Classic camerasPolaroid 1200si

In 2002 Polaroid launch a variant of Image film called 1200 film. The only difference between the two is that Image film has 10 prints per pack, and 1200 film has 12. The pack itself is exactly the same so you can use these two film types interchangeably without problems, with one caveat: if you put 1200 film in an Image camera you will loose the last 2 shots as Image cameras assume that the 10th shot was the last one and they will then lock up until you change the film. The film counter on 1200 models counts down instead of up and doesn’t lock up until it gets to 1, so you can always use all the shots in either a 12 shot 1200 film or a 10 shot Image film.

As far as I know there was only ever 3 1200 models: The 1200si camera you see here has the same specification as the more advance original Image model, so it has all the important controls, in particular the ability to turn of the auto flash system. There was also the 1200i which was the 1200 equivalent of the basic Image 2 camera (and should be avoided!). The final model is the 1200FF which the simplest model. It has a completely different body style from the other 1200 cameras.

This is one of my most used Polaroid camera mainly down to my love of Polaroid Image Soft Tone film which can produced really beautiful soft colours. (And the fact that I picked up a large amount of the stuff at a very good price from The Impossible Project a while ago, so I still have plenty of the stuff!)

My Polaroid 1200si system

Here is the 1200si open and ready to take photos.

And here it is from the back. This example has has a sticker applied to help you work out how big the object in the photo is when you use Image Grid film.

Grid film was designed for scientific purposed. A grid is imposed over the image and so long as you know how far away the camera was from the subject you can work out how big the object is.

The distance read out in the 1200si viewfinder helps with this (though you’d have to manually write the distance you your photograph for later reference!)

Image Close-up Lens

And this rather bizarre looking object is the close-up lens for Image/Spectra cameras.

It is designed to work at just one distance and the two windows either side of the Polaroid logo project two dots of onto your subject to help you know when you’re at the right distance.

You move the camera back and forward until the two dots of light come together, and you are then at the right distance. The clever thing is that when the two lights come together they also indicate the point that will be in the middle of your photo graph so you frame your shot without looking through the viewfinder if necessary. Polaroid called this system 'Light Lock'

The rubber knob to the left of the lens allows you to extend a measuring string that provide an alternative way to get the distance right.

Here is the close up lens on the camera.

It has to be said that the fixed distance means this device isn’t all that useful for creative photography, despite it’s cleverness.

You can’t beat the SX-70 with it’s SLR focusing for Polaroid close-up photography!

Special Effect Filter Kit

This kit includes a filter holder and 5 filters: (F101) horizontal 'blur', (F102) red centre spot, (F103) starburst, (F104) 3-image prism, and (F105) 5-image prism.

It works with all Spectra/Image/1200 cameras except the ones with none-standard body styles (i.e. the ProCam and 1200FF)

There was also a ‘Creative Effects Filter Kit which included (F107) Orange Centre Spot, (F108) Diffusing Surround Filter, (F109) Warming Filter, (F110) Polarising Filter, and (F111) Double-image Adapter (for use in conjunction with making double exposures).

(F105) 5-image prism

And here is the 5 image prism attached to the camera.

Photographs taken with the Polaroid 1200si

Film: Polaroid Image Soft Tone

Location: London Road, Edinburgh

Film: Polaroid Image Soft Tone

Location: London Road, Edinburgh

Film: Polaroid Image Soft Tone

Location: Easter Road, Edinburgh

Film: Polaroid Image Soft Tone

Location: North Berwick, East Lothian, Scotland

Film: Polaroid Image Grid Film

Subject: Gregor Laird

This image was shot on Image Grid film. This film was designed to be used in conjunction with the Close-up Lens in which case each square represented 1 square centimeter in reality. It was really designed with scientists and insurance loss adjusters in mind, but I thought it my work creatively here!

Film: Impossible PZ600 Silver Shade (2nd edition)

Location: Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Film: Polaroid Image Soft Tone

Location: Edinburgh College of Art

Film: Polaroid Image Soft Tone

Location: North Berwick, East Lothian, Scotland

Film: Polaroid Image Soft Tone

Location: Kibble Palace, Glasgow Botanic Garden

Film: Polaroid Image Soft Tone

Location: Royal Mile, Edinburgh

Taking photos of street performers was a lot of fun… the reaction to the camera was very different to the reaction to a conventional modern digital camera!

Film: Polaroid Image Soft Tone

Location: Skaill House, West Mainland, Orkney Islands

Film: Polaroid Image Soft Tone

Location: Skaill House, West Mainland, Orkney Islands