Here’s a wonderful article about some people trying to start up making Polaroid film again:
Thanks to good old eBay, I have three Polaroid cameras — two SX-70s and one of the SX-70’s cooler descendant, the SLR-680. They stopped making film for the SX-70 in 2006, and for the SLR-680 last year, but luckily I spent money I couldn’t afford to stock up on the film.
These cameras all fold up into a convenient, nearly flat, rectangle, yet when you open them up and use them you get your actual, physical pictures instantly! Here’s a fine site called Photoethnography.com, with good pictures and information on it’s SX-70 page:
Why do I like these features?
1. I’m old, and it was the super technology of my youth.
2. I’m a contrarian. If most people like X, chances are I’ll like Y instead.
3. I’m sorry, young people, but even though I love my computer and love to learn about it and its software, I cannot deny the fact that every time I start messing with it, it invariably eats up my time LIKE A STARVING PIG. Go to do X, and you find out that — Oops! — even though you used to know how to do that last month, now there’s a new format or codec for it, named Y. So you go learn about Y, or buy a program to handle it. But to clearly understand Y, or more likely the new piece of software you’ve had to buy to work with it, you must search on Google for the necessary information, or — Horrors! — read your new software’s manual.
So of course you instead start right in fiddling with the software. Unfortunately, there are way too many functions lurking in most programs for their own good, and the programs express their discomfort at this state of affairs by breaking out in octuplets of windows and menus, palettes, popup things, unsolicited helpful instructions, and, as you finally grow desperate and turn to it, A Help menu that’s as massy and impenetrable as that manual you didn’t read. (Microsoft, you who created the infamous “ribbon” interface for the most recent expensive iteration of Microsoft Office, are you listening?)
Much as I like to sit down and fiddle with things, it’s not good for me. I’m closing in on old age, and I need to stay out of the rocking chair for as many hours per day as possible. For this reason, I don’t want to take photos with a digital camera, sit down at my computer, download the pictures, decide if they need cropping, improving, or decorating prettily with a nice border, and then, at last, MAYBE, be able to output them to physical form, by the methods you well know, one of which takes a while to get them back!
You know where this is going. In the GOOD OLD DAYS, when transistors came 5 or 10 at a time rather than a million, designers could make electronic products do only a few things. That meant that the operation of those products was truly intuitive. For example, if I take one of my Polaroid cameras out into the sunny world and snap some pictures, I get pictures effortlessly, thoughtlessly, and essentially right away.
Above all, the pictures develop in my camera bag WHILE I KEEP WALKING!
So Polaroid can keep a photography-loving oldster on the streets. For that it deserves to survive.