instantphoto.eu Polaroid Film in a Kodamatic camera
Some days ago I came
across an advert for a complete Kodamatic set in good condition for
nearly nothing. As a passionate polaroid tinkerer I said to myself: why
not try to do something with it, even if the forums tell me that it
isn't worth trying. It's always better to see it with your own eyes. So, order placed, order quickly received.
The camera, a Kodamatic 930, isn't complicated at all. No mirror, no automatic
ejection of the dark slide, standard batteries in the camera housing, simple
electronic shutter (1/15 to 1/250), all similar to the Fuji instants,
and it's foldable. A quick test, all working fine. There isn't even a
contact for the back flap, so you can watch everything with the flap
would be ideal to put some Fuji Instant film which
is exposed from the back like the Kodak instant in the old days. But
the Fuji Wide is a little bit too wide and too short. So put some
Polaroid instant film? The 600 is smaller and too long. But, looking
closely, there is enough space between the cartridge and the rollers.
If you insert a Polaroid 600 format photo into the Kodak cartridge, you
can put the unit into the camera. If you push the button, it's taken
between the rollers and comes out. So far, so good.
in total darkness I take one unexposed photo from a PX680 cartridge and
put it into the Kodak cartridge. You have to push the spring of the
Kodak cartridge way down before you insert the photo, the Kodak
cartridge has blades open towards the ejection slot, if you don't push
enough, the photo
gets caught between the blades. You have to push the photo towards the
side of the little slit at the bottom of the cartridge, easy to feel in
the dark, if not, it wouldn't be pushed out later. And, you have to put
it in the right direction, glossy side up and the pouches with the
chemicals towards the exit. Then put the cartridge back into the camera
and close it. Don't forget to save the rest of the Polaroid cartridge
and put the cardboard dark slide on top of the cartridge.
I hadn't any flash, I had to wait for daylight. At sunrise I took my
camera, put the switch to darken (the Kodamatic was built for 300 iso
film, the earlier models for 150 iso) and I shot a photo. A little
miracle: all worked out fine. As it was color protection film, I had to
wait for 30 minutes, maybe even more. Result: a reversed (mirrored)
photo, a bit dark, but a real photo. The new
color protection film under-exposes one grade, I tried it with a new
Pola One600 Pro and with my CB70 back, the meter set to 600 iso, in
both cases it under-exposes. So one grade towards darken would have
sufficient for the Kodamatic. And yes, sometimes there still is a poor
pod problem with impossible film, visible at the top of the photo.
is the PZ680 film, this would be even better. It covers the whole
surface of the Kodak and it's only a little bit too long. It's also
well taken between the rollers. I'll try again with PZ color protection one day.
I can't tell you anything about the other Kodak
models. It's possible that there isn't enough space between the
cartridge and the rollers. The 900 series works. It's not ideal to only be able to put one
single shot, but it's a start, a challenge. And it's nice to see a
useless camera come to life again. It was much easier than I thought. No tinkering, just a camera and a cartridge.
And now the images:
The Kodamatic 930 in it's original box.
Back panel open with Kodak cartridge inside.
The upper part of the film compartment with the rollers.
An empty Kodak cartridge.
An Impossible PX680 photo inserted into the cartridge. It's sticking out and it's not wide enough, but it works.
photo, taken with a Kodamatic 930 at sunrise on fresh Impossible PX680
color protection film. There is a small black stripe (unexposed) at the
top. It's inversed, as there is no mirror in the camera. There is a
little poor pod problem with Impossible film, visible at the top of the
A PZ680 photo inserted into the Kodak cartridge. It's covers nearly the whole of the surface.
The PZ film only sticks out a little bit. A good starting point for tinkering in the future.
That's it for the moment. I just wanted to share this little experiment. So now rush to your ancient Kodak instant cameras!