I bought some Polaroids

Nov 27, 2023 - ⏱️ 3 minutes to read

I kept a close eye on Polaroids since news about "The Impossible Project" started surfacing (I was 12 at the time).

I never pulled the trigger and bought a Polaroid camera because I was always scared by the film cartridge prices, but last Saturday, I changed that.

I was reaching the city center with my brother on foot after visiting some friends at Museo Ferroviario Piemontese, working at the workshop near Ponte Mosca in Turin. We were already near Porta Palazzo and the historical flea market called Balon, a staple of the Aurora district, and after getting lost in the color, smells, lights, and sounds of that market, we reached the booth of a vintage camera and watches seller.

When we arrived, the seller was already packing back the goods for the day, but, in the rightmost corner of the stand, on top of a velvety red cloth, there were two Polaroid cameras: a Polaroid Land 1000 Camera (with a green button), and a Polaroid 636 Autofocus.

I made an impromptu decision, asked the seller for a price, and then quickly bought the two cameras (for €15 each).

The cameras

It was now time to learn some more about the cameras, and after an extreme Wikipedia and Reddit (r/Polaroid) search, I found out that the cameras accepted SX-70 film and 600 films, respectively.

The side-quest for the film was hilarious in its way. I first went to a local electronics retailer, Unieuro, where a Polaroid salesman told me I could get I-type film for my camera. Fortunately, I-type film has a big sticker with "Not for vintage cameras" written on it, so I backed out and went to another store: La Rinascente.

La Rinascente was running a sale for Polaroid film, and it was all out-of-stock, so I got out and walked into another shop. Il Grande Marvin. We found some expired SX-70 film, but nothing for my 636. It made me a bit sad. It later occurred to me to check on Amazon, where, surprisingly, I found some 600 films that I immediately ordered.

At home, we put the SX-70 pack inside the Land 1000. We were in awe at the whirring noises coming out of it. I imagine it was a "second birth" for that camera since it probably wasn't used in the last 20 to 30 years. The next day, the film pack for my camera reached our door. I placed it inside the camera and closed the film flap. It whirred. It was as magical as the other one. When I saw the dark slide coming out and getting covered by the tongue, I was ecstatic. I told my brother to take a picture of me, and the camera flashed. After some milliseconds, the slide got ejected.

Hey! A picture of me! Hey! A picture of me!

I went for a walk with my brother later, when he took a chance and took a shot with his camera. We heard whirring noises. We had another winner.

Riva del Po Riva del Po

I fell into the Polaroid rabbit hole now. I'm planning to mod my camera to use new I-type film. I'll write another post if I succeed in that!