Polaroid Land Model 95A  –  Vintage Camera

Polaroid Land Model 95A (three quarters, open)

Polaroid Land Model 95A (three quarters, open)

Polaroid Land Model 95A (three quarters, open)

Polaroid Land Model 95A (three quarters, open)

Polaroid Land Model 95A (front view, open, viewfinder up)

Polaroid Land Model 95A (front view, open, viewfinder up)

Polaroid Land Model 95A (front view, open, wire frame finder up)

Polaroid Land Model 95A (front view, open, wire frame finder up)

Polaroid Land Model 95A (top view, open)

Polaroid Land Model 95A (top view, open)

Polaroid Land Model 95A (top view, closed)

Polaroid Land Model 95A (top view, closed)

Polaroid Land Model 95A (rear view)

Polaroid Land Model 95A (rear view)

Polaroid Land Model 95A (with 35mm cassette for scale)

Polaroid Land Model 95A (with 35mm cassette for scale)

Polaroid Land Model 95A (three quarters, open)Polaroid Land Model 95A (three quarters, open)Polaroid Land Model 95A (front view, open, viewfinder up)Polaroid Land Model 95A (front view, open, wire frame finder up)Polaroid Land Model 95A (top view, open)Polaroid Land Model 95A (top view, closed)Polaroid Land Model 95A (rear view)Polaroid Land Model 95A (with 35mm cassette for scale)

Polaroid Land Model 95A Specifications

Manufacturer: Polaroid Corporation
   
Country of Origin: USA
   
Made in: Cambridge, MA, USA
   
Introduced: 1954
   
Camera Type: Folding, Viewfinder
   
Format: Instant Film
  (Polaroid 40 Series Rollfilm)
   
Dimensions (cm): 12 x 24.5 x 6 (closed)
  12 x 24.5 x 19.5 (open)

Polaroid Land Model 95A Review

The Polaroid Land Model 95A is a variant of the Model 95, the first of the flagship Land Cameras (named after Polaroid founder Edwin Land) and the very first practical instant film camera in history. Polaroid is synonymous with instant film and Edwin Land’s name adorned Polaroid’s most advanced instant cameras for well over 30 years until he finally retired from the company in 1982.

Dubbed the “Speedliner,” The Model 95A features a homegrown 130mm f/8.8 lens mated to a rotary shutter capable of speeds ranging from 1/12 to 1/100 and Bulb. In order to set exposure, the metal gear on the corner of the lens board can be rotated to select one of eight numbered exposure presets (#8 being the fastest shutter speed with the widest aperture and #1 being the slowest with the narrowest) as indicated in the window located directly above the lens. To engage Bulb mode, flick the switch located underneath the lens from “I” to “B” then either hold the shutter button (located on the user’s right-hand side of the lens board) down or screw a cable release into the socket directly above it. For composition, users have two choices: flip up the optical viewfinder located on the body or pull the wire frame finder out from behind the lens board. For low light photography, the 95A is compatible with flash bulbs (through the terminal located below the lens) and electronic flash units (via the sync socket found on the top of the lens board), both of which can be mounted next to the viewfinder.

I fell in love with this Land camera when I first saw it and, within days, one was on its way to me. I spent about $25 on it, a fraction of its original retail price of $89.75 in 1954 (about $780 in today’s money). Along with the Polaroid Big Shot and the Kodak No. 3A Autographic, the Polaroid Land Model 95A is one of the biggest cameras in my collection and with its steel construction, also one of the heaviest. Unfortunately for me, Polaroid discontinued its 40 Series Rollfilm in 1992 which means I won’t be shooting this beauty anytime soon.

References:

McKeown, James M. and Joan C. McKeown’s Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras, 2001-2002. (Grantsburg: Centennial Photo Service, 2001), 543.

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