Picture this: you’re at a family gathering, flipping through old photo albums, and you come across a faded, square-shaped photograph. You recognize it as a Polaroid, BUT did you know that not all Polaroids are created equal? That’s right; these iconic cameras produced different sizes of instant prints.
Standard Polaroid sizes usually come in the following measurements:
- 4.2 × 3.5 inches
- 3.4 × 2.1 inches
- 4.3 × 3.4 inches
- 2 × 3 inches
- 4 × 4 inches
In this guide, we’re going to explore the vast, wonderful world of Polaroid cameras and the various types of Polaroid film.
What Is a Polaroid?
Polaroid is like a magical box that turns moments into memories right before your very eyes! It’s an instant film camera that produces tangible prints in seconds. No more waiting for the photos to be developed at the drugstore! With a Polaroid, you get a tiny masterpiece that you can hold, share, and cherish forever. It’s like having a mini art studio in the palm of your hand.
Sure, the prints might not be as sharp as your iPhone camera, but there’s something special about the slightly fuzzy, dreamy quality of a Polaroid. It’s like capturing a moment in time and making it more magical.
It’s worth noting that instantly printed snapshots from non-Polaroid instant cameras may also be referred to as a Polaroid. So, if I mention any other brand, please remember that their prints are technically called Polaroids!
As I mentioned earlier, Polaroids come in various sizes. Let’s take a deeper look at where each of these comes from.
4.2 × 3.5 inches
Did you know that one of the most popular Polaroid sizes measures 4.2 inches in height and 3.5 inches in width? This size is used in various series of instant cameras that the Polaroid Corporation has released over the years. If you’re a fan of the Polaroid Now, Polaroid OneStep, or the Polaroid SX-70, then you’re probably familiar with this dimension. But here’s a fun fact: if you strip away the border, the image itself is actually 3.1 × 3.1 inches.
3.4 × 2.1 inches
If you’re into instant gratification, you’ll love the Fujifilm Instax series. These cameras work the same way as Polaroids, but with a slightly different size. The standard image size is about 3.4 inches tall and 2.1 inches wide. That’s perfect for popping in your wallet or sticking on your fridge. If you want to get technical, the image format without the border is about 3:2.
4.3 × 3.4 inches
Looking for a bigger, bolder, and wider Polaroid experience? Say hello to the Fujifilm Instax Wide 300! This camera offers a slightly larger size than its Instax Mini counterparts, with dimensions of 4.3 inches × 3.4 inches. That means you’ll have more room to capture the magic of the moment. And if you’re curious, the image size without the border is 2.4 inches × 3.9 inches, with a 2:3 aspect ratio.
2 × 3 inches
Different instant cameras come in all shapes and sizes, and that means different-sized Polaroid films too! If you’re a fan of the Kodak Printomatic or the Lifeprint Instant camera for iPhone, then you’re familiar with a film size that measures 2 × 3 inches. That’s tiny enough to fit in your pocket but big enough to make a statement. And just like the Fujifilm Instax Wide 300, this size has a 2:3 aspect ratio, so your memories will be captured in all their glory!
4 × 4 inches
Are you ready for something a little different in the world of Polaroid? Feast your eyes on the Polaroid Image/Spectra Camera Full Switch model! This camera uses a 4 × 4-inch picture size, complete with a funky border that’ll make your memories stand out.
And if you prefer something with a bit more simplicity, the Polaroid Image/Spectra Camera One Switch version has the same dimensions and a 2:3 aspect ratio format. Either way, you’re in for a unique and exciting Polaroid experience that’ll make your photos pop!
Types of Polaroid Film
So, you’re into instant photography, huh? That means you’re part of a special club—one that knows that the real magic happens when the picture develops right in front of your eyes! But if you’re new to the Polaroid game, you might be wondering what all the fuss is about when it comes to film types.
Introducing the tiniest format for the newest Polaroid analog instant Polaroid Go camera: Go film! It may be small, but it packs a punch with the same ISO as i-Type film. If you’re all about color, then you’re in luck since Go film is only available in color.
This film type was made exclusively for the new Polaroid cameras and had one key difference from the classic 600 films: no battery in the cartridge. That means it won’t work with vintage cameras, but the new Polaroid cameras have a built-in rechargeable battery, so you’re good to go!
600 film is the OG film type for all those classic Polaroid cameras out there, and it’s still pretty darn popular. You’ll know it by the blue packaging, and it works with most cameras in the 600 series. It’s also compatible with i-Type cameras, so if you’re feeling like a rebel and want to mix it up with a special edition 600 film in your OneStep 2, you can totally make it happen.
The SX-70 camera is a bit of a special snowflake among Polaroid instant cameras, so it requires its own unique type of film. The main difference is that the SX-70 film has a lower sensitivity, meaning it needs way more light to get a good photo compared to the 600 films.
Nearly all folding-type cameras use SX-70 film, which is only available in classic color and black-and-white editions. But don’t worry, if you really want to use a special edition 600 film in your SX-70 camera, you can make it work with a Neutral Density Filter.
Polaroid 8×10 film is the ultimate boss of instant film! It’s the biggest, the most detailed, and it’s created with love and care by the magicians in the Netherlands. 8×10 film has been a go-to for many celebrated photographers since it was born in 1973. It’s a super special film that brings a whole lot of magic, and we’re thrilled to have it!
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