Polaroid Land Camera 190

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The Polaroid Land Camera 190 bears a superficial resemblance to other folding cameras in the Polaroid 100-400 series; and like them it is designed to shoot 3¼×4¼" peel-apart instant film. But in fact it this was one of the highest-specification models ever made by Polaroid, intended for professional users. Desirable features include a metal body (with tripod socket), an excellent single-eyepiece rangefinder/viewfinder made by Zeiss which folds away for storage, and fully manual exposure settings (rather than the photocell-controlled autoexposure typical of Polaroid's consumer cameras). Most significant is the 114mm f/3.8 Tominon lens (by Tomioka), which is significantly faster than the f/8.8 lens typically found in Polaroid's consumer-level models. Furthermore, the 190 includes an automatic electronic development timer integrated into the film-compartment door.

While the closely related Model 180 also offers a Zeiss finder, and the 195 the same lens, the 190's combination of both desirable features make it one of the most sought-after Polaroid models on the used market. (Only the much larger Polaroid 600SE, made by Mamiya, may surpass it.) Compatible packfilm from Fujifilm remains in production today (2011), at a much more affordable price than the integral films now available for SX-70 or 600 film models.


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