Friday, August 27, 2010

Land Grab

by Francesca Levy @ Forbes

Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan and fashion giant Vivienne Westwood have an unlikely common muse: a 33-year-old Polaroid instant camera. Make no mistake--this isn't one of those handheld gadgets that became ubiquitous in the 1970s.

The so-called 20x24 Land Camera is a 235-pound behemoth, producing prints nearly 2 feet square. Edwin Land (1909-91), founder of Polaroid, built just seven of them, and only four are still in commercial use. (Two are on exhibit, at MIT and Harvard; the last has been lost. Mammoth Cameras has replicated the original.) Each one-of-a-kind photograph retails for upwards of $3,500 per print--a professional might spend $1,750 a day to rent the camera and $200 on a print--and few but the wealthy and famous can afford to be snapped by the contraption.


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