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Polaroid 360 Land Camera Lens Hack!

July 27, 2014

I recently bought an untested Polaroid 360 Land Camera and had it shipped from the US, taking a chance that it was working or I could repair it!
Well you guessed it! It was not working and after spending a day rewiring it I could only get the timer to work and not the shutter...
So instead of another vintage Polaroid on the scrap heap I decided to install a new lens making it fully manual.
I looked through some of my vintage folders and the closest focal length to the 114mm Zeiss rangefinder was a Kodak N°1 shutter with a simple twindar lens which was 120mm. I removed it from the Kodak Six-16 Junior, which I have never intended to use and was a display camera, so why not get two redundant cameras and make a new beast for the fleet! :)
A really straight forward hack, the new lens and shutter fitted and the rangefinder is spot on at infinity and close range (checked with ground glass at the film plane). The lens is f/11 so if there were any differences the DOF would take care of the difference of the 6mm between focal lengths.
Finished the Polaroid off with some black and red snakeskin leather and used the original Polaroid lens rings as a finishing touch to the kodak lens, they were made to measure :) Then tested to see if I had sealed the front lens board of the Polaroid where the original levels and dials were. I am really happy with the results and now I have a full manual Polaroid to play with. Not bad for a 40 year old camera and a 90 year old lens! :)

I may change the lens at some point as the fastest speed of  f/11 @ 1/100th may limit me hand held in certain conditions, time will tell!

There are lots of people who have done this hack and the most popular lens choices seem to be 105mm which mounts at the back of the aluminum plate or 127mm which mounts at the front of the aluminum plate (like mine).
 

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