Polaroid instant cameras and film have gone through many changes over the decades. The original Polaroid cameras used Polaroid 600 type film, which was eventually phased out in favor of the I-type and 600 type films. This has caused some confusion over whether newer Polaroid cameras are compatible with the older 600 type film or only work with the newer I-type film. In this article, we’ll examine the differences between 600 type and I-type film and look at which Polaroid camera models are compatible with which film.
Background on Polaroid Films
Here is some background on the different types of Polaroid film:
600 Type Film
– Original integral film for vintage Polaroid cameras like the OneStep, Pronto, Spectra, and SX-70
– Film packs contained battery to power camera mechanism and electronics
– Last manufactured in 2007, though some expired packs are still available
– New film format introduced in 2016 for new Polaroid Originals (now Polaroid) cameras
– Similar to 600 film but lacks battery component, allowing for thinner film
– Works only in new Polaroid models that have their own power source
Polaroid Camera Model Compatibility
Here is a breakdown of which Polaroid camera models work with 600 vs. I-type film:
|Camera Model||Compatible Film Types|
|600 Classic||600 type|
|Spirit 600||600 type|
As seen in the table, the original vintage Polaroid models like the SX-70, 600 Classic, Spectra, and Spirit 600 only work with the older 600 type film packs.
The newer models designed and sold by Polaroid Originals/Polaroid (OneStep 2, OneStep+, Now) work only with the I-type film. This is because the I-type film lacks the built-in battery component, so it only works in cameras that have their own power source.
Using 600 Type Film in Newer Cameras
One question that often comes up is whether it’s possible to use 600 type film in the newer I-type only cameras such as the OneStep 2 and OneStep+. The answer is yes, it is possible but requires a bit of modification.
Specifically, you need to use an ND filter on the 600 pack film cartridge. The ND filter blocks some of the light coming into the camera, adjusting the exposure to work properly with the more light-sensitive 600 film.
Polaroid used to sell the ND filter kits, but unfortunately they have been discontinued. However, DIY photographers have come up with ways to create usable ND filters at home with household materials like duct tape. There are also some aftermarket ND filter kits still available from third-party sellers.
So in summary, with some creativity and modification, you can use that last box of 600 film in the OneStep 2 or OneStep+ camera. But out of the box, the new models are designed for I-type film only.
Image Quality Differences
One other question is whether there is any difference in image quality between 600 vs. I-type film, given the changes in film technology over the decades.
The general consensus is that while the new I-type film may have some improved color stability and sensitivity, the image quality difference is minor. Both produce classic Polaroid shots with vibrant colors and the iconic white frame.
The main advantages of the new I-type film are:
- Greater availability – still manufactured today
- Wider range of versions like color, black & white, special editions
- Slightly more stable chemistry
But overall, 600 type film when shot before expiration produces very similar image quality and characteristics vs. the I-type. So neither has a major advantage image-wise.
Using a Modern Polaroid Camera
If you don’t have any old 600 film packs lying around, the easiest option is to use one of Polaroid’s latest cameras designed for the I-type film. Models like the Now have updated features tailored to the I-type film.
Here are some tips for great shots with the I-type Polaroid cameras:
- Make sure to shield the film pack from sunlight after ejecting it – direct sun can overexpose the developing photo.
- Capture both indoor and outdoor shots – the film has a wide exposure latitude.
- Move subjects at least 6 feet away – the fixed focus lens has a minimum focal distance.
- Try the double exposure feature on the Now camera to overlay two shots.
- Stick to the expiration date on the film box and refrigerate unused packs.
The Now camera also has features like a rechargeable battery, multiple exposure modes, a powerful flash, and even a remote trigger via Bluetooth. Overall, the simplicity of the I-type film combined with the latest camera updates offer a seamless instant photography experience.
- Original vintage Polaroid models require the now-discontinued 600 type film
- New cameras are designed for the I-type film and lack 600 compatibility
- It is possible to modify new cameras to use 600 film with ND filters
- I-type film offers some slight improvements but overall similar image quality to 600
- For convenience, the new I-type cameras and film provide the best Polaroid experience
So while Polaroid film has evolved over the years, the magic of instant photography remains unchanged. With a little understanding of the different film types, you can use both new and vintage models to capture one-of-a-kind instant shots. The I-type cameras offer the most options today, but old 600 models still work great when film is available. So grab your favorite camera and start shooting!