instantphoto.eu                      Polaroid 110B (Instax Conversion)  

This camera was the top of the line in the early 1960s. The so-called "Pathfinder" line began with the 110 in 1952. It had a 127mm f/4.5 4-element Wollensak Raptar lens, a collapsible viewfinder and a Kalart rangefinder next to it. It was followed by the 110A in 1957, which had mainly a 127mm f/4.7 4-element Rodenstock Ysarex lens, a viewfinder with automatic parallax compensation and a second window for a rangefinder. In 1960 the 110B appeared with a single-window view/rangefinder which was produced until 1964. It's the camera presented here. The 110 A and B have a pinhole device (f/90) as the shortest time is 1/300, which otherwise limits the use of ISO 3000 film outside. A 120 was introduced in 1961 for foreign markets and produced until 1965. It has a 127mm f/4.7 4-element Yashinon lens, shortest shutter time is 1/500 and the aperture has f/64 and f/90 stops. It does not have the
single-window view/rangefinder. If you want one, you can buy a 900 which is cheap and swap the rangefinder.

As all these cameras were built for roll film, long gone, they have to be adapted to recent film. It is said that the lenses cover 4x5 format. So other adaptions are possible. This is an Instax Wide version. The conversion is a very rough one, not nice from the outside, but fully functional. I bought it from a Polish guy, who made nicer conversions. This was his personal one to test functions and improvements.

Some pictures:

Front. From left: distance scale on the bed, shutter release (the big silver tab sticking out), remote release socket on the lens barrel, at 1 o' sync lever, at 2 o' aperture lever, at 3 o' shutter cocking lever.

Converted back. The housing of an Instax 100 glued to the 110B structure.

Seen from above. The original Polaroid accessory hot shoe is not compatible with standard devices.

Seen from below. Tripod thread. On the lens barrel: lever to couple speed and aperture for the EV system. Flash socket.

Left side. On the lens barrel: EV values, Speed and aperture scales.

Left side. Button to eject the photo. It's one push for a whole cycle.

Right side, battery compartment open. This one only needs 3 AA batteries. On the camera bed: second tripod socket for portrait mode, big distance setting knob and camera opening button. You might need an adapter for the tripod socket depending on your tripod head.

The lens
, a beautiful German Rodenstock Ysarex 1:4.7 127mm in a Prontor SVS shutter. The EV scale is again on the lower part of the lens (5-19). The EV (Light value) system was promoted by Anselm Adams, who was a councelor for Polaroid in those days. The system was adopted by other firms for some time like for the Zeiss Super Ikonta IV or the Russian Iskra.

Pinhole F90 before the lens

Camera back open.

There is a device that lets you use square film as well.

Some photos taken on largely expired film, not yet scanned. Exposure data on the rim of the photo.

View from my Cologne atelier over the roofs of the city. Note the extraordinary DOF.

View towards the Cologne cathedral.

Storage boxes in my atelier.

The camera is easy to handle. Open the front, sqeeze the tab on the camera bed under the lens and extend the bellows, it clicks into place. Cock the shutter, set speed and aperture, focus and frame your subject and push the shutter release. That's it. Push the button to eject the photo. To close the camera, squeeze the tab again, push the front standard back, push the struts and it will close. The combined and parallax correcting view/rangefinder is a great help. Picture results are very good.

After 60 years this is still a sturdy, well working camera with a superb prime lens.

Finally some specs:

Size 24 x 14.3 x 8.5 cm
Weight 1680 gr. with batteries and film

So it's on the large and heavy side, but picture quality is worth it.