How to Get Film from Your Old Polaroid Camera (2024)

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We love the physical images around these parts. Our guide to Best Live Cams it has modern equipment that prints pictures that you can stick on the fridge or pin on your walls. But what about the people behind it all? Polaroid cameras have been hanging around attics, garages, and storage rooms for years. And if you’ve found one or just bought a cheap used one, there’s good news: You just need film.

The good news is that, although it used to be very difficult, it is now easier than ever to find film for your old Polaroid cameras. However, while it’s easy to find a cheap movie on Amazon, there’s a little difference in choosing a movie than just randomly choosing whatever pops up at first. If you don’t know what type of film your camera uses, read on.

A Brief History Lesson

Finding film for old Polaroid cameras can be easy and confusing at the same time. Today, if you find a vintage camera made by Polaroid—that’s it it went bankrupt and closed in 2001-you can still buy that camera film from a new, unrelated company: Polaroid.

Are you confused? Stay with me and it will make sense.

After the Polaroid Corporation went out of business, its assets, including its line of film and cameras, were sold or licensed to various investors over the next several years. Films were still made using the Polaroid brand, until companies that owned Polaroid decided to make them leaving the instant camera business in 2008. Not coincidentally this happened less than a year ago The original iPhone came out.

That same year, a company called the Impossible Project was founded to take the Polaroid outfit was to leave it behind. The company bought old Polaroid equipment and developed new video modules that could be used in existing Polaroid cameras. Over the next decade, Impossible often worked with every company that currently owns Polaroid products to make cameras, film modules, and more.

That is, until 2017, when the main shareholder of the Impossible Project bought all of Polaroid’s assets and intellectual property. Like repairing the sword that was brokenPolaroid became whole again, and in 2020, Impossible reinvented itself as Polaroid.

Which brings us to what we have today: Polaroid also manufactures Polaroid cameras and film for Polaroid cameras. If you search Amazon for “polaroid film,” you will find Polaroid film for Polaroid cameras. Simple, right? However, there is a lot of information about the different types of film that you should know.

What Movies Do I Need?

Polaroid cameras use several different types of film, and they usually don’t change. The first step is to check the type of camera you have. For example, I have a The spirit of the Polaroid 600 which takes (amazing) 600 film.

Photo: Eric Ravenscraft

If you have a picture in your mind of what a “Polaroid” looks like, this is probably what you’re thinking of. The first Polaroid cameras had limited power in the flash, so they were best for outdoor photography – unless you had one actually bright light. The Polaroid 600 film is designed to feel better than previous models, so you can take photos indoors or outdoors and get a tangible image.

These modules also had a small battery inside them to power the camera, which had no power on its own. This means, among other things, that any film made by the original Polaroid Corporation before 2008 is probably dead by now. If you search for vintage film on sites like eBay, there is a good chance that the film cartridge is not used in your old camera. Fortunately, the new Polaroid he makes 600 films making this decade that will work well.

Polaroid 600 cameras were popular in the ’90s, but if you have a Polaroid camera from the ’70s or ’80s, it’s possible to use Polaroid SX-70 film. This has the same medium exposure as 600 film, but is much less bright. Many cameras that use this type of film struggle to shoot well indoors unless you have lighting—which most brands don’t come with.

When the Impossible Project started making its own cameras in 2016, it made a few changes to the film cartridges that traditional Polaroid cameras use. Instead of putting a small battery in each film cartridge, cameras can provide power by themselves. This not only made film cartridges last longer, it was good for the environment. The new type is I-Type film.

A similar pack of I-Type film is sometimes a little cheaper more than 600 traditional films. However, you need one Polaroid’s new I-Type cameras to use it. These newer cameras can accept both 600 and I-Type film, but in most cases you’ll be better off with I-Type film, as it doesn’t require a built-in battery like 600 film.

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