What’s the only box from the 80’s that spits out a black card on the command of a button? A Polaroid Camera!
Everyone knows Polaroid Camera’s right? Or at least those square pictures that are spit out from the instant cameras that we’ve all seen before. They’re the cameras that when you take a picture with them an instant photo is printed out from the front. They were quintessential to the 70’s and 80’s and provided a cool way of preserving memories and good times. You just had to click the button and a square card would come out and you would have to wait while the image would magically appear. There are many really cool Polaroids today but, firstly, here’s the history of Polaroid:
Polaroid was created by a man named Edward H. Land. Like many great, successful minds of our day, Mr. Land dropped out of Harvard University at freshman year and pursued his own research of light polarization. In short, light known as unpolarized light, is light waves that vibrate in different directions and planes. So, polarized light is light vibrations on a single plane. The process of getting unpolarized light to polarized light is known as polarization. Edward worked on creating synthetic polarizers and eventually conceived the instant camera. These cameras grew vastly popular from the 70’s on. During it’s heyday the Polaroid Camera was like the breakthrough of its time but nowadays we have crystal clear, 1080p, digital cameras to capture amazingly artistic photos so it would seem the Polaroid isn’t as ubiquitous as it once was. Nevertheless it’s still a cool modern yet antique piece to have and know about.
So, which Polaroids can you get your hands on?
Polaroid Sun 600
The Sun 600 is the generic looking camera when you think of Polaroid in my opinion. It’s fairly easy to use and all the Sun 600 types generally look the same. It’s nice because unlike a few other Polaroid cameras, it has a flash.
The Polaroid SX70 is a really nice camera and is known for it’s compact size. The camera can close into a thin, rectangle box and if you’re lucky enough you can find the camera online with a carrying case included. I’m afraid the carrying case is horrifically out of style BUT, it’s still just cool to have a complete set. It’s separate in style and look that many of the other Polaroids but generally works the same as well. You load the image cartridge in the front and when you click the button to take the picture the image spits out from the front.
Polaroid One Step
The classic Polaroid One Step is a more modern camera compared to the other Polaroids. It’s a nice, slick looking camera that can print clean colored photos. This inexpensive, fixed focus camera became one of the best selling cameras in the US. Their are a few types under the category of the Polaroid One Step. The one that became the best seller was the Polaroid One Step Land. With the Land, it offers an attachable mechanism for flash. Another One Step camera from Polaroid was released as the Polaroid One Step Express. It was no different than your general Polaroid except of it’s rounded body availability in many colors.
Although many of Polaroid’s best known cameras are pre 2000’s, the company hasn’t died out and is still making instant print cameras to this day. Some of the newer cameras include:
Polaroid PoGo & Z2300
As you can see these two extremely portable cameras more resemble a general camera that you’d see today but, like all other Polaroid cameras, they still instantly print images. The only downside in my opinion is that the pictures that are printed are now in the shape of a skinny rectangle now. The older Polaroids print out the cliché square image with the white border but, now there are no borders and the picture is a rectangle. Some might prefer it, others, like me, may prefer it more traditional. Nevertheless they’re both nice cameras. The PoGo is a later model as the Z2300 was released after. Both are still quite the same though and they newly use Zink® Zero Ink® Technology to print the photos.
The Polaroid Cube is the newest addition to the Polaroid Collection and definitely differs among ALL the previous Polaroids. It is an extremely small camera “cube” measuring in at about 35mm. But, size does not matter because when it comes to the Polaroid Cube, the tiny yet versatile cube packs 90 minutes of clear 1080p photos and can endure many of nature’s threats as it is made to be weather-proof and shock-proof. Like I said, this definitely differs from all the Polaroid Cameras because it does NOT instantly print. I personally think the instant printing is a really quintessential idea that belongs to the Polaroid so I was a bit disappointed. But, it suits the lifestyle of many people who are into doing recreational sports and activities. The quality and use of the camera goes a long way. Many are satisfied with the camera.
As you can see Polaroid has provided many models of these unique instant print cameras ever since 1926. They’ve provided a wide range and variety of cameras that you can choose from. If you’ve decided on what camera calls out your name, what next?
YOU NEED PICTURE FILMS!
Polaroid company made the film for these cameras at one time but, they’ve discontinued their production. Without production of films, these cameras were to become utterly useless. Fortunately, a company called Impossible Project has invested into making and selling compatible Polaroid films for the cameras. They specialize in film for all Polaroid Camera types. To buy it you just have to search up your camera type + Impossible Film and it’ll show you a wide variety of selections and websites that will sell you the film. Once you receive it, the film is basically in a cartridge like a cassette tape almost. You have to open the lid of the Polaroid where the picture would print out, slide the cartridge in as directed, snap the lid closed, and you’re ready to take pictures!
Now you’re basically all set! I find Polaroid Cameras to be quite interesting and fun. You can take really neat pictures and do cool things with them. What I’ve included is only the basics of the basics. There are MANY other Polaroids out there in different colors and editions. I just listed out some of my favorites that I find the most interest in. To me, Polaroids are really cool and I hope you find them pretty cool too!
(*Note: If you do decide to buy a Polaroid, DO NOT refer to retail stores that will sell them for up to 100’s of dollars. Polaroids are cool but I would never pay that price for it. You can find quality and cheaply priced Polaroids on websites like Etsy or Craiglist where people have used the cameras and can give you direct feedback on it. Plus if you’re good enough you can go ahead and drive a good bargain) 😉