Polaroid was invented in 1937 by Dr. Edward Land and would rise to popularity in the 70’s for introducing integral instant film which made ‘instant photography’ - self developing pictures that did not require a lab and took only a few minutes to develop - possible for the first time in history. Polaroid remained relevant for decades and was a vital tool for professionals for all sorts of applications such as light tests, law enforcement, medical records, passport photos and thousands of other uses, as well as obviously being a huge hit on the customer market. Unfortunately, with the rise of digital photography the consumer demand for instant photography dwindled and Polaroid went out of business in 2008. Since the loss of this amazing instant film there has been a huge resurgence to bring back the iconic film and thankfully The impossible project (later Polaroid Originals, and now in 2020 just Polaroid) has resurrected polaroid film used in thousands of old Polaroid cameras still available to us from the 70’s until now. This includes iconic cameras such as the SX70.
All cameras, including the various models of the SX70, that take instant pictures, both Polaroid and Instax, are not built to the standard of other film based systems. A lot of plastic is used in functional parts, such as gears and shafts. When buying second hand, finding a model in tested, good condition is therefore important.
As The Impossible Project had to reformulate the whole process when they started, the first batches of films had poor longevity and responded to light even after coming out of the camera, leading many to think it’s a low quality film. Since then, the formula and production has been improved dramatically, and currently available film now performs very well. Unexposed film still does not age as well as Instax film, and you should take care to use the film before its expiration date. Some batches of their Black and White emulsion have also been known to fade over time after they are exposed. Cold, dry and dark storage is recommended.