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My new instant toy joy

September 3, 2008

It arrived today, my new (to me) Polaroid SLR 680 camera from MW Classic Cameras in London

The joy of the 680 over, say the SX-70 is that it takes Polaroid 600 film, which, whilst in ever dwindling supplies, is easier to get than Time Zero film, and doesn’t necessitate various fixes and tricks to make it work with the camera, as the 680 was designed to take 600 film stock.

But why an old Polaroid camera? Surely digital is better and easier and cheaper …

Well most of that is true – up to a point. There’s something about Polaroid cameras that makes people smile, this post from Alyssa Kayee on Flickr, sums it all up really and it’s quite true too. I took a snap of my niece on an SX-70 and she was convinced it was magic the way the print just appeared!

Polaroid cameras from the SX-70 family; the SLR 680,original SX-70 and Polasonic Autofocus SX-70 Model 2

Polaroid cameras from the SX-70 family; the SLR 680,original SX-70 and Polasonic Autofocus SX-70 Model 2

And it’s not just the SX-70 type stuff that’s magic, the peel-a-part films have their own appeal, the wondering what’s going to appear as you pull the film apart:
Has it exposed right, has it developed right?
If it’s out-dated, just what are you going to see on the print and of course it’s the instant gratification that comes from seeing a finish product there and then; and unlike digital it’s so easy to share at that point.

But with the demise of Polaroid films (and their general expense if you can find them) a camera like this is a bit of a luxury, a frivolity; but then why should art be serious?

As ever, yesterday’s technology is today’s art …

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