Polaroid Instant Film Killed By The 21st Century

Illustration for article titled Polaroid Instant Film Killed By The 21st Century

Polaroid is closing its last remaining film plants in Mass. so the oh so fun instant Polaroids will soon become a thing of the past. Well it's already a thing of the past, but this time it's serious since no more instant film will be produced.

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Over the last two years Polaroid has stopped production on the instant cameras and now it's the film, which will be available till around next year. It was only a matter of time till Polaroid killed off the film since it was obviously a declining / nonexistent profit. So for all those Polaroid users out there, were sorry, looks like you'll only have another year left to take random pictures at house parties. [Washington Post]

DISCUSSION

This makes me terribly sad. I graduated with a BFA in Photography in 2003, and I cannot imagine getting through my studio classes without Polaroid film and filmbacks. When you are paying several bucks a pop just to have a single C-41 4"x5" negative processed you don't dick around - despite the cost, those Polaroid proofs are essential and save money on negative film and processing . I have a hard time believing that most schools will be willing to spend the money on purchasing a digital back for every single medium and large format camera that they keep in their equipment cages.

Regardless, there is so much more to Polaroid film than using it just for proofs... I'm also a huge Type 55 fan, and I own a nice compact version of the Daylab Junior slide printer which is fabulous for Polaroid transfers. I have used high-end Epson printers with watercolour paper, and the effect is simply not the same as doing a true emulsion transfer.

Personally, I am glad that I had the chance to learn my craft before Digital SLR's and other technology swept in {when I was in school, they were still too pricey for the students to afford}. I am in the midst of setting up a UV box light so that I can continue to explore historical printing processes, and something tells me that I had better hurry up and finish before I can no longer find any of the needed materials.