Hacking a Polaroid 80-Series Camera to Take Fuji FP film


It’s a great feeling when you get a camera back to work even though you thought it was already unusable because its particular type of film is no longer in production. Here’s how you can do it with a Polaroid camera from the 80-series.

My Polaroid Colorpack 80 Land Camera.

A few years back I came across a Polaroid camera at a flea market. I had lusted after one of those for years, so I was pretty happy with my find: only €5 and still in the original box! My happiness faded when I found out that my camera was one of the 80-series, for which film was no longer being made. So much for my Polaroid.

But long live the internet, and Instructables in particular, because a while back I came across an excellent tutorial on how to convert my Polaroid camera to take Fuji FP-100 film. All credits go to Instructables user Nano_Burger of course; but for your convenience, I’ll give my own personal account of the technique right here.

You’ll need a Colorpack 80 Polaroid camera, a packet of Fuji FP-100 film (Fuji FP 3000 will work as well), a pair of pliers, a metal ruler, and a sharp utility knife. Some super glue may come in handy if you break off too much of your camera (I didn’t need it, but you never know).

If you open the back of the camera and compare it to your packet of film, you’ll notice the film is a bit too long. There’s a bit of plastic in the way inside the camera. Locate the bit with the white letters where it says you´ll need to change the batteries now and then.

This bit needs to come off.

This is glued inside the camera, and if you grab it with the pliers and wiggle it for a bit, it will come off. It’s always scary to break stuff off a camera; but if you don’t take this risk, your camera will only continue to gather dust on a shelf.

Once that first bit has come off, you’ll see some more ridges in the camera. These will have to go as well. If the plastic has become brittle over the years, they will snap off easily enough if you grab them with the pliers. Otherwise, you may have to wriggle and pull a bit more. It took me a bit off effort, but in the end, most of it came off.

These ridges need to come off as well.

You’re done with the camera now. If you try to insert the film, you’ll notice it still won’t fit. So now we’re going to cut off a bit off the film cassette. It’s a good thing this is made of plastic these days (as opposed to the metal of yore). Look at the front of the cassette (with the paper bits sticking out) and you’ll see a kind of rectangle. Use this as a guide, and use the knife and ruler to score a line along the top of the rectangle over the full width of the film cassette (don’t forget the sides.) Using the pliers once again, snap off the top bit. Use the knife to shave off any excess bits off the cassette and camera if needed.

Even more plastic that has to go.

If all is well, your film should now fit in the camera. Yay! Snap the camera closed. It looks as if the paper is stuck between the camera, but that’s normal. Close the metal bracket, and firmly pull on the black paper until it comes out. You’ll see a white tab appear.

It fits! See that dust that had been gathering on my camera? No more!

Now you’re ready to shoot. Shoot a picture (or two, if you want a double exposure), pull at the white tab, and see your first picture appear. Leave the paper for a few minutes (there’s an exposure table printed on the paper for the exact time) and pull it off. Marvel at your picture.

First photo: Waiting for my first picture to develop. Second photo: My very first, if a bit mediocre, Polaroid/Fuji photo.

PS. you’ll notice a narrow strip of unexposed film on your picture. The original 80-film was square, and the Fuji FP-100 is rectangular and bigger. This means the film is a bit too big to be completely exposed. A small price to pay for a camera dragged from the clutches of obscurity back into life.

Credits: stratski

Thsi article was written by Community member stratski.

written by stratski on 2014-06-24 #gear #tutorials #diy #instant #camera #tipster #modification #polaroid #fuji #hack #camera-modification #requested


  1. estelleflores
    estelleflores ·

    Hi!! I have a polaroid ee44 and will try this. I just cant figure out where exactly I should cut on that second step, i cant see the rectangle you said. could you please make a video?

  2. stratski
    stratski ·

    @estelleflores You should cut 15 mm above the edge of the open bit in the middle (where you can see the paper). Check out the constructable in this technique, maybe you'll find it clearer. www.instructables.com/id/Packtasticor-How-to-use-100-Series…

  3. erikandre
    erikandre ·

    @stratski Great guide, thank you very much! Using it and the one by Nano_Burger I modified my Square Shooter 2 and it worked out really well.

    One modification I did was to remove part of the ridge near where the photos comes out (opposite of the ridges that you removed). That way I managed to squeeze in the FP100C cartridge without having to cut anything off from it (it's a very snug fit though).

  4. funkyuk
    funkyuk ·

    Did this just nicely this weekend (Feb 2016) if you are clever with your composition/shadows, you barely notice the vignette down the side. thanks!

  5. jaismithh
    jaismithh ·

    I have a Polaroid Instant 20 and I have my fingers crossed I can do this hack on when I find it out.. It'd be great to be able to use it as the film (80 series) is no longer available!

  6. giu19x
    giu19x ·

    thank you so much!
    finally i can use my polaroid.

  7. feverette
    feverette ·

    Thanks so much for this information! I am gonna buy a red Polaroid Electric Zip tonight online. You are a life saver!

  8. js001
    js001 ·

    I found an old Polaroid 80 amongst my mums things. I have tried putting batteries in it but it still doesnt make a noise when you press the shutter. I kind of remember when i was a kid a whirring type noise but inmay be confused. I also found about 20 film cartridges use by 1975. I have tried a couple but when you pull them out the film comes apart imediately.

  9. davgarci
    davgarci ·

    I will do this! thanks!

  10. sharkette
    sharkette ·

    my mum recently gave me her old polaroid colorpack 80 land camera - as I mentioned I wanted to get one to take pics of Trick or Treating kids around my display for them to take home with them.

    I'm hoping I can do this but can't work out how to get the old manky batteries out to be able to clean it up to put new batteries in, looks like it will need a serious clean as well as a hack. probably hasn't been used since I was a toddler and that was too many years ago to think about - lol

    this one doesn't appear to be exactly the same as the one you hacked so hopefully it will all work out - it is quite brittle and i hope that doesn't mean it will break where I don't want it to.

    I'd like to take pictures of it and if anyone can help where can I upload them to or send them to??

    novice photographer
    rarely took many pictures before I got a camera phone! lol

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