Saturday, March 28, 2009

Instant Photography/Polaroid getting started Guide

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




Maker Integral Example Camera? 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!

2 comments:

  1. Polaroid > Spectra / Image, ISO 640 > SX 70

    I'm not sure where you got that information from; but you are incorrect. Spectra/Image cameras take Spectra (North America, consumer)/Image (Europe, consumer)/990 (Professional)/1200 (12 shots/cartridge, consumer) film, not SX-70.

    SX-70 cameras take SX-70/Time Zero film (discontinued since 2006, occasionally available on eBay for egregious prices; its ISO is around 75 or 100, if I'm remembering correctly), the currently-available Artistic Time Zero (available at Polapremium.com), as well as 600 and 779 (you have to use either a neutral density filter of some king on the film pack, or you have to do a camera modification to compensate for its fast speed).

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  2. I stand corrected, thank you for your reply

    ReplyDelete