Polaroid Malfunction


Polaroid 600 film, expired

In 2000, digital cameras were expensive and limited. Two years before, a friend had an Apple Quicktake 100 that shot VGA pictures. The instant gratification was nice, but there were more cost effective ways to get that.

I found a case of expired Polaroid film on Ebay and got it dirt cheap. Thirty packs of ten, total of 300 shots.

Polaroid cameras are a lens box and a pair of rollers. Each piece of film has a pouch of caustic paste at the bottom that is squeezed across the emulsion by the rollers on the way out of the camera. The battery powering the rollers is built into the film pack.

Dead battery, no motion through the rollers, no pictures. The paste of chemicals could also lose effectiveness, but I figured the main problem would be the batteries.

As it turned out, most of the film worked just fine. I only lost one of the packs to a dead battery, but the developer paste on a few packs had interesting failures where they did not squeeze out evenly or completely. Those packs were extra special fun!