Polaroid Flash Modification

28 05 2011

After my brief tests to make sure flash would work with the 320, I began thinking about how to attach a flash securely to the unit, thus avoiding the need to hold a flashgun in one hand and the camera in the other.

Ideally, I wanted to attach a ‘hotshoe’ (well, cold shoe, really, since it’s not actually doing anything other than holding the flash in place) to the camera somehow. Handily, whilst tidying up my room, I found an old hotshoe adapter on which the shoe itself was held on simply by four small screws. A few minutes later, and I had a shoe ready to attach.

Originally, I had intended to mount the shoe on the top edge of the camera, next to the viewfinder. But the strap lug placement meant that a flash wouldn’t sit there, unless it was extremely narrow. So I decided to try mounting it on the side instead. the problem with this was the method of mounting the shoe. On top, pull of gravity would be less of an issue, whereas on the side, the weight of the flash risked dislodging the glue.

Next step, Ebay, to locate an older model flashgun narrow enough for my purposes. I was lucky enough to find one for a few quid, which happily arrived pretty quickly.

I considered attempting to screw the shoe in place, but this risked not only splitting the plastic of the camera body, but also allowing light to leak in and ruin the shots. So, in the end, I used superglue to attach the shoe to the camera. I wasn’t entirely convinced that the superglue would hold properly, but so far, it seems to have bonded pretty solidly. (For reference, I used Loctite Precision brand glue).

A couple of points I’ve realised since attatching the shoe: 1. Make sure the shoe is mounted far enough back that the case will still click into place on the camera (luckily, despite not thinking about this, where I glued it is *just* far enough back for the case to still fit. Otherwise, I’d have had a ‘fun’ time trying to get the shoe off again to reposition). 2. Make sure you mark out the shoe placement whilst the flash is mounted on the shoe, to ensure there’s space enough between it and the rangefinder.

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