Question about Polaroid Photography

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I just bought a polaroid 636 autofocus off ebay and there is a filmpack inside it, however, the green light on the camera does not turn on. I just read that the battery is within the filmpack. Does this mean the battery is dead? Thanks

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Absolutely correct. All original photo packs will be similarly affected due to age, but you can now buy newly manufactured photo packs from The Impossible Project.

You can also use original packs with flat batteries if you modify the camera to accept an external 6v dc power supply.

Posted on Sep 12, 2010

  • Mariantonela Aug 20, 2011

    and how can I modify my camera to accept external power supply?? I am really interested in it!!

  • Obertelli
    Obertelli Aug 21, 2011

    Modification is fairly simple. Use an old film pack first (I note from another comment that you have been using film from The Impossible Project, so use one of those) to identify the polarity of the battery terminals. Even a used film pack, unless very old, usually has more than enough power left for that purpose. If you measure the voltage it should be around 4.5v, but 6v cells and ac/dc adapters are easier to source and work just fine. Look inside the film chamber and you'll see the two battery terminals. You can drill through the bottom of the camera and insert a suitable two core cable which you solder to the terminals. Insulate the terminals by taping an old dark slide (as ejected from a new photo pack) over the terminals, and route the wire so it does not interfere with the insertion and ejection of the photo pack. Ideally, you need to make sure that the hole where the wire emerges has a grommet fitted, and pass the wire through it. After that, what you connect to the wire is up to you. I've used mains power adaptors for studio cameras, but for field use I fit either a flat 4 x AA cell battery carrier or lately I've used rechargeable flat lithium cells salvaged from old mobile phones. Whichever I use, I mount them in a suitable plastic box fixed to the underside of the camera. if you use 4 x AA rechargeable cells then they have a total voltage of 4.8v which is near as makes no difference to the original 4.5v. With 6v power I've sometimes found that I need to adjust the lighten/darken control slightly to get correct exposure, but these cameras were never precision instruments anyway and even on original photo packs I used to find that each camera needed a different adjustment.


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