A few days before Christmas, Jake and I were checking out a local estate sale in Redondo Beach. In the corner of the back room, Jake spotted some vintage camera gear, that he knows I just drool over. In a dusty old box I see the words POLAROID —- needless to say I made a huge scene from a rush of pure joy!!! For years I searched for a quality Polaroid Land Camera that had been taken care of properly, and was in professional working order.
Fast forward to Christmas…… I unwrap a 250 Polaroid Land Camera. JAKE! HAHA My amazingly sneaky husband.
I was able to test the camera to see if it was working, but I knew I would need to convert the battery power to accept three traditional AAA batteries. Vintage Polaroid cameras traditionally use a 4.5v battery. Back in the day, Polaroid recommended the Eveready #531 or equivalent. Unfortunately, this battery hasn’t been manufactured for decades. You could technically use the The Dantona battery for $8.00.. BUT my dollar store hack will cost $4, takes five minutes and actually holds the battery in place way better!!
Here is a step by step walk though on how to AFFORDABLY convert your 250 Polaroid Land Camera to power on AAA batteries. I scored all of the parts needed to covert, at our local Dollar Store. (A list of needed items below)
Before we start! For this tutorial, you will need the following items:
1. A small philips screw driver
2. Electrical tape
3. A small flashlight (for the battery holder inside)
4. 3 AAA batteries
STEP ONE: Locate the battery door on your Polaroid. Open the battery door and access any signs of erosion and potential need for cleaning.
* As you can see in the image below, the black, positive head, has a small amount of erosion. To clean this properly, use a little bit of white vinegar on a Q-tip and gently remove the erosion.
STEP TWO: Locate the old plastic battery holder and remove the tiny screw. This will make room for the new battery house.
STEP THREE: Time to make the new battery house. Take the tiny flashlight you purchased for a DOLLAR, unscrew the battery back, and remove the three AAA battery holder.
STEP FOUR: Insert your brand new AAA batteries into the flashlight battery holder. Once the batteries are properly inserted into the holder, make sure to check and see if your new set up actually fits okay inside the camera.
STEP FIVE: Place one of the camera’s battery contacts face down on the sticky side of a piece of black electrical tape. This means the contact part your normally attached to the battery is now covered with tape.
STEP SIX: Attach your first taped contact. Hold the back, flat side of the contact against the contact on the battery holder. Secure the tape to the sides of the holder and secure the batteries in place.
* Make sure you attach positive to positive and negative to negative.
WHITE = Negative , Attach to Negative side of the battery holder.
BLACK = Positive, Attach to Positive side of the battery holder.
STEP SEVEN: Repeat for the other contact, making sure everything is secure. Set the holder in the camera’s battery compartment and make sure the wires are our of the way the battery door.
LET’S TEST THE CAMERA AND MAKE SURE WE ARE HAVE POWER BEFORE PUTTING IN A PACK OF FILM!
Test, without film, by cocking and firing the shutter in low light and listening carefully for the “double click.” If you do hear the double click, your camera works, is getting power and is ready to shoot!