UK Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration Powered By Google Custom Search Vintage Radio Service Data

Go Back   UK Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration Discussion Forum > Specific Vintage Equipment > Other Vintage Household Electrical or Electromechanical Items

Notices

Other Vintage Household Electrical or Electromechanical Items For discussions about other vintage (over 25 years old) electrical and electromechanical household items. See the sticky thread for details.

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
Old 22nd Nov 2020, 4:46 pm   #1
electronicskip
Octode
 
electronicskip's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Gloucester, Glos. UK.
Posts: 1,459
Default Polavision.

I've always been interested in 8mm/super8mm 16mm movie formats cameras etc , but have always been intrigued by the oddity that was the Polaroid Polavision system.

It seemed to be a system of Super 8mm film inside a cartridge which was processed inside its own Polavision unit almost instantly and played on a special dedicated viewer.

I remember seeing a friends one when I was about 15 years old and thinking it was like magic!

Did anyone have one ? or any experience with the system?
__________________
Oh I've had that for years dear!!
electronicskip is online now  
Old 22nd Nov 2020, 6:17 pm   #2
wd40addict
Heptode
 
wd40addict's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Stevenage, Herts. UK.
Posts: 876
Default Re: Polavision.

I never had one, but I remember them being flogged off cheap by Dixons after it failed to catch on.

Several issues: it was introduced just as home video cameras hit the market. The colour system was additive, meaning large loss of light on projection. The viewer was actually built by Eumig and the failure of the system contributed to their demise.

Supposedly at the system's launch a journalist asked one of the developers whether they were worried about video, "what's that?" Came the reply!
wd40addict is offline  
Old 22nd Nov 2020, 7:39 pm   #3
Gulliver
Hexode
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Luton, Bedfordshire, UK.
Posts: 418
Default Re: Polavision.

There are a few videos on Youtube of films shot on Polavision.....and in recent years people have tried long expired cartridges and got pictures from them - albeit poor quality.

As has been said, it hit the market at precisely the wrong time. The quality wasn't great, it was expensive and you couldn't use regular super 8 cartridges with the Polaroid camera nor show the film on a regular super 8 projector. So if you invested in the Polavision system you were limited to the Polaroid films only....whereas in Super 8 you had several manufacturers of very high quality film to choose from at various speeds, both colour and B&W. And video was just around the corner....which removed the one advantage Polavision had over super 8 or std 8mm.
Gulliver is offline  
Old 22nd Nov 2020, 11:16 pm   #4
emeritus
Dekatron
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Brentwood, Essex, UK.
Posts: 3,953
Default Re: Polavision.

I remember it being reviewed in one of the photography magazines, and their being sold off cheaply by Dixons. One application Polaroid envisaged where it would have had an advantage over the contemporary video was in sports instruction (such as golf). I think it was suggested that the camera could be used at a higher frame rate for slow motion playback for motion anaysis, but I am not absolutely certain. Many contemporary cine cameras offered a range of shooting speeds, even my Russian Quarz standard 8 camera could do 48 fps for 3 slo-mo.

Last edited by emeritus; 22nd Nov 2020 at 11:26 pm. Reason: Typos
emeritus is offline  
Old 23rd Nov 2020, 10:09 am   #5
D.Finney
Pentode
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Wigan, Greater Manchester, UK.
Posts: 117
Default Re: Polavision.

I had one in the early 1980's, it was an instant cine film system, the film cartridge did indeed contain super 8mm film, resembled a VHS video cassette somewhat though was a little smaller. The camera was battery operated and after exposing the film the cassette was inserted in the viewer which looked like a computer monitor. The film would then be "developed", I seem to recall a rumbling noise coming from the monitor and very soon the film could be viewed. It did not really catch on as home video was just coming out, it became difficult to obtain the film cassettes and the system was discontinued. The film inside the cassettes will run through a super 8 projector.
D.Finney is offline  
Old 23rd Nov 2020, 10:40 am   #6
wd40addict
Heptode
 
wd40addict's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Stevenage, Herts. UK.
Posts: 876
Default Re: Polavision.

Quote:
Originally Posted by D.Finney View Post
The film inside the cassettes will run through a super 8 projector.
Whilst mechanically compatible the colour process was allegedly additive like Dufaycolour, rather than subtractive like Kodachrome etc. This means you lose about 75% of the illumination.

If it had been launched 5 or 10 years earlier it would have found a niche, but appearing at the same time as low cost video meant it was going nowhere.

A similar fate befell the Agra family system around the same time. Although not instant it tried to offer a more family friendly super 8 system. But, with video offering new technology it was doomed.

Last edited by wd40addict; 23rd Nov 2020 at 10:45 am.
wd40addict is offline  
Old 23rd Nov 2020, 11:55 am   #7
electronicskip
Octode
 
electronicskip's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Gloucester, Glos. UK.
Posts: 1,459
Default Re: Polavision.

Not heard of the Agra family system, must do a bit of research on it.
There does seem to be quite a bit of NOS film around for the Polavision.

I might be tempted to grab a unit and experiment a little.
The cameras seem to be cheap enough but the viewers command quite a high price so must be rare im guessing.
__________________
Oh I've had that for years dear!!
electronicskip is online now  
Old 23rd Nov 2020, 12:04 pm   #8
Radio Wrangler
Moderator
 
Radio Wrangler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Fife, Scotland, UK.
Posts: 16,005
Default Re: Polavision.

I'm told that the polavision stuff did not include sound, so there was no wonder that it faded.

It also means that there was no electronics aspect to it, so maybe this topic would be better pursued on a photography forum?
__________________
Can't afford the volcanic island yet, but the plans for my monorail and the goons' uniforms are done
Radio Wrangler is online now  
Old 23rd Nov 2020, 12:20 pm   #9
Refugee
Dekatron
 
Refugee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Worksop, Nottinghamshire, UK.
Posts: 4,786
Default Re: Polavision.

The viewers are likely to get pricey as format transfer shops snap them up in order to serve customers who find family film archives and want to see them again.
I can remember my father refusing to replace a B/W instant camera because they stopped selling films for it.
There might have been quite a lot of potential customers that were put off by their experience with those early instant still cameras.
In those days a clockwork standard 8 movie camera lasted all the way until video cameras were affordable. I can still remember seeing that battered camera when we moved my mother into a retirement home. There was a modern camcorder right next to it.
Refugee is online now  
Old 23rd Nov 2020, 12:31 pm   #10
D.Finney
Pentode
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Wigan, Greater Manchester, UK.
Posts: 117
Default Re: Polavision.

I used a clockwork standard 8 camera until going on to Polavision.
D.Finney is offline  
Old 23rd Nov 2020, 1:38 pm   #11
Tractorfan
Nonode
 
Tractorfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: St. Frajou, l'Isle en Dodon, Haute Garonne, France.(Previously: Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, UK.)
Posts: 2,952
Smile Re: Polavision.

Hi,
This thread reminded of a 'Pola-' something that I acquired at a house sale. I thought that it was a Polavision system, but it was for processing 35mm slides instead.
Years old, but looks unused.
Cheers, Pete.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Slide kit 6.jpg
Views:	40
Size:	65.4 KB
ID:	221075   Click image for larger version

Name:	Slide kit 5.jpg
Views:	38
Size:	62.3 KB
ID:	221076   Click image for larger version

Name:	Slide kit 4.jpg
Views:	35
Size:	69.2 KB
ID:	221077   Click image for larger version

Name:	Slide kit 3.jpg
Views:	31
Size:	70.6 KB
ID:	221078   Click image for larger version

Name:	Slide kit 1.jpg
Views:	27
Size:	90.8 KB
ID:	221079  

__________________
"Hello?, Yes, I'm on the train, I might lose the signal soon as we're just going into a tunn..."
Tractorfan is offline  
Old 23rd Nov 2020, 3:08 pm   #12
Mr Moose
Heptode
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Gloucestershire, UK.
Posts: 974
Default Re: Polavision.

Hello,
It was the Agfa Family System (not Agra).

http://super8wiki.com/index.php/Agfa_family

It used super 8 cartridges.
I have one somewhere.
You could take single frames with the camera.
There was also a Kodak instant camera attachment as an optional extra so you could make prints. However Kodak lost their patent dispute with Polaroid shortly afterwards rendering the camera attachment useless.
Mr Moose is online now  
Old 23rd Nov 2020, 3:17 pm   #13
Cobaltblue
Moderator
 
Cobaltblue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Exeter and Poole, UK.
Posts: 4,145
Default Re: Polavision.

It seems Davids hint wasn't heeded.

So its time to close the shutter on this one for good.

Cheers

Mike T
__________________
Don't care if it was a bargain why's it in my kitchen
Mike T BVWS member.
www.cossor.co.uk
Cobaltblue is online now  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools



All times are GMT. The time now is 3:21 pm.


All information and advice on this forum is subject to the WARNING AND DISCLAIMER located at https://www.vintage-radio.net/rules.html.
Failure to heed this warning may result in death or serious injury to yourself and/or others.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2002 - 2020, Paul Stenning.