The Polaroid 600 Film is very likely one of, if not the most popular type of film for instant cameras to ever hit the shelves. As you might’ve assumed, the pack of the Polaroid 600 was used in the 600 Series of Polaroid cameras, starting from the latter half of the 1970s. Every model of the series, from the Sun 660 to the One 600 Classic made use of these films. However, the party was pretty much over by 2008, when Polaroid decided to pack up and leave the analog instant camera market for good and all, leaving Fujifilm free rein in the niche. On the flip side, this created countless camera owners stuck with cameras for which they couldn’t find any film available.
Cat in the Sack
Still, not all hope is lost, at least for a little while longer. You’re still well able to find old packs of Polaroid 600 Instant Film in the majority of bigger online stores, such as Amazon and eBay, though you’ll have to pay a pretty penny for those. On average, the price for a pack of 10 (single pack) is known to go in excess of $50, meaning each shot will cost you more than 5 bucks. Unless you’re a collector and a fan of this particular film, this is simply not worth the money. What’s even worse, chances are that the pack is not even usable, given how much time has passed since the factories shut down, and you can never be certain if the seller has stored the film properly. You’d be essentially buying a cat in a sack.
Speaking of storage, if you do have the opportunity to buy some of this film, make sure to find out if it’s been stored in a cool and dry area. Be especially careful if you’re buying off eBay, seeing as their return policy on expired and/or deficient merchandise hardly favors the buyer (remember the cat in the sack? Yeah, well, keep that picture in mind when you go shopping online for the Polaroid600 Instant Film).
A New Hope
And now for some good news! Right after Polaroid put a lid on instant cameras, a group of their ex-employees and fans gathered and founded a new company named Impossible Project. Their goal was to salvage the production equipment and keep the production going, which they succeeded in only partially. However, we did say good news, didn’t we? Some of the equipment they did manage to obtain was the machinery for producing the Polaroid 600, Polaroid SX-70, and Polaroid Image/Spectra.
If you own a Polaroid 600 camera, your best chance of finding compatible film is with Impossible Project, since there’s really nothing else but that and old packs that might already be expired. You can get it both in Black & White as well as Color variety, and the easiest way would be to order it from their official website, or simply go to your local photo hut or retailer and check if they’re stocked. On a similar note, you can find it on Amazon, which might be the better option if you’re buying in bulk, which should allow you to take them up on their free shipping offer.
While we’re on the subject, make sure that you get a newer, fresher pack, since they’ve been making the film for years now. And besides, they weren’t as skilled as they are now from the get-go, so their older packs may not be of the best quality. On a similar note, the packs contain not 10, but 8 pieces of photo paper, so don’t get ants in your pants if you ordered some before reading this. Still, even so, the Polaroid600 from the Impossible project is much cheaper than the old Polaroid films, so we definitely recommend going for it.
The Compatibility Issue
As far as compatibility goes, the Polaroid 600 Instant film is only good for the 600 series, and you can’t use it with any other camera, so watch out for that. There is no alternative for this type, and this includes both the new Z(ero)ink photo paper from Polaroid and the Instax Wide from Fujifilm. In case anyone is still wondering, if you own an old Polaroid600 camera, the only things you will be able to use are either and old pack of Polaroid600 Instant film or the newer batches from Impossible Project. Nothing else comes even close.
Whether it’s from the old Polaroid stocks or Impossible Project, the Polaroid 600 is still fairly expensive for the average person, especially if we’re talking in the long run. If you want a budget-friendly alternative, you might want to go for a digital instant camera, such as the Z340 from Polaroid. Short of that, you might opt for the Z2300, or even go for an Instax cam from Fujifilm. Whichever way you go about it, you’re bound to pinch a penny or two, seeing as one shot should cost $0.50, at most.