For instance, perhaps you've seen Polaroid 110-series Pathfinder cameras that have been modified to use Polaroid pack films.
Well, as nice as some of those modification jobs can be, here's one that really takes the concept to a whole new level-- one that hardly compares with any other Polaroid modification concept I've seen yet.
It's called the "45 Single", and while it too starts with a 110-series Polaroid Pathfinder camera, the end product is a rather different animal indeed. Sure, you can use Polaroid pack film in the 45 Single (using a #405 film holder), but that's not what makes this camera interesting. What's different about the "45 Single" idea is that it turns a Polaroid Pathfinder into a full-frame 4x5 camera. The back is extended to provide a full 4x5 format image circle, and the focus and rangefinder cams are custom remachined. The camera is even available with a viewfinder modification that provides 100% viewfinder coverage. The basic camera keeps the factory Rodenstock Ysarex 127mm lens found on the Pathfinder 110A/B cameras, but it can be ordered with various other lenses instead (for example, the illustration above shows the camera with a Schneider Apo-Symmar). I don't know all the details of the conversion involved here (the design is also patent pending), but the end result is an almost completely re-machined custom camera which appears to maintain the basic 'feel' of the Polaroid Pathfinder series. Plus, it's just-plain cool looking. :-)
The camera has a standard Graflok back, so there's certainly no shortage of types of film holders (both conventional and Polaroid) and attachments which can be used with the camera. Ground glass focusing and viewing would then also be possible.
The manufacturer offers a wide variety of custom options, including front-tilt movements as well as a switchable close-focus bellows extension system (the auxillary clip-on rangefinder/viewfinder shown in the illustration is a companion device to be used with the bellows extension). From all appearances, the basic camera would seem to be well machined, and the creator appears to take great pride in the quality of his workmanship.
The bad news: as you might guess, from all this re-machining, the 45 Single does not come cheap. For that matter, you can get a complete 4x5 Speed Graphic system in decent shape for considerably less than the 45 Single. However, the target market for the 45 Single appears to be professional photographers who need an extremely hand-holdable precision 4x5 camera (i.e. for fashion and travel photography). In this respect, I can't really think of another example offhand. [As one who owns a couple of Speed Graphics, I can tell you that while a 4x5 Graphic is certainly hand-holdable, it's not nearly as convenient or as comfortable as a Polaroid Pathfinder. --MK]
For more information about the 45 Single (including pricing, options, and dealer info), contact William Littman at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.littman45single.com. The camera is also listed in Polaroid's OEM catalog (Note: catalog requires Adobe Acrobat to view).
"Polaroid", "Land Camera" and other camera names are trademarks of Polaroid Corporation. "45 Single" is a trademark of Littman Photography. Neither Polaroid Corp. nor Littman Photography are responsible for the accuracy of the content of this web site. Information about the 45 Single are taken from manufacturer statements, and have not been personally verified. All information is provided on an 'as-is' basis; the author of this site is not liable for damages of any sort (financial, physical, or otherwise) which might arise from the use (or misuse) of information on this site. The illustration on this page is from the Nov/Dec 2001 issue of American Photo and is therefore copyright HFM, Inc.
Contents Copyright © 2001 by Martin (Marty) Kuhn / email@example.com