The Camera That Fell From the Sky

A present from Lady Luck

I always loved second hand markets and yard sales. When I was little, I used to visit a huge weekly market, marvelling at strange objects and shifty sellers for hours. Time moved on and generations switched places.
Now, open air markets are more or less gone where I live. The thrill of finding a hidden gem within a mountain of U.P.O ( Unidentified Piling Objects) is not really comparable to searching for old objects in E-Bay or it’s clones.

In the past I had the chance to find, use, repair, trade and enjoy dozens of (around sixty) film cameras when people did not give two bits about old photography gear. But times change. Fads appear and disappear much more aggressively in the social media age.
People “learn” things by reading a few lines, turn tools ( e.g mediocre auto everything film compacts) into fetish objects or get hung up on the representation of things more than their actual function. Yes times are changing and I become more and more grumpy!
I still yearn for the thrill of finding gems in unexpected places but I almost gave up looking for rare items online. I don’t really have the funds and I rarely have a practical use for such items. For impractical uses, I prefer DIY items or found objects.
Like the camera which fell from the sky today!

Today, I was helping my better half in gathering mulch for the garden. A tiny garden with pine trees is the spot where we visit for this task. There’s a big communal trash container just at the entrance of the garden. There was nothing interesting about it.
We went in and filled a giant sack with pine needles . When I got out, I saw it, sitting on the top of the container. A box of Polaroid Land camera in very good condition. Inside, sitting an-almost-never-used Polaroid Land Camera EE 100 with it’s original manual.
The thrill of finding something unexpected came back…unexpectedly! The camera had even original (un-leaked) batteries inside.

I knew that one has to be very creative to find a use for a Polaroid camera, since -as a medium- Polaroid film is almost extinct. The few available options are not compatible with my newly found camera (or my wallet). But I was happy!
A mysterious (yet mundane) stroke of luck meant that I’ve had to find a deserving project to thank the Lady Luck.

I’m thinking about trying to use paper negatives in Polaroid. It would be a nice project to shoot paper negs and to print those on “positives” in the darkroom.

I always wanted to come across a film camera while walking in the street. Truly, I did. What a nice day!

I hope to share some photos from this camera.

Take care,


Join the Conversation

  1. Hi Juliayn,

    Thank you for your comment. I’ve seen hassle-free 120 conversions with older Polaroid Land cameras, the ones with metal bodies, fancy lenses and rangefinder units. This one is fairly simple. It has a simple (3 elements I think) lens, auto exposure and a film holder mechanism for Polaroid sheets. It uses the peel-off variant of Polaroid. Checking inside, I haven’t seen any winding mechanism or some clearance to install one. There’s a slit where exposed films are pulled through, so the camera uses an entirely different approach.

    My idea is to measure the film holder and cut a cardboard guide that fits. I can then prepare the fibre based photo papers I have using the guide and figure out a fitting exposure/development scheme. I have plenty of old photo papers and I always wanted to have a camera which allows me to expose a single photo.

    A possible problem would be the auto exposure system. I don’t think I’d have enough light coming through to expose the photo papers unless I can devise a way to fool “the electric-eye” . Another option would be to build a simple circuit to manually control the exposure. If I decide to go down that route, I think I can manage the soldering. Naturally, before all that, I have to put fresh batteries inside and test the shutter:) It turns out the camera has a simple shutter speed system that can be controlled without difficulty. I wrote about it the latest post.

    Sorry for the long winded reply and thank you for offering your help. In any case I’d be happy to learn more about the camera.

    Take care,



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