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Being a big fan of vintage photography, I am particularly fond of my Polaroid One instant camera. It is big, old, chunky machine that processes your lovely vintage looking photos (almost) instantly, so there's no need to take your film to be processed! However, with all old electronics, there must be downsides compared to the digital age of which we live in now. Here are my views on this Polaroid camera, covering several aspects:
This camera is relatively simple to use, with only a few buttons which you have to figure out. The OPEN button enables the camera to come up (this camera has an opening and closing mechanism; it folds down handily to stop the lens, view finder and flash from getting damage and to reduce the amount of dust getting inside the machine. There is a button that opens the "printer" slot- basically, where you insert your Polaroid 600 Film, and this is where your processed pictures come out of. There is a flash button to enable you to take pictures in poor lighting, and, of course, a shutter button to actually take your picture. Using the camera is easy enough- just insert your film and press the shutter button! Though this is an instant camera, the picture does sometimes need a few moments to process and come out of the slot. After the picture comes out, I would recommend waving it vigorously in the air as I always do to dry it and prevent you from smudging it accidentally. Altogether, this Polariod camera, in terms of functionality, is quite impressive, especially if you acknowledge the fact that these cameras were made before the digital age.
QUALITY OF PHOTO:
Of course, this camera cannot take amazingly high definition photos. The good thing about film cameras as opposed to digital cameras is that they aren't made up of pixels, so therefore they cannot be pixelated. The image quality from this Polaroid camera can sometimes be grainy and have an overall yellow aged tint; however, I think this adds to the photos' vintage authenticity. They can sometimes be blotchy, but this makes each picture unique, and this is more than I can say for today's horrendously high definition cameras.
POLAROID 600 FILM:
Now, this is an aspect about Polaroid that I really must complain about. At the present, you would be lucky to get 10 Polaroid films for £30. Yes, £30, making it £3 per photo. Why? Because Polaroid don't actually manufacture their 600 film anymore, so as time goes on, the film is becoming more and more rare, therefore making them more and more over priced. I myself have found that these recent years I am using less and less of my Polaroid camera- only on really special occasions now- because of how ridiculously priced the film is. Why can't Polaroid put us out of our pain and start producing their 600 film again? The film price is ridiculous, and the Polaroid camera cannot function without it.
IN CONCLUSION... :
This is a lovely, vintage camera, one of Polaroid's best creations; so the matter about the 600 film is really such a shame. I would not hope to use this camera regularly if or until Polaroid decide to manufacture their film again.
Hopping on the Polaroid bandwagon, I decided to buy this model a few years ago in Japan while it was still relatively cheap. Having never used instant film before, I was quite impressed with the simplicity of the controls: flash or no flash? And that was it. No focusing, no exposure, nothing else to choose from! It was a strange change, coming from someone who was used to using a Canon 400D all the time.
But the photographs it produced struck me. The quality of the photographs weren't perfect, far from it. However, there were beautiful aberrations, some altered colour spots, and it all added up to a surreal sort of beauty in the photograph. Unfortunately, Polaroid is discontinuing its 600 film. I've heard that another company will be taking it up, but don't quote me on that! I've stocked up on the film I can get so far, even though the film may expire--I find that it creates gives an interesting edge to a photo.
The camera itself is big and clunky and you WILL get stares while using it. Many people will think it's a toy. Many people will think you are a complete doofus for using such an old-fashioned camera. Be proud of your Polaroid; while it probably won't appeal to those who covet their sharp, colour-perfect photographs, the Polaroid One600 will take fun photographs anywhere you bring it to. It's not expensive; either: only the film is! Well worth the strange looks you'll get on the street.
The One600 Ultra is an easy to use camera for printing virtually tamperproof instant photos - anytime, anywhere. With its sleek folding design and digital LCD picture counter, the One600 Ultra can capture critical details as close as 60cm from the subject. A battery in the film pack powers the camera and you can even write or draw on the print. Ideal for: Proof of damaged goods for insurance claims / Before and after shots for job verification or client approval / Documentation for accurate estimations / Health and safety evidence / TV & film continuity / Events and parties.