Polaroid Automatic 103 Land Camera / by 3.1

So I acquired a rather curious box of tricks a few years ago, but only recently did I dig it out of storage and crack it open. I won't go into the specifications of this camera as there are plenty of sites out there that talk about it and the family of cameras it comes from, but let it be said that I opened the box rather begrudgingly, as it had that smell – that distinctive, sickly smell that all old-things-with-faux-leather smell of – and I'm always worried about the way old things like this smell in case it's some sort of carcinogenic material breaking down with age. (It probably is, you know. Meh.)

I can't remember how much I bid on eBay for this, but it was nothing short of mint for its age. This goes for all the included contents and accessories – and the flash bulbs! I don't remember paying that much for it, but what I ended up getting in the end was more than I bargained for. It is a very extensive and well looked after camera with accessories.

Inspired by a wonderful friend and inspiration, Bracket (check out her portfolio – 333bracket.com), I thought I'd make the effort to start using this wonderful photo machine. So I set about trying to clean it up, given that it hadn't been used for years, and whilst it looked perfect externally, the insides were caked with chemical residues from previous use.

Sadly however, whilst the camera appears to operate mechanically as it should, I ran a few shots with a fresh pack of film and nothing was coming out. :( So I will probably have to sit down and have a closer look to see what's happening and hopefully get it back out there again.