Polaroid gone?

A silly polaroid, complete with caption

So, we've known for a long time that Polaroid has lost their way. See, back in the seventies and sixties, they were a brilliant company that could do no wrong, led by Dr. Land and a team of expert engineers.

Random Trivia: Tom Scholz, the tinkerer and guitarist behind the band Boston was working there before he became a rockstar.

But Polaroids never looked great (same as old Kodak cameras never looked great) and the Polaroid cameras ended up being mostly oriented towards giving people as much of a decent picture as they could without any thought on their part. I've seen some excellent Polaroids. There's an art to taking them. Remember, folks, Ansel was a huge Polaroid fan. He took a lot of good Polaroids, largely using his view camera and wrote a good chunk of a book on using the Polaroid camera. But a Polaroid 600 camera has nothing to really recommend its use.

My polaroid, at a party

They made some attempts to latch on to the Digital revolution. Like Sigma, they threw their lot into the Foveon sensor (which hasn't worked out so well). They made hybrid digital plus polaroid cameras.

Anyway, Polaroid announced that it was closing most of the remaining plants and was looking for a partner to take over the Polaroid film lineup. They've already stopped manufacturing new Polaroid cameras.

This is almost, but not quite, the endgame. Both Kodak and Fuji make or have made instant films in the past (in fact, most folks think that the Fuji and Kodak films looked better than the Polaroid films). So it's largely a matter of if anybody takes Polaroid up on the offer to continue production.

A polaroid pinhole photograph

Posted by Filmsy :
Kodak instant film was actually much better than Polaroid. I recall as a child having one of the Kodak versions. Then, Polaroid sued Kodak claiming patent infringement, and forced Kodak to stop making the film. So my camera was useless overnight. Polaroid didn't even offer to make film for the now useless Kodak cameras. The Kodak version had a much better picture and allowed you to peel the picture off of the rest of the backing and discard everything but the picture. Polaroid never looked as good or was as versatile.

As much of a fan as I am of old technologies, I still have a rather bitter taste in my mouth from that experience. Pardon me for not shedding any tears.

Having said that, this is the demise of a truly useful technology.

I've got a Polaroid Automatic 100. I paid $10 for it and it came with flashbulbs. I guess I'll see if I can make a paper holder for medium or large format film if I can't get any film for it anymore.

I had an idea of doing artsy stuff with emulsion transfers, but it didn't work out the way I wanted it to.

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