First Flush: I’ve shot some PX100 in my new Polaroid 600 camera

Today is a very special day for various reasons: not only has my Polaroid 600 Extreme camera arrived (the one I bought for £2.50 off eBay). Also, both me and my wife are off together – it rarely happens these days. That alone was reason to celebrate.

But more importantly: The Impossible Project have today released their brand new PX600 Silver Shade Instant Film which is made for just these cameras! I put an order for 12 packs in immediately and can’t wait to give it a try.

In the meantime however, I pondered over the question “does the PX100 work in Polaroid 600 cameras” or rather “does an SX-70 film work in a Polaroid 600 camera” as discussed in my previous post.

I’m happy to say that YES IT DOES – with a minor modofication to the camera.

Let me show you the results and talk you through my experiences with this exciting new material.

The Polaroid 600 Extreme

Camera: £2.50 - Film: £20 for 8 exposures. Ouch!

As I said, £2.50 for my very first Polaroid camera was a bit of a bargain. It even came in its original box and looked brand new to me – even though the rollers inside gave reason to believe it’s seen some use in its time. According to the box it was built in February 1998 in the UK (Vale de Leven, Dumbarton in Scotland to be exact) under license by the Polaroid Corporation in Cambridge, MA (USA).

It’s much bigger than I remember my parents’ Polaroid and I can’t help but feel reminded of my Holga cameras: we’re dealing with a pretty ugly hunk of black plastic here, cheap plastic lens, ridiculous “close-up” slider and a lighter/darker feature which obscures the light meter with a piece of striped plastic (or doesn’t – depending on where you slide it).

I think the seller told me it was £29.99 when it came out so that’s pretty much the price of a Holga too. Great – I love it already, and it’ll feel right at home in my collection!

PX100 Silver Shade First Flush Edition

Trouble is that the Impossible film pack I’ve bought the other day is not made for this camera, but for Polaroid SX-70 models. From what I’ve learnt however the only difference is the film speed: PX100 has 100 ISO and my camera is expecting a 640 ISO film.

Light Meter gets ND2 shades

Easy solution: tape a piece of ND filter over the light meter and be done with it. I’ve used one that darkens incoming light by 2 stops. That should do the trick.

All that’s left is to pop the film in and see if it fits. Listen carefully:

YES IT DOES!

The limited edition darkslide pops out just as expected, so the camera works too. That’s another load off my mind. Just one more thing perhaps: I’m shooting on First Flush batch no. 43 here ;-)

Next thing to do of course is hand the camera over to my wife and have her take a picture of me (see below).

Let’s see some pictures

Be my guest! I only had one single pack of PX100 because I didn’t know if anything would come out, so 8 exposures were all we had to test this puppy. On a fairly sunny day with spots of overcast-ness (if that is a word) we took a stroll in the afternoon through the hood and here’s what we shot:

Julia took this first shot of me proudly holding my first ever Limited Edition Darkslide. Shot with flash in front of a sunny window.

My first shot, flash fired, close-up lens used. It's indoors without artificial lights. I think some Flash wet wipe cleaner was still on the rollers hence the smudge on the left. Dark parts of the picture have turned orange, which didn't come out in the scan. Interesting!

66 thoughts on “First Flush: I’ve shot some PX100 in my new Polaroid 600 camera

  1. Hi,

    I’ve been searching for a while now to try and find some film for a Polaroid 600 camera which is cheaper than £20 for 8 which is what I also found but can’t find anything. Have you found any since??
    Thank you so much, Anna

    1. Sadly not Anna, I think that’s a price we need to live with from now on if we want to use Polaroid cameras :-( It’s not great that it’s so expensive. On the other hand, at least we can still get film that’s fresh and that works in our old cameras. Watch for sales at shops like The Photographers Gallery, I’ve bought some packs for as little as £10 there not too long ago. Sometimes you get lucky.

      Impossible are trying to make this cheaper as new technology becomes available (and as more people buy it) but it won’t shift much I don’t think.

  2. Hi Jay,

    I am having the same problems too, having some PX 70 films with a one600 camera.
    May I know where do you get the 2x ND filter tape (affordably)?

    Thanks!
    KP

    1. Hi KP,

      you have several options. If you want to go down the experimental DIY route (which I love) have a look in professional photography and lighting shops. Ask for something called a gel which is a gelatine based sheet filter. Usually available in larger sizes so it fits in front of spot lights. You only need a small piece, depending if you want to cover the entire film or just your lens with it.

      Alternatively you can ask in said shops for a filter swatch, those are small enough to cover the lens only and will do the trick. A swatch is a selection of filters in a small booklet so that you’d order larger sheets of and when you need them. In our case though we’d just cut a piece of ND filter out and use it. If you can’t get hold of either a gel or a swatch book then I recommend a Quality Street wrapper. Seriously, it works a treat!

      Your final (and most official) option is go head over to http://the-impossible-project.com and buy a Filmpack Filter. That’s the same material as discussed above, but it’s cut to size to fit an entire film cassette. It’s reusable too and currently my favourite option because it does not compromise your viewfinder. It’s about $12 for a double-pack: http://shop.the-impossible-project.com/shop/accessories/camera/ac_nd_filter_twin

      Hope this helps – happy shooting ;-)

  3. Jay,
    According to the website that filmpak filter is for using the 600 film in an SX-70 camera. But are you using the SX-70 film in a 600 camera, and the filter is working?

    1. Hi Josh,

      yes that is correct – I’m using a similar filter the other way to make PX100 film work in my Polaroid 600. Let me explain:

      Technically the filmpack filter you’ve see is a sheet of ND plastic (neutral density) which goes directly over the 600 film pack. The purpose here is that the stronger exposure from an SX-70 camera will get “dimmed down” so that it doesn’t overexpose the 600 film. The S-70 camera expects 100 ISO film, so we need 1.5 stops less light. The filter does this, and the great news here is that you won’t have to look through a darkened viewfinder.

      But what I’m describing in this article is exactly the opposite: I’m using 100 ISO film in a camera that expects the film to be more sensitive, so I need to trick it into thinking it needs to give the film more exposure. I do this by using the same type of filer and stick it in front of my camera’s electric eye. It then thinks it’s darker, cranking up the exposure, and Bob’s your uncle.

      Admittedly this is no longer necessary because now we have PX 600 film and many variants available, but at the time of writing all that was available was the PX 100 film and I didn’t have an SX-70 then.

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