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Can you get film for the polaroid 600?

The Polaroid 600 series of instant cameras were hugely popular in the 1980s and 1990s. Using a unique self-developing film, the 600 produced instantly printable photos without the need for a darkroom. While Polaroid stopped making the iconic film in 2008, there are still some options available for those looking to put their vintage 600 cameras back into service.

The Rise and Fall of Polaroid 600 Film

The original Polaroid 600 film was introduced alongside the Polaroid 600 series of cameras in 1977. The 600 film had several advantages over earlier Polaroid films:

  • Faster photo development time of 15 seconds
  • Higher ISO speed for better photos in low light
  • More consistent and reliable development quality

The 600 film was an instant hit among consumers and photographers alike. It remained in production until 2008 when Polaroid’s parent company announced they would cease production of the iconic film. This left many owners of still-functional 600 cameras stranded without film. However, within months of Polaroid’s announcement, two companies stepped in to fill the void.

Original Polaroid 600 Film

While Polaroid no longer makes the original 600 film, a company called The Impossible Project (now Polaroid Originals) acquired the last remaining Polaroid production machinery and factory in the Netherlands. They worked to reinvent as much of the original 600 film as possible, given the limitations of working with expired components. The Impossible Project introduced their version of 600-compatible film, now sold under the Polaroid Originals brand, in 2010.

Polaroid Originals 600 film differs from the original in a few key ways:

Polaroid Originals 600 Film Original 600 Film
Slower development time of 15-30 minutes 15 second development
Lower ISO of 100 vs 1200 originally ISO 1200
More temperature sensitive Worked in wide temperature range

Despite these differences, Polaroid Originals film offers the closest experience to the original 600 film available today. It is widely available online and in specialty photo stores.

New55 Film

Another company, New55, also emerged in 2010 as an alternative source of instant film for Polaroid 600 cameras. Their product more closely mimicked the original Polaroid formula and specifications.

Key features of New55 film include:

  • Short 15 second development time
  • ISO 640 speed closer to original
  • Can be used in a wide temperature range
  • Very limited production runs

While New55 was beloved by Polaroid 600 users for its faithful reproduction of the look and feel of original 600 film, the company ceased production in 2017. The small manufacturer lacked the resources to continue the complex process of recreating the specialized film products. However, during its short tenure, New55 filled an important niche and inspired a community of vintage Polaroid photographers.

How Does the Film Work?

Both Polaroid Originals and New55 use the same basic components as original 600 film to produce instant photographs:

  1. Light sensitive negative is exposed when photo is taken
  2. Negative develops quickly once exposed to chemical reagent layer
  3. Developed negative transfers image to positive print layer
  4. Image develops fully between layers over 15-30 minutes

Polaroid 600 cameras have motorized rollers which eject each photo and spread the chemical reagent to initiate the developing process. While the overall process is the same, adjustments to the chemical formulas and sensitivities of the film account for the differences between new and original films.

Using Fresh Film vs. Expired Original Film

Given the complexity of replicating it, is it possible to just use original 600 film that may still exist despite being expired? Results can be hit or miss.

Potential issues with decades-old Polaroid 600 film include:

  • Chemical packets dried out
  • Silver halide emulsions degraded
  • Poor sensitivity and image quality
  • Failed development process

Finding verifiably-stored original film that has been refrigerated and light-sealed offers the best chance of success. But results will vary widely. Most photographers opt for fresh film from Polaroid Originals when shooting with vintage Polaroid 600 cameras.

Where to Buy Polaroid 600-Type Film Today

Polaroid Originals remains the most widely available source for new Polaroid 600 film packs today. They sell both color and black & white films directly through their website and Amazon store. They also sell directly through partner photo stores around the world.

Limited quantities of New55 film may still be found from private resellers online through sites like eBay. However, with production ceased since 2017, availability is very limited.

For the most reliable results, Polaroid Originals color or black & white film remains the best option. Photographers should expect to pay $20-$25 USD per pack of 8 exposures. While expensive per shot, it’s currently the only way to reliably shoot with these iconic vintage cameras.

Shooting Tips With Modern 600 Film

Once you’ve got film loaded, here are some tips for getting great results with your vintage Polaroid 600 camera:

  • Avoid shooting in cold weather which can affect development
  • Keep film refrigerated before shooting if possible
  • Shield film from airport X-rays which can fog images
  • Use the flashBAR accessory for best lighting
  • Keep photos shielded as they develop to avoid fading

Modern Polaroid film is more temperamental than the original formula. But terrific images can still be captured with a little care and patience. Don’t be discouraged if your first photos have issues – the process has a learning curve. Practice makes perfect!

Troubleshooting Guide

Here are some common issues and solutions when shooting with Polaroid 600 cameras and film:

Problem Cause Solution
Foggy, low contrast photos Film was exposed to heat or airport X-rays Keep film refrigerated and carry on plane
Photos fade or turn brown rapidly Film not shielded from light after ejection Cover photo with object after taking
White blotches or spots on photos Dried chemical pods on expired film Use fresh film packs
Weak image despite flash Expired film degraded over time Use only fresh film within expiration


While it requires some persistence and experimentation, shooting instant photos on vintage Polaroid 600 cameras is still very much possible today thanks to Polaroid Originals film. The experience transports you right back to the 1980s and delivers that iconic instant photo look that made Polaroid famous. With fresh film and good shooting technique, the Polaroid 600 remains a highly enjoyable and collectible instant camera.