If you are interested in getting started with instant photography, but are over/underwhelmed by the choices available as of the date of this post, hopefully this post will clarify a few things. This not exhaustive list, but its to point beginners in the right direction.
Integral or Pack Film?
Integral film - this is the kind that develops before your eyes. This is one most people are familar with, similar to kind used in the movie Momento. Click here for an example of its development. This kind that is made famous by the saying 'Shake it like a Polaroid' picture. Sadly this type of film is out of production. Currently Fuji Instax is the only integral film that is still manufactured, but this is not compatible with Polaroid cameras. You have to use Fuji-made cameras for Fuji Instax. Though I am not familar with the chemistry, the instax films do not have the batteries inside the films packs like the old polaroids.
In my opinion - the Fuji Instax, although not the same square format of Polaroids, is an able replacement.
There is hope for those with old polaroid cameras that use - the Impossible Project will try to reinvent film for these cameras by 2010.
Pack Film - This is the kind of film you pull out of the camera. After developing for an alloted period of time, usually one minute depending on the temperature, you peel the film apart. As will with integral, Fuji is the only company that makes this film. Good News is that these films will fit in some Polaroid Cameras! However
I've used alot of Pack Film from expired Polaroids - and I will miss them when I am gone. These films had their own feel to them. Though Fuji fp-100c is a superb film (really vibrant colour!), there is something about the muted and retro colourof polaroid packfilms that will sorely miss. Also I love the results I have gotten with Polaroid UV-ID.
This is non-definitive list - Please refer to this page for complete list of films available
|Polaroid||600, ISO 640 (consumer)||Polaroid One Step||Out of Production, Declining Availability|
|Polaroid||779, ISO 640 (pro)||Polaroid One Step||Out of Production, Declining Availability|
|Polaroid||Spectra / Image, ISO 640||SX 70||Out of Production, Declining Availability|
|Fuji||Instax Mini||Mini 7||Readily Available on Internet|
|Fuji||Instax Wide||Instax 200 ||Readily Available on Internet|
|Impossible Mission||Impossible Film, 600?||Polaroid One Step||2010 Availability?|
|Impossible Mission||Impossible Film, Spectra?||SX 70||2010 Availability?|
|Maker||Pack Film (peel apart)||Example Camera?||Available?|
|Polaroid||669 Color (consumer grade)||Land Cameras||Out of Production, Declining Availability|
|Polaroid||690 (pro grade)||Land Cameras ||Out of Production, Declining Availability|
|Polaroid||667 (black/white)||Land Cameras ||Out of Production, Declining Availability|
|Polaroid||UV-ID||Land Cameras ||Out of Production, Declining Availability|
|Fuji||FP-100C||Land Cameras ||Readily Available on Internet|
|Fuji||FP-3000B (black/white)||Land Cameras ||Readily Available on Internet|
Where to buy? Ebay is your best bet for expired integral films. Occasionally you might find some of this film in old camera shops.
What is this Bloggers recommendation?
- For Integral - get Instax Wide Film. Its readily available and cheaper than a drug habit
- Get an old Pack Film Camera, and buy Fuji FP-100c for. Scrounge for Polaroid Films
- If you have a Polaroid Integral Camera (SX-70, 600 types) wait and see if the Impossible Project succeeds!