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Polaroid closes remaining film plants

Stephanie Anderson , Feb 08, 2008; 01:41 p.m.

The creators of instant film photography are getting out of the business. Polaroid announced the closure of its two remaining film plants in the US, with international film plants plan to be closed by the end of the year.

The US plants manufactured large-format films, and Polaroid has already stopped making their trademark instant cameras.

"We stopped making commercial-type cameras about 18 to 24 months ago, and we stopped making consumer cameras about a year ago," Polaroid chief operating officer Tom Beaudoin said.

Polaroid is shifting their business focus to digital photography gear and flat-panel TVs.

More: The Boston Globe

Responses


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JDM von Weinberg , Feb 08, 2008; 02:15 p.m.

Requiescat in Pace.

Now I'm glad I didn't buy that Crown Graphic and Polaroid back to shoot Type 52, my all-time favorite film.

Noah Schwartz , Feb 08, 2008; 02:52 p.m.

Well, at least we won't have to go through this AGAIN.

Polaroid has been doing this for years, and the feeling is like a betrayal.

Fujifilm makes a beautiful product in pack film format, so don't give up on instant peel apart photography just yet.

Michael Harris , Feb 08, 2008; 05:57 p.m.

Does Fuji make film for 4x5? I have a brand new Polaroid film holder for my 4x5 camera. Man that does suck.

Jonathan Van Matre , Feb 08, 2008; 06:18 p.m.

Fuji does make their pack film in 4x5 packs. Bear in mind, however, that it won't work with the 545/545i/545pro backs you are used to using with Polaroid 4x5 sheet film. You need a 4x5 PACK holder, which would be either the Polaroid 550 or the Fuji PA-45.

There's not that much of a price gap between used 550s and new PA-45s, so I would spring for the PA-45 if I were you. That gets you the benefit of a limited warranty, and a film and holder that are specifically manufactured to work together.

The Fuji packs will work in a 550, but they will likely work more reliably in Fuji's own product, just as 4x5 Quickloads work somewhat better in a Quickload holder than they do in a Polaroid 545.

As for the discontinued Polaroid films, my hope is that Fuji will license the formulas for some of their more popular products (Type 59, Type 55 P/N) and take over production. I can't see anyone else (e.g. Harman, Fotokemika) taking the risk of venturing into a family of products they have no experience producing. Their existence is tenuous enough as it is.

But Fuji remains committed to film, and already has experience producing instant peel-apart products. It's a natural fit.

Meanwhile, I'll be stockpiling Type 55 just in case my dream doesn't come true.

Michael Harris , Feb 08, 2008; 06:22 p.m.

Thanks Jonathan, I guess that makes my new 545i pro back almost worthless. I just ordered 10 packs of film so I can have fun for a while.

Paul Rigas , Feb 09, 2008; 11:48 a.m.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ittm0chdEo

Jonathan Van Matre , Feb 09, 2008; 04:38 p.m.

Well, for what it's worth, you can still use your 545i as a holder for fuji Quickload film packets. A Fuji holder will give better results, but unless you're a nit-picker that 545i will serve well enough.

Mark Satola , Feb 11, 2008; 03:18 p.m.

I am SO behind the curve! I bought my first SX-70 literally one week before Time-Zero was discontinued. A month ago I got a working Polaroid 103 for $8 from the Magic Goodwill. I read that Polaroid will have stock to last roughly through the end of 2009, though I bet the run on it will deplete it before 2008 is over. I better stock up on 667 and 669 while I still can.

Andy Andrews , Feb 15, 2008; 12:58 a.m.

With the first Polaroid cameras in 1948, came the futurists' cry that conventional film would soon be dead. Who would want to wait, when you could see your pictures instantly...or nearly so? When affordable digital cameras came on the scene, computer-oriented observers and prognosticators said, "Film is dead. Who wants to wait, when you can see your pictures instantly and delete those that don't turn-out?" Well, apparently there are a whole lot of patient people, who are waiting a little longer to get quality, permanence, lack of obsolescence and freedom from whistles and bells! Film doesn't seem to want to go away, nor should it.


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