Polaroid CB80 back for Holga

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In approximately 2002 the Japanese subsidiary of Polaroid introduced a Holga camera back. It uses a modified version of the Polaroid CB80, that attaches to the popular Holga camera, which many users dubbed "the Holgaroid."

Designed to use square-format Type 80 peel-apart films, the back kit included a diopter lens, a battery clip/6x6 mask, a dark slide, and featured a tripod mount. The negative diopter is necessary to adjust the Holga lens's focal length, as the film plane of the Polaroid back sits behind that of the original 120 film gate.


The back was often sold with a Holga 120SF (hence the included battery holder), however the back could be purchased separately. This back fits correctly on any Holga 120-series camera.

When first introduced, the image produced did not cover the full frame of the Type-80 film. Shortly after its release, a modified version called the Full Frame, was introduced that matched the full size of the film.

Due to the design of the back, the Holga viewfinder is completely obscured when the two are used together. An external frame viewfinder[1] could be purchased that mounts onto the CB80 and permits the framing of the image to be gauged.

Polaroid square Type 80 film format was discontinued at the end of 2006, and Polaroid also ceased production of the CB80. (Ultimately, Polaroid ceased all production of instant film.) Owners of the back have a tiny and dwindling supply of expired film packs available to use with their Holgas.

A-Power back

However, in 2007, a new Polaroid back made by A-Power was released that functions exactly like the Polaroid Japan version. This back comes with the dark slide, diopter lens, 6×6 mask, and viewfinder. The biggest improvement to this version is that uses a modified Polaroid CB103 and it now takes the more common 3¼×4¼ inch peel-apart film packs, including Fuji-branded film which remains in production. This format is sometimes referred to as 100-series film (after Polaroid's original type number) or 660 series (as it included Polaroid types 664, 669, etc.). These must not to be confused with Type 600, which is an integral instant film used in Polaroid consumer cameras.

When using Type 660/100 films with the new back, the image is still only 6×6 cm (approximately), leaving a black area on the right of the image[2]

The Polaroid back was known as Polga or Polga Sun in Japan and the Polga name is still seen.


Type 80 films (all discontinued)

  • Type 84 - medium-contrast black and white film. Produces a positive image. ISO/100.
  • Type 85 - medium-speed, high-resolution black and white film. Produces both a positive image and a negative that can be printed later. ISO/80.
  • Type 87 - medium-contrast, high-speed, black and white film. Produces a positive image. ISO/3000
  • Type 88 - medium-contrast, medium-speed color film. Produces a positive image. Can be used for emulsion lifting and image transfers. ISO/80.
  • Type 89 - medium-speed, medium-grain color film. Accurately matches ISO 100 chrome films. Produces a positive image. ISO/100.

Notes

  1. A photo showing the frame viewfinder from Patrick Ng on Flickr.
  2. Sample image on 3¼×4¼ inch packfilm by rotbotkasten on Flickr.

Links