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Drew Bedo
1-Apr-2020, 08:11
Has anyone converted a Polaroid 20x24 camera to accept standard films?

Is this possible? Would it make any sense to do it?

ic-racer
1-Apr-2020, 10:54
Tracy Storer (https://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/member.php?2376-Tracy-Storer) probably knows. His "about me" page on this forum indicates this: "20"x24" Polaroid with accessory sheet film back."

Tracy Storer
1-Apr-2020, 14:20
Has anyone converted a Polaroid 20x24 camera to accept standard films?

Is this possible? Would it make any sense to do it?

The cameras were originally built with a processor for the film built in, it's the large wooden box you can see behind the bellows on my homepage here:http://mammothcamera.com/

A little over 20 years ago, a client approached me to ask if it would be possible, and paid me to build an accessory box that mounted in place of the processor box. On the rear was a ground-glass spring back, and we used double sided 20"x24" sheet film holders to shoot Bergger BPF200. The film was tray processed and printed conventionally.
In 2016 I delivered a new 20x24 for Polaroid film to a customer in Europe which also had an accessory back to allow the use of film or wetplate holders.
As far as I know, I am the only one who ever did it in the history of the Polaroid 20x24 cameras.

Drew Bedo
2-Apr-2020, 04:38
Tracy: t5hanks for the link. I had no idea . . . .

Ron (Netherlands)
7-Apr-2020, 11:44
Is that the same camera that Elsa Dorfman was using for quite a time?
see here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qt-NraquF5E

Tracy Storer
7-Apr-2020, 12:08
Is that the same camera that Elsa Dorfman was using for quite a time?
see here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qt-NraquF5E

One like it. I worked with Elsa a lot when I lived in Boston.

diversey
7-Apr-2020, 14:52
Is it true there are only 5 of those cameras worldwide?


One like it. I worked with Elsa a lot when I lived in Boston.

Vaughn
7-Apr-2020, 15:15
There was one set up for Big Camera Day on the Plaza (Santa Fe, NM, 2003?), but the dry air caused too many light leaks -- perhaps in the developing box. It was going to be used to take a photo of the Plaza and the other big cameras. I did instead, but wish I had had the 250mm back then instead of just the 300mm.

Were you there Tracy?

8x10 contact print

Andrew Plume
7-Apr-2020, 15:50
Some very expensive and lovely gear in this photo....................'GAS' beyond words

regards

Andrew

Ron (Netherlands)
8-Apr-2020, 08:56
Is it true there are only 5 of those cameras worldwide?

In the film Elsa mentions there were 6



8x10 contact print

Great shot, can you post a bigger size of the print so we can enjoy all the gear shown?

Vaughn
8-Apr-2020, 19:16
I'll rescan the print if I can find it -- don't hold your breath!

Tracy Storer
9-Apr-2020, 11:52
There was one set up for Big Camera Day on the Plaza (Santa Fe, NM, 2003?), but the dry air caused too many light leaks -- perhaps in the developing box. It was going to be used to take a photo of the Plaza and the other big cameras. I did instead, but wish I had had the 250mm back then instead of just the 300mm.

Were you there Tracy?

8x10 contact print

Yeah, that was me, with the Wisner system John Reuter had just taken delivery of at the Santa Fe Workshops. The reason for the light leaks was design shortcomings. The original cameras had the processor built in, what we call an "all-in-one" where the camera and processor are permanently attached to the studio stand. Wisners' arrangement could have been better, but with a separate film cassette and processor, there are so many moving parts to eliminate all the light leak possibilities and combinations.

Tracy Storer
9-Apr-2020, 11:53
Is it true there are only 5 of those cameras worldwide?

Read a brief history here:
http://mammothcamera.com/thecamera.html

Tracy Storer
9-Apr-2020, 12:00
There was one set up for Big Camera Day on the Plaza (Santa Fe, NM, 2003?), but the dry air caused too many light leaks -- perhaps in the developing box. It was going to be used to take a photo of the Plaza and the other big cameras. I did instead, but wish I had had the 250mm back then instead of just the 300mm.

Were you there Tracy?

8x10 contact print

Vaughan, I added a couple notes to your photo:
1. Steve Simmons
2. Jan Pietrzak
3. Patrick Alts restored 18"x22" Empire State

diversey
10-Apr-2020, 07:26
Thanks! A great history of 20x24 Polaroid. It is true 5 were made originally.

Read a brief history here:
http://mammothcamera.com/thecamera.html

John Layton
10-Apr-2020, 14:10
Ron W. had one of his 20x24's at the View Camera Magazine conference in 2002, and it was fun to hang out with him (not to mention with everybody else there also!). From what I remember that camera was set up with a regular film back. We all had a great time...I miss those days.

Bob Salomon
10-Apr-2020, 14:26
Read a brief history here:
http://mammothcamera.com/thecamera.html

What happened to the one at Pan Pacific Camera in LA?

Tracy Storer
10-Apr-2020, 14:54
What happened to the one at Pan Pacific Camera in LA?

Ancient history. I believe it was only there for a couple months or less anyway and went back to Polaroid.

I got involved with the cameras as a student in 1983/4 and "retired" from 20x24 in 2017 after running the Boston studio, then 20x24 West based in San Francisco, and having built three new cameras from scratch.

Tracy Storer
10-Apr-2020, 15:03
Ron W. had one of his 20x24's at the View Camera Magazine conference in 2002, and it was fun to hang out with him (not to mention with everybody else there also!). From what I remember that camera was set up with a regular film back. We all had a great time...I miss those days.

Right. As mentioned elsewhere, Ron built an aftermarket cassette (which took a 150' roll of Polaroid negative) and separate processor that were compatible with the 20x24 "field" cameras he was already making. The processor would take the standard 50' rolls of "receiver sheet" aka Polaroid paper, and one developer pod per shot to be processed.
A "case" of 20x24 film is:
1x150' roll of negative
3x50' rolls of receiver sheet
45xdeveloper pods
I worked extensively with the original cameras built by Polaroid as well as assorted Wisner 20x24 systems owned by various folks. (then built three new 20x24 cameras myself)

Bob Salomon
10-Apr-2020, 15:05
Ancient history. I believe it was only there for a couple months or less anyway and went back to Polaroid.

I got involved with the cameras as a student in 1983/4 and "retired" from 20x24 in 2017 after running the Boston studio, then 20x24 West based in San Francisco, and having built three new cameras from scratch.

I think it was there till he was arrested and the store closed. Steve had built a studio for it when they moved to the new store. Then it seemed to disappear. Wonder if it went with the store’s assets. Never saw it in another store.

Tracy Storer
11-Apr-2020, 09:56
I think it was there till he was arrested and the store closed. Steve had built a studio for it when they moved to the new store. Then it seemed to disappear. Wonder if it went with the store’s assets. Never saw it in another store.
No. It went back to Polaroid, 100%. He stole the Fuji 1200mm lens though.

Bob Salomon
11-Apr-2020, 11:02
No. It went back to Polaroid, 100%. He stole the Fuji 1200mm lens though.

Wasn’t the only thing he stole!