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Polaroid Big Shot Disassembly

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Heres a camera thats almost completely useless. It is STRICTLY a portrait

camera which has a single element plastic lens with a fixed focus... and a fixed

focus rangefinder! Possibly one-of-a-kind in the photography world! I think Im

gonna convert mine into something else.... so heres how to disassemble the front

of the camera.


First thing to come off is the plastic Fresnel lens. Its pretty fragile and I

broke mine. push up on the top part of the grey frame while pushing out on the

fresnel lens from behind. It takes some force to get it out from the top. Now

you will notice that it is still attached on either side of the lens by tabs

going into the grey frame. I didnt realize untill I broke mine how to get it

out... notice that looking into the lens, the slot on the left side is much

longer than the slot on the right side. I beleive you can twist the fresnel

plastic to the right and pop the whole peice out without breaking it.


The peice of silvered paper saying "Big Shot" will now fall off. Now you see

the black aperature ring and lens. The black aperature ring is attached by tabs

on each side. Insert a small flat-blade screwdriver to release these tabs. The

whole peice will then pop out easily. The Lens is now revealed. The

single-element lens is attached by 4 tabs... again the flat-blade screwdriver

easily opens the tabs and the lens comes out.


Now for the screws!!! At the top right and bottom left are two phillips

screws... set VERY deep into the face. It requires a small screwdriver with a

very long shaft to get them. I do not beleive a standard screwdriver will fit in

the holes. These screws remove the dark grey peice in the front of the camera

which contains the aperature assembly.


Now the shutter assembly is revealed. One circlip on the orange-red shutter

switch hold the entire rest of the assembly in.... that and all the springs that

come shooting out. ;)


Oh well, that was fun... now for the hacksaw... I plan on putting a large-format

Compur Shutter and Kodak Lens into this puppy.... should be tons of fun.

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Nope. Hacksaw. Theres a mask inside the Big Shot which makes a perfect place to begin mounting a new lens and shutter. With a great deal of adapting... including adding some carboard because I cut it too short... Ive added a Kodak large format setup. Compur shutter and Kodak Anastigmat 135. Ive mounted the rear element to focus for infinity at 110mm and moved the shutter and front element further forward to focus at about 4 feet. This allows the camera to use the rangefinder and provide close focus with limited depth of feild.... or infinity focus at the smallest aperature. At a total focal length of 150mm the aperature scale is now off by 1 stop, turning the f4.5 into an f5.6. Im also adding strap lugs and a tripod mount to make this a more user friendly camera! It wont have that "portrait" look of the 220mm Big Shot... but it will at least have nice optics and a real shutter.
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Beleive it or not Mihn, but polaroid still manufactures and sells Pack Film! The Big Shot takes 3.25"x4.25" Pack Film. 10 Images per pack. In fact they just introduced a NEW Pack Film... 690 film.... available emulsions from Polaroid:


690: ISO 100 Color Film, Improved color saturation and grain


669: ISO 80 Color Film, daylight balanced, color shifts at different exposures


667: ISO 3000 B&W Film, used for industrial purposes... might be fun at night? (I have a 3000 speed filter for the older polaroids in my collection)


672: ISO 400 B&W Film, medium contrast and fine grain


664: ISO 100 B&W Film, wide tonal range, fine grain


PC ID-UV: ISO 80 Color Film, used for security photos, hidden UV text saying "polaroid"


690 film takes the place of 679 and 689 films which have been discontinued.


Ironically it seems that Polaroid offers more vareity of Pack Film than 600 films.... probably because it can be used in the Daylabs as well as a variety of PackFilm backs for professional cameras, as well as the 600 SE professional and a variety of security passport cameras, and slide copiers. Just because you cant buy the stuff at KMart doesnt mean it isnt one of their biggest sellers! It costs about the same as 600 film... a little over $1 an image. For me that is about the same I pay for medium format... and i dont even get prints... thats just buying the film, processing the negs and getting them scanned to disk... about $15 for 12 images.... Pack Film is about $25 for 20 images.

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I actualy just picked up a 104 yesterday for $2 at goodwill to attempt some different conversion to.. At this point I cant afford film so it will be awhile before I can do thorough tests.... but that you very much for the advice! I have read about the 250... legendary! The veiw-finder in the 104 has brightlines with arrows that move... looks like the in-flight nagivation projections for jet fighters... crazy stuff.
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Patrick, if you want to try your camera I'll send you some Polaroid film packs I have couple years ago, I do not use so they are laying in the refrigerator. I mounted a good lens on a 450 but don't use much because of no negatives, you can have the film for your tests. Hopefully the pictures will be good. Minh
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Well whats the fun in that? :P This camera was free and the lens and shutter I got for about $5 because it was "broken". (Just needed to be rebuilt) Im a born tinkerer... if someone told me I wasnt ALLOWED to tinker I think Id snuff it! One of my good friends just built himself a lensbaby out of an old bellows and an anceint Rolleiflex shutter and lens. Sure he could have just dropped $300 on a peice of vaccuum cleaner hose and a crappy lens that someone else put together, but besides the fact that he got the parts from cameras he makes money from repairing and selling on ebay, it was the tinkering that really inspired him. The fact that without much work or money he could build something that people are paying a VERY pretty penny for is part of the fun! Heck if the attitude is that its senseless to do something because its already been done then you might as well quit photography and kill yourself... because its ALL already been done! ;)
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  • 5 months later...

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