FAQ – POLAROIDS & THEIR FILMS

All Things Polaroid
-Lovingly contributed by Jerlyn-

Everyone knows Polaroid but how much? Most remember them as cute cameras from the 80’s spitting sheets that transform magically into photographs. Some may have heard about their closure, or their spokesperson Lady GaGa. Polaroid sure is famous, but few know enough, thus the creation of this. An article, to share, educate, and revive the originators of instant photography.

Q: What is Polaroid?

A: Many people refer to any instant cameras and pictures as “Polaroids”. WRONG! Polaroid is the name of the corporation that pioneered instant photography. The American company sold instant cameras and films to millions under the brand Polaroid. More recently, Fuji also produced instant films and cameras called “Instax”. Although they are both instant formats, Fuji Instax is as un-Polaroid as a chicken is un-swan.

Q: Fuji Instax or Polaroid? Which is better?

A: There will be no end to this. I can only say they are different. At this point, Fuji is more reliable and cost-efficient; Polaroid more charming and infinitely more classic. Let’s all pray for Impossible’s success in a cheap and reliable chemistry soon.

Q: Can i still get films for my Polaroid camera?

A: Yes. After Polaroid Corporation ceased instant film production in 2008, The Impossible Project saved the last Polaroid production plant in Enschede (NL) and started to invent and produce totally new instant film materials for traditional Polaroid cameras. Read here for more on Polaroid revival.

Q: Where can I buy Polaroid Films in Singapore?

A: Lucky for you, a few good local stores carry these Impossible films. See below for list of shops. Prices range around $45-$50 (Polaroid 600 / SX-70 films) and may vary from time to time.

– ThirtySix Store @ #01-32 Sunshine Plaza
– Little Drom Store @ 7 Ann Siang Hill
– Madecineshop.com (of course)

You can also purchase directly from Impossible Project’s website, but the shipping fee to Singapore is a frustrating USD50/order, so it is infinitely wiser to do bulk-orders with friends or buy locally.

Q: Do I need batteries to power my Polaroid Camera?

A: Since all Polaroid 600 & SX-70 integral film packs have a high-powered battery built into them, every time you insert a new film pack, you insert a new battery too.

Q: What kind of “look” can I expect from my Polaroid pictures?

A: It very much depends on which camera and the type of film you are using. Visiting Polanoid is the best way to find out. Please note that films produced by Impossible are considered experimental materials, so don’t expect great results without any practice and luck. If you are not the sort who like surprises, try looking for films previously made by Polaroid with a 2009 expiry date.

Q: Can i use Fuji Instax films in Polaroid cameras?

A: Yes and No. The most common Polaroid cameras were designed to use type 600 / SX-70 film packs. THEY WILL NOT WORK WITH FUJI INSTANT FILM. Fuji peel back film (not instax mini) works with the older Type 100 Polaroid cameras.

Q: What is the difference between all these Polaroids listed on Madecineshop?

A: All the Polaroid cameras here uses integral film packs (either Type SX-70 or 600).
Rigid Models: The consumer variant. Most rigid body Polaroids have similar specifications with little add-ons on selected models, i.e: close-up filter, Flash, Sonar Disc (for autofocus), Self-timer, etc. You can pretty much tell what is there just by looking at it. In terms of use and performance, it is quite the same across most rigid models.
TIP: If you are looking to buy a rigid body Polaroid camera, allow yourself to choose based on its appearance and price.
Folding Models: These are the Polaroid Elites packed with features like SLR viewing & focusing, excellent close-focus capabilities, hi-quality optics, and a body that folds flat to a compact size – Obviously better and more expensive.

Q: How do i know if my Polaroid camera is working or not?

If no mechanical noise can be heard after repeatedly inserting the film pack, it means that your camera may not be working.

Now that you’ve got the important facts, you may want to view our selection of Polaroid Cameras and Films.

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