selects two different lighting situations. The settings are read on a panel above the lens. Set this lever to Outdoors or Flash.


Another possibility is to set the film speed to a much lower value, say, 150. Then, set the lighting selector to Bright Sun. If the photo is over- or under-exposed, the film speed dial may be adjusted either to 300 or 75.



About Tools Products Activities Galleries Projects Links Contact Facebook LinkedIn flickr
copyright © 1995-2020