Saturday, September 02, 2006

More Expired Polaroid

Sad news...Polaroid will be discontinuing Type 80 films in the last three months of the year. I love Type 87, so I guess I'll have to stock up. The other option is to buy expired film. Buying expired Polaroid is a bit of a crapshoot. It dries out after a period of time, depending on how it was stored. Five year old film can be bone dry, and 30 year old film will still have working developer. It also tends to not be cheap (not usually as expensive as new Polaroid, but still enough that one can be unsure of spending cash on what may amount to a nice display box).
The attraction of expired Polaroid, at the same time, is it's unpredictability. The chemistry is different, which already creates different tones that of current Polaroids. Couple this with old film and old developer and yoy can get some truly fantastic results. These pictures were shot with my modified Square Shooter and Type 88, expired 9/96.

Skorj also has some nice examples of expired film on his flickr site.


  1. Anonymous3:48 PM

    Hi -

    I just bought a Polaroid 600 Instant camera off of eBay. I don't really intend doing any serious photography with it, mostly just playing around or taking pictures for friends as keepsakes and what not. I'm inquiring about expired film. If the instant film I've bought expires 12/07, in January will it give the effect of your pictures? Or is the expiration date just a guideline? Thanks for your input!


  2. my guess is it will still look fine. it usually has to be at least a couple years past the exp date to start changing. depends on how it was stored, though. i've had new film that looks expired because it was stored badly or was damaged by heat. hold on to it for a few and just leave it out on a shelf...maybe it will age well!

  3. Anonymous8:26 AM

    Well, I just got hold of an old Land Camera 100, and with it came an unopened pack of black and white 107 film, expiry date in early 1970. What are the odds that anything at all will come out of that?

  4. 1970? i'd say the chances are pretty good that it will be bone dry. i have come across a few people that found polaroid that old that still worked, but every one i've tried from the 70s, i can't even get the paper to pull from the pack. if it does work, it will be a fairly faint print. only way to know is to try it!

  5. Anonymous4:53 AM

    Yeah, I guess you're right … still worth a shot though. Someone told me that I need a battery for the camera, so it'll have to wait until I get that I suppose. The filmpack is still firmly sealed, but … :-)

  6. Anonymous2:47 AM

    The battery is in the film, they were probably joking. Sort of like the board-stretcher in school that your teachers would send you for, or plad spray-paint.

  7. Anonymous6:24 PM


    I was looking at some expired film on expired in 1988!
    Do you think it will still be ok to use?


  8. Anonymous7:48 PM

    Thanks for all the info it is very helpful, especially because it seems like you know what you're talking about. I was just wondering if you can put any film into any polaroid camera? Like if I have polaroid 600 film can that work in a vintage polaroid camera?
    Thank you!!

  9. Anonymous10:19 PM


    If I have the new polaroid one step camera that takes 600 film.. what other films can it take?

  10. Anonymous3:50 PM

    i jus recently found some polaroid film . but it exp in 2000 , will it still work fine?

  11. only way to find out is to try it!

  12. Anonymous9:30 AM

    these are lovely polaroids, i got some 88type which expired 1977 ha! its still juicy, but i just get a yellow mess.

  13. i have a bunch of 779 polaroid film that expired a few years ago. I've started shooting it and most of the images are faint and yellow. Is there any way I can get them to be darker?

  14. Anonymous9:10 PM

    If i was to buy film that expired in 2005 do you believe that it would still work?

  15. Anonymous6:30 PM

    I have just recently bought some still in date film. I was just wondering how to best store it so that it lasts well beyond its expiry date?

  16. Anonymous8:57 AM

    Hi, I've just pulled out an old polaroid from my parents' closet. I took a picture but it came out completely brown, the photograph didn't come through at all. is that because it has been damaged by the heat? the film box says the film inside expired in 04/01...

  17. Great! I accedentally bought out of date film. However these images are amazing! Better than normal film, I love them. They will really work, because I'm doing a project on colour.