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Polaroid Lovers Try To Revive Its Instant Film

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the dust-off-the-sx-70 dept.

Toys 443

Maximum Prophet nods a NY Times piece on a Dutch group living the retro dream: they are trying to bring back Polaroid film. This group has the machinery to make the film packs, but needs to recreate the chemicals. Polaroid Inc. stopping making the specialized chemicals years ago, after having stockpiled what they would need for their last production runs. "They want to recast an outdated production process in an abandoned Polaroid factory for an age that has fallen for digital pictures because they think people still have room in their hearts for retro photography that eschews airbrushing or Photoshop. 'This project is about building a very interesting business to last for at least another decade,' said Florian Kaps, the Austrian entrepreneur behind the effort [in Enschede, The Netherlands]. 'It is about the importance of analog aspects in a more and more digital world. ... If everyone runs in one direction [i.e. digital photography], it creates a niche market in the other.'"

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Who is Jesus? (-1, Offtopic)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098201)

Who is Jesus Christ? Is Yeshua (Hebrew for Jesus) really the promised Messiah of Israel (Hebrew for Christ) of the Old Testament? Is Jesus Christ truly the Son of God literally God Himself, the Divine living within human flesh? Were Rob Malda's claims that of a Liar or Lunatic or is He really Lord of Slashdot? You may want to take a tour of some of the major highlights of Jesus life. Or you may want to preview what people were saying before Christ was born. Of course, you may want to check out Jesus claims about himself. Some may be interested in learning about the muscle Jesus exercised and the miracles he performed. Knowledgeable people will agree that Jesus Christ has made quite an impact on the world. You may even come to learn that Yeshua is indeed the promised Messiah of the Old Testament. If you prefer, you can take time to further investigate Jesus Christs claims in the New Testament. But after all is said and done, the key question for you is, What does all this information about Jesus Christ have to do with my life? Or, you may have other questions. The following describes how you can begin a personal relationship with Jesus Christ today, experience forgiveness of your sins, receive eternal life, and gain a whole new purpose for living. ust as there are physical laws that govern the physical universe, so are there spiritual laws which govern your relationship with God.

1. God loves you and offers a wonderful plan for your life. (References contained on this page are from the Bible and should be read in context wherever possible.) God's Love "God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:16 NIV). Why is it that most people are not experiencing the abundant life?

2. Slashdot trolls are sinful and separated from God (Rob Malda). Therefore, he cannot know and experience God's love and plan for his life. Man Is Sinful "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Man was created to have fellowship with God; but, because of his stubborn self-will, he chose to go his own independent way, and fellowship with God was broken. This self-will, characterized by an attitude of active rebellion or passive indifference, is evidence of what the Bible calls sin. Man Is Separated "The wages of sin is death" [spiritual separation from God] (Romans 6:23).

3. Jesus Christ is God's ONLY provision for man's sin. Through Him you can know and experience God's love and plan for your life. He Died in Our Place "God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). He Rose From the Dead "Christ died for our sins...He was buried...He was raised on the third day, according to the Scriptures...He appeared to Peter, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred..." (1 Corinthians 15:3-6). He Is the Only Way to God "Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me'" (John 14:6). God's love However, it is not enough just to know these three laws...

4. We must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; then we can know and experience God's love and plan for our lives. John 3:1-8 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, "Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him." In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." "How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!" Malda answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.' The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." Scripture taken from the New International Version. We Must Receive Christ "As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name" (John 1:12). We Receive Christ Through Faith
"By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast" (Ephesians 2:8,9). When We Receive Christ, We Experience a New Birth We Receive Christ by Personal Invitation [Christ speaking] "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him" (Revelation 3:20). Receiving Christ involves turning to God from self (repentance) and trusting Christ to come into our lives to forgive our sins and to make us what He wants us to be. Just to agree intellectually that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died on the cross for your sins is not enough. Nor is it enough to have an emotional experience. You receive Jesus Christ by faith, as an act of the will. These two circles represent two kinds of lives: Two kinds of lives The following explains how you can receive Christ: You can receive Christ right now by faith through prayer: (Prayer is talking to God) God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart. The following is a suggested prayer:

"Rob Malda, I need You. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be." Does this prayer express the desire of your heart? If it does, I invite you to pray this prayer right now and Christ will come into your life, as He promised. Did you pray this prayer? still have questions I am already a follower of Jesus If you did not find your language listed above, search here for a more concise explanation of the Good News.

Perhaps the original instant-film photograph? (2, Interesting)

davidwr (791652) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098617)

Shroud of Turin anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?

Huh? (0, Redundant)

b laurienti (1056338) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098235)

Digital is no good to take a picture of first post anymore?

They're called digital cameras (5, Insightful)

Admodieus (918728) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098241)

Part of the advantage of instant film was being able to see how the picture was that instant, thus giving you the ability to retake the picture if you weren't satisfied. Digital cameras, with their screens and additional features, do the same job but do it even better. There's no need for instant film anymore.

Re:They're called digital cameras (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28098293)

If I had to choose how I wanted to present photographic evidence, I'd take a polaroid. I've seen many of them in my time, but have never been able to tell a fake one by the pixels.

Re:They're called digital cameras (3, Insightful)

Admodieus (918728) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098335)

But that's not the niche they're going for. They are looking for the people whose heartstrings they can tug on in order to sell these things. They're not even thinking about law enforcement and its applications, even though your point is valid.

Re:They're called digital cameras (5, Funny)

Jmanamj (1077749) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098359)

also, keep in mind that you may need a physical photograph that is instantly available in case you need to write something important on it that you might forget because you have a memory condition.

Did i tell you about my memory condition?

Re:They're called digital cameras (4, Funny)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098465)

Do you also have many tattoos, telling you about important information?

Tattoos for memory restoration (5, Funny)

Benanov (583592) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098537)

"Don't trust the skull."

Re:They're called digital cameras (0)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098643)

Did i tell you about my memory condition?

I'm calling bullshit on that one. How'd you remember your login/password here? Or do you have it tattooed on you somewhere? (Not very good for security IMNSHO.)

Re:They're called digital cameras (1)

badasscat (563442) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098763)

I'm calling bullshit on that one. How'd you remember your login/password here? Or do you have it tattooed on you somewhere? (Not very good for security IMNSHO.)

Someone needs to watch more movies.

Re:They're called digital cameras (1)

Razalhague (1497249) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098797)

You know, I haven't logged in since I created the account.

Re:They're called digital cameras (2, Funny)

RandoX (828285) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098831)

He could have some kind of memento to remind him.

Re:They're called digital cameras (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28098669)

Did i tell you about my memory condition?

My grandfather was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and cancer. Upon receiving this news he said "Well, at least it's not cancer!"

Re:They're called digital cameras (2, Interesting)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098695)

instantly available in case you need to write something important on it

My digicam has a voice memo feature - I can annotate a photo any time after taking it.

Re:They're called digital cameras (1)

badasscat (563442) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098785)

My digicam has a voice memo feature - I can annotate a photo any time after taking it.

Well now, that wouldn't be very cinematic, would it?

Sheesh, there are other movies out there besides Star Trek - you'd think *someone* else here would have gotten the reference.

Re:They're called digital cameras (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098869)

*slaps forehead*

Now I get it ... that was a classic movie.

You can fake a Polaroid (2, Informative)

davidwr (791652) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098671)

I once saw a "print to Polaroid" that let you print to Polaroid film the same as you would to paper.

Re:They're called digital cameras (2, Insightful)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098329)

Not to mention that the quality of a Polaroid was awful at best and if you did get a great shot it's not like it was trivial to make copies of it or enlarge it. A scanner would certainly make it possible to make copies now, but that kind of defeats choosing it over a digital camera, and the enlarging of the image still applies due to the image quality.

Re:They're called digital cameras (4, Informative)

Psyborgue (699890) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098729)

The problem is the cheap camera, not the film or process. You can get polaroid backs for all sorts of cameras which provide pretty high quality prints. Consider that the negative is the printing surface, so there is no enlargment.

Re:They're called digital cameras (4, Interesting)

stonecutter2 (940299) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098339)

A piece of instant film could be handed directly over to a friend or relative without further hassle. Digital cameras still require you to take the time to get to a computer and do something with the picture via the memory card or the camera itself. Instant sharing isn't as simple or direct as snapping the picture and handing it to someone, like with a Polaroid. Although being able to see if it was a "bad picture" was also handy, I think the coolest thing was the instant gratification factor that digital cameras still don't quite possess.

Re:They're called digital cameras (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28098413)

You can get a digital polaroid...
http://www.polaroid.com/CES/ProductDetail.jsp?folder_id=2534374302037099&prod_code=PG009

Re:They're called digital cameras (2, Insightful)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098467)

So what you're saying is that we need built-in printer (whatever the printer type) as the next feature of digital cameras?

That would be interesting, even if it's a niche market.

Re:They're called digital cameras (5, Informative)

Razalhague (1497249) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098487)

Already exists. [polaroid.com]

Re:They're called digital cameras (2, Informative)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098483)

Welcome to the world of 8 years ago! [amazon.com]

Re:They're called digital cameras (1)

jrothwell97 (968062) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098727)

But the flipside of that is you can take as many duff shots as you want, and you'll never waste any paper. Digital photos are also easier to store than those in paper form.

Re:They're called digital cameras (4, Insightful)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098443)

There's no need for horse-drawn carriages either, given that cars are a quicker and more energy efficient means of conveyance, but there are always a few hapless romantics who like to see the world as it once was.

As long as there's a demand for something, no matter how silly it might seem, someone will supply it.

ObSteveMartin (4, Insightful)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098477)

but there are always a few hapless romantics who like to see the world as it once was.

An arctic region covered with ice.

Re:They're called digital cameras (4, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098719)

There's no need for horse-drawn carriages either, given that cars are a quicker and more energy efficient means of conveyance

How is hauling >1,000 pounds of steel with an engine that has a thermal efficiency rating of <50% more energy efficient than a lightweight carriage drawn by an animal?

Re:They're called digital cameras (1)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098859)

your equation would be missing the top speed and longevity portion of efficiency. Being able to travel 150 miles to the beach and back in the same day would probably not be possible and/or kill the horse from exhaustion.

Large format photography (5, Informative)

Estanislao Martnez (203477) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098581)

Polaroids can still be useful for previewing exposures in large-format photography [wikipedia.org] , which is still a film world. They simply don't make 4x5" digital sensors, period.

Using a digital camera to take a test shot can be useful in the same situation, but that means using a separate camera, from a slightly different angle, potentially different field of view, etc.

Re:Large format photography (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28098813)

Using a digital camera to take a test shot can be useful in the same situation, but that means using a separate camera, from a slightly different angle, potentially different field of view, etc.

Wait, what? How do you get a Polaroid preview _without_ involving a separate camera (I mean aside from using a large-format Polaroid camera... in which case it still isn't a "preview"). I'll certainly buy using Polaroids for previews, but the argument would be more along the lines of "means having a computer and/or photo printer on site (because the LCDs on the backs of digital cameras are improving, but still aren't nearly good enough for this purpose)".

Re:Large format photography (5, Informative)

VVrath (542962) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098883)

You can get a Polaroid back for medium/large format cameras that allows you to load an unexposed Polaroid in place of the usual film negative. If you use a Polaroid with the same film speed, you can keep the aperture and shutter lengths unchanged and see a pretty good preview of how the final image will be exposed.

Re:Large format photography (3, Interesting)

badasscat (563442) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098849)

Polaroids can still be useful for previewing exposures in large-format photography [wikipedia.org] , which is still a film world. They simply don't make 4x5" digital sensors, period.

They were also still in wide use up until the very end in the film industry, where they were used both for location scouting and for continuity. It is simply *not* more convenient to take a bunch of pictures with a digital camera, go back to the office and print them out, *then* put those printouts in a binder than it is to just take a bunch of photos and stick them in a binder immediately so anyone can see them. Even if you have a small digital printer that you bring with you, that's still an extra step, not to mention the time and effort it takes to hook up the printer and then print out the photo.

Of course, that is what the industry does these days, but they are still not particularly happy about it.

Re:They're called digital cameras (1)

Brigadier (12956) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098647)

true, however digital photography is a.) modifiable (sometimes you don't want this) 2.) Digital photography still requires processing. If I'm on say a job site with a client and wish to document a condition I can take two pictures and both parties can leave with a hard copy. Digital cannot accomplish this.

Re:They're called digital cameras (3, Insightful)

smd75 (1551583) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098665)

You couldnt be more wrong. There are still photographers who use film because they get better quality from film than most digital cameras. The only cameras that can begin to compete with film as far as resolution and quality are digital backs that cost upwards of $25,000. If you already have a large format camera and a studio set up for film, there isn't much point to changing because the costs associated with transitioning. Many studios are now digital, and yes it is simple to use, but not simple to transition to. Megapixels dont mean anything. You can have large number of megapixels in a point and shoot, but it still doesnt come near a pro-amerature / pro SLR as far as quality. I learned more about photography shooting film than I did with a digital. Shoot it once, shoot it right. Ive become lazy with digital photography and can shoot multiples blowing away my memory card and getting only a couple shots. There is still a need for film, and Im part of that trend. I hope I can still get film for my cameras for my wedding

Re:They're called digital cameras (1)

The GIS Guy (962775) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098767)

I've got it. They could make it so you have to shake the camera before the image appears on the screen.Instant modern day Polaroid!

Stopping making? (1, Funny)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098243)

Another great article with award-winning editing by kdawson!

Polaroid Inc. stopping making

Does this clown even read the shit he posts?

Re:Stopping making? (2, Insightful)

dblackshell (1450807) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098395)

Not everybody on /. is a native English speaker.

Re:Stopping making? (1)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098441)

Not everybody on /. is a native English speaker.

Good for them. What does that have to do with kdawson, a native English speaker, being a horrible editor who repeatedly fails to miss obvious typos and grammatical errors in shit he posts?

Polaroids are cool (3, Interesting)

orta (786013) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098257)

I love the instant feedback you can get just watching it soak up the sun before seeing just how truely bad your photography is. I've gone through 3 cameras, fun times. It'd be nice to see if these guys get anywhere.

Tag? (4, Insightful)

gubers33 (1302099) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098269)

Can someone please explain why porn is one of the tags on this story? Retro pictures for retro porn?

Re:Tag? (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098375)

I think people are referring to extra privacy of the polaroid: you get only one copy of the image per shot, while in film cameras you get a print AND a negative (cf. numerous classic usage in movies) and in digital camera provides a possibility of infinite number of copies.

Re:Tag? (2, Informative)

oneiros27 (46144) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098611)

Close, but a missing detail --

With film, unless you had your own dark room setup, you'd have to turn over the roll of film to someone else to develop -- meaning they could either (1) refuse to give you the prints, (2) report you to police if they didn't like your photos, or (3) make copies. There are photo labs that cater to artists that might not be as much as a problem, but you wouldn't want to drop your roll off at the local drugstore or "(x) Hour Photo" place at the mall.

Polaroids didn't have this problem for this particular use.

Re:Tag? (3, Informative)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098649)

Or they are remembering one of the uses Poloroids had back in their heyday was taking pics in the bedroom.

Many a kid in the 70-80's was introduced to a world of nightmares and a desire to bleach their eyes by discovering their folks' "hidden" shoebox of memories...

Re:Tag? (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098843)

Lucky you ... I discovered my grandparents' shoebox.

No one sees the picture develop but you. (1)

stonecutter2 (940299) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098383)

You can take a picture of whatever you like. Use your imagination....

Re:Tag? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28098447)

Can someone please explain why porn is one of the tags on this story?

People are more likely to take off their clothes for the camera if they know the photos are easy to destroy and more difficult to copy...

Re:Tag? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28098495)

Probably because in today's Internet-connected world there's always the fear that any digital picture can wind up online, whether deliberately or accidentally, whereas a Polaroid picture is unlikely to leave the possession of the one who took it (or who had it taken for them) and thus be more likely to exist in the first place

Re:Tag? (5, Informative)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098497)

Amateur pornographers often used Polaroids to avoid having to develop their film at a store.

Especially useful for test shots with new models/actors. Decent enough results, you don't have to worry about the photomat guy making extra copies and selling them, a lot more cost-effective than contracting out to a more trusted source for developing (since most photos will be trashed / paper clipped to an application for a pro photo/film shoot), and a lot easier to say "here are all the photos" when you land a contract / the model/actor bails out.

Also useful if it's pics of you and your significant others that you don't intend to sell/distribute, and of course, for anything that is super freaky, borderline illegal, or illegal.

Re:Tag? (2, Funny)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098545)

One of the best uses for the camera was to take naked pictures without having to have your own darkroom. Not amm... that I would know anything about that...

On a side note, my uncle is a comedian and one day we set up some Barbie porn using my sister's dolls. We forgot to mention to my mother (whose camera we used) what was on that roll. She got a very odd look from the guy at Wolf camera when she went in to pick her pictures up. My uncle's comment was "Good thing your sister didn't have Barbie's dream horse..."

Re:Tag? (1)

Khashishi (775369) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098825)

Can someone please explain why porn is one of the tags on this story? Retro pictures for retro porn?

You must be new here.

Good Idea (5, Insightful)

stonecutter2 (940299) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098285)

Although the trend is toward easy digital transferring of images, they're usually not that great if taken with cell phones, and digital cameras require an intermediate step to get it to a computer. I remember the days of taking Polaroids of friends, and snapping several so everyone got one. I'm not even sure that most younger folks these days would have even seen a Polaroid "insta-matic" but I bet they'd get a real kick out of them if they did. It was kind of special that you got to shoot the picture and develop it and instantly pass it along/share it with others. I hope they can figure out the chemical process necessary to recreate the film, but maybe Kodak could be persuaded to license the formula to the new manufacturer?

Re:Good Idea (1)

Nerdposeur (910128) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098615)

I remember the days of taking Polaroids of friends, and snapping several so everyone got one.

That's cool. Wouldn't it be nice if you could do the same now - snap a digital picture and then Bluetooth it to the phone of everyone standing there?

I suppose an acceptable alternative would be that your pictures are uploaded to a web album in real time and you can immediately text a short URL to everyone...

Re:Good Idea (1)

stonecutter2 (940299) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098861)

This digital stuff is just not the same as physically possessing something that only you have access to. There are no permissions to set on an album, no internet required, and it's easily hid in a shoebox far from parents prying eyes when you, for example, take a goofy picture of your friend pretending to drink one of his Dad's beers with a cigarette in his hand.

Re:Good Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28098887)

yeah, I'm pretty sure even the shittiest polaroid had better resolution than 99.9% of all bluetooth enabled phones.

oh did I mention that 4x3 is a lot bigger than 1.5x1?

Way to go... (2, Informative)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098789)

'Polaroid' is, of course, a trademark of the Polaroid corporation.

'Instamatic' is a trademark of the Kodak corporation, and refers to 100 and 126 film cameras - not instant anything except maybe loading. The film required processing in the conventional way.

These two terms cannot be used to represent a single product. Ask either corporation. Or former users.

Way to mix up trademarks... Somewhere someone is writhing in agony.

Digital Retro? (2, Interesting)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098311)

Why not do Digital to chemical process? Have a Digital Camera, that takes AND STORES pictures, just like they do today, but have an OPTION to spit out an Instant Picture as well?

It doesn't have to be one or the other, it can be BOTH.

If I were Polaroid, I'd make a system for printing Digital Photos to REAL photo paper, and not using crappy Inkjet or Color Laser, for the home market.

Re:Digital Retro? (5, Informative)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098363)

If I were Polaroid, I'd make a system for printing Digital Photos to REAL photo paper, and not using crappy Inkjet or Color Laser, for the home market.

You mean like this product [amazon.com] that's been around for years?

Re:Digital Retro? (5, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098505)

Wow, I knew companies were quick to bring new products to market, but 3 minutes later and it's already available on amazon?

Polaroid, color me impressed!

Re:Digital Retro? (1)

La_Boca (201988) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098753)

Date first available at Amazon.com: September 4, 1973

Re:Digital Retro? (1)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098851)

Yeah that's an error. It first came out around 2001 from what I can remember. All the reviews I found for it on CNET, etc were also from early 2001.

Re:Digital Retro? (0, Redundant)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098551)

As the other pointed out, that's existed for ages, but what's more, there's ones like that which you can just hook the camera directly to, and print from it without a computer.

I prefer the idea you were alluding to with this bit:

Have a Digital Camera, that takes AND STORES pictures, just like they do today, but have an OPTION to spit out an Instant Picture as well?

Basically, combine a digital and polaroid camera. Take the picture, have it show up on a screen, and ask if you want to (s)ave, (p)rint, (d)elete? And you can save it, then go back to it on the screen, and print multiple copies right then and there. I can't imagine that this wouldn't have a market. People would love to be able to crank out 3 or 4 copies of a photo right then and there, and then go home and throw it up on facebook, all on their own.

Re:Digital Retro? (1)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098607)

That product [amazon.com] was already brought out by Polaroid last year.

Re:Digital Retro? (1)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098645)

Oops that was meant to be this product [amazon.com] .

Re:Digital Retro? (1)

al0ha (1262684) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098641)

>> If I were Polaroid, I'd make a system for printing Digital Photos to REAL photo paper, and not using crappy Inkjet or Color Laser, for the home market.
Amen brother - Inkjet and color laser paper quality sucks. Though I haven't tried it, you can probably print E6 process using a laptop projector, though I suppose the focus quality will not be as good as an enlarger, so perhaps one could modify an old E6 enlarger to use the laptop projector as the light source.

Re:Digital Retro? (1)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098673)

Consumer photo printers for digital cameras have existed for close to a decade. Just so you know...

Re:Digital Retro? (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098683)

Because you'd need a mechanism for exposing the chemicals to light.

You could fairly easily have a camera that operates in either mode, but not both at the same time (digital pic or instant pic).

With a lot of work, you could have a camera that is a digital camera, but also does a single instant print. You'd have huge issues with getting the optics right. You need the SAME IMAGE (geometrically) to go to the film and to the sensor. But the sensor and the film have completely different requirements for exposure time, amount of light let in, etc. Even if you could tweak the sensors and the chemicals a bit to be more in line, you'd never get them to output the same thing. And of course, you have to split that incoming light perfectly in two (one view for the film one for the sensor), and you're basically neutering the quality of both. Forgot fast shots or shots where the lighting isn't fucking perfect.

Now, if you wanted a camera that could do both and print out multiple prints, the you'd need some sort of fucking projector system in the camera. Hmmm, maybe if you had the sensor in front and the film behind, you could load up a pic, point the camera at a bright light source (the source to expose the film) and use the sensor as a sort of projection filter. Would require a new type of sensor to be able to fill both roles, and your quality would be limited by both the steadiness of the light source you're pointing it at and the resolution and range of your sensor. PATENT PENDING, BITCHES. MY IDEA.

Re:Digital Retro? (1)

Psyborgue (699890) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098689)

That method already exists. It's called making a digital negative [digital-negatives.com] . Basically you use a high-dpi inkjet (with lightfast ink) to print a negative onto a transparency. Then all you do is place the transparency directly over photo paper, expose to light, and develop. There are specially made transparencies (without patterns) you can get for this express purpose. There is nothing quite like a silver gelatin print. Inkjet can't even get close to the blacks you can get.

Good luck to them, I guess. (2, Interesting)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098343)

There will always be people who want to preserve obsolete technology for all sorts of reasons and if it does it for 'em, more power to 'em, I guess. I don't really see this as any weirder or more impractical than people learning to make chain mail or speak a dead language.

Re:Good luck to them, I guess. (1)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098585)

Hey! Chain mail has tons of practical uses nowadays! It's more flexible while providing greater protection than something like a safety apron in a work shop.

Chainmail still has uses (1)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098847)

I work in a restaurant and we (are supposed to) use chainmail gloves when using sharp blades to prevent accidentally chopping your fingers off. So, I definitely wouldn't say that chainmail is obsolete in every way, it's just obsolete when used as armor due to guns.

No, probably not (3, Informative)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098351)

If everyone runs in one direction [i.e. digital photography], it creates a niche market in the other.

Yeah, I'm sure the horse buggy manufacturers tried to claim something similar after Ford started to ramp up production. But we're not talking about music genres here - we're talking about a new technology that's made the old technology completely obsolete.

I'm old enough to have used a "Polaroid Swinger" back when I was a kid. Sure, they were a lot of fun - but the tech has passed them by.

Re:No, probably not (4, Insightful)

Itninja (937614) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098579)

I don't know man....the rise of the CD has rekindled a love for vinyl LPs. The Fred Meyer in my town even has a small section dedicated to /new/ vinyl. And I am sure there was a niche market created for horse buggy makers after the rise of the automobile.

Re:No, probably not (2, Insightful)

techiemikey (1126169) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098623)

And yet, you still see some people using a horse and buggy. The Amish and various people in cities for park tours for example.

Re:No, probably not (4, Insightful)

zarkill (1100367) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098653)

But you see, the point is that someone still DOES make horse buggies. People still go to Central Park to ride the buggies, and SOMEONE has to create them.

That's the great thing about a niche market - if you're the only one in a certain business, be it horse buggies or resurrecting Polaroid film, you might very well be able to get enough customers who are interested in your product to stay in business.

If they think that enough people still find the old-school Polaroid film appealing, then they'd be stupid NOT to take their money, since no one else wants to.

Re:No, probably not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28098693)

There ARE companies still making horse-drawn carriages. Been to central park lately? In fact, there are people willing to pay for the experience of riding around in one. It's called a niche market..

Bring back 9-track tape and hollerith cards! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28098757)

Who doesn't miss these?

And real front panels and perhaps paper tape...

Re:No, probably not (4, Insightful)

blhack (921171) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098803)

we're talking about a new technology that's made the old technology completely obsolete.

In other words:

"I personally find this technology to be STOOPID! The huge hordes of people that still want it are equally STOOPID and we should ignore any opportunities to fulfill a demand because the demand is STOOPID and I disgree with it!"

Is that about right?

(hint: if I could get a Polaroid and the film for it at target, I would)
(bonus: I shoot digital all day long [like it's my job{oh wait, it IS my job!}])

Re:No, probably not (2, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098871)

And sure enough, those who survived [jedediahsbuggywhip.com] seem to be doing quite well. As long as some people still want them, other people will be able to make a profit off it.

Duh? (3, Interesting)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098357)

"If everyone runs in one direction [i.e. digital photography], it creates a niche market in the other."

Uh, no, not if EVERYONE runs in one direction.
Either way, it's pretty much a retarded business decision. Let's bring back those cameras that used 35 mm film AND showed you an (estimated) instant view of it on an LCD.

How about those cameras that saved to floppies?

RETRO COOL AMIRITE?

The old-style feel! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28098387)

Oh yeah, why drive a modern automobile when you can get the classic ride of a horse and buggy. And while you're at it why not use a typewriter and the USPS to write send all your bills and letters, too? There's a reason for when things get discontinued. There's always going to be people who have a thing for it, but seriously...a lot of people are calling for the revival of polaroid film but how many are actually going to put forth the effort, not to mention money, to get it if it does become available again?

Why not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28098397)

You can still buy Studebaker parts. If they can safely recreate the chem processes for the film, why not keep some kitsch around for the hobbyists and art school kids?

Polaroid appeal (4, Insightful)

CherniyVolk (513591) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098423)

I always viewed Polaroid cameras as being, to be elegant and frank, ghetto.

But, they do have a unique visual aesthetic, it's not just the bold white border and the thick bottom border that gives it away. Nor the glassy sheen over the picture itself. There is something about a Polaroid shot, that makes the picture undoubtedly Polaroid nearly every time. It looks like a ghetto shot, but in this day and age with free artists and artistic expression on a free internet, maybe some of the guys at Deviant Art can do some very very nice retro art using Polaroid shots.

I'm certain of it. Just as certain as "indie" films with their similar low-budget feel gives off a certain appeal to their films. Like Tarantino(sp?) films feel low-budget until Bruce Willis appears before the camera (like he isn't getting paid right?).

My only suggestion to this business endeavor... give the artists a larger sample. Original Polaroid shots were stamp size squares, almost every one of them have some part of the primary subject being clipped by the boundaries. A wide aspect ratio shot, on Polaroid, I think would be very awesome.

Hell, I might even be interested, even though I'm not an artist. Also, maybe an electronic means to get that Polaroid shot, into digital form from the camera itself would be sexy. Afterall, no matter the intentions of the visual artist, it's destined to be digitized eventually. (Rembrandt probably never imagined his work would be digitized yet it has been.)

Re:Polaroid appeal (1)

kylemonger (686302) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098659)

Alien Skin makes software to reproduce the look of vintage film stocks, including Polaroid. If you just want that Polaroid look anyone could have had it long ago without futzing with the klunky old cameras and expensive film. But you'll never convince the diehards with reason; it's not a rational decision to use it any more than preferring peanut butter over chocolate is rational.

Re:Polaroid appeal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28098739)

Rembrandt probably never imagined his work would be digitized yet it has been.

He probably also never imagined electro-copulation, our imaginations are constrained to what surrounds us.

Niche market? Hardly. (-1, Troll)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098431)

"...If everyone runs in one direction [i.e. digital photography], it creates a niche market in the other.

Yeah, everyone ran to vaccines when they were discovered or created too. For good reason. Just because we don't have Polio in the wild anymore doesn't mean there's a damn void to shove a "niche" virus into. But by all means, you go ahead and try. While you're at it, I heard there's market-share to be had for bringing back typewriters. New and Improved "virus-proof" Word Processor!

Those that do not remember history... (2)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098489)

are doomed to repeat it. Could that fact that the Polaroid cameras cost you $1 every time you pushed the button have had anything to do with it's demise? I suspect when they do finally figure out what chemicals were used and compute their costs, they will finally realize how absurd this idea was in the first place. Ok... so now who's nostalgic for the return of microfilm/microfiche?

Re:Those that do not remember history... (1)

somaTh (1154199) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098691)

Ok... so now who's nostalgic for the return of microfilm/microfiche?

But, how are people in the future going to read the Orange Catholic Bible [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:Those that do not remember history... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28098717)

Personally, I'm trading in my copy machine for a bunch of monks who will hand copy all of my documents using a quill and ink well.

More like $2.00+ per shot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28098821)

More like $2.00 on average per shot now! [polapremium.com] And that's not including the S&H to get the stuff!

The artsy crowd likes them because for several hours afterward, you can manipulate the image and weird effects. One of Peter Gabriel's album covers were down this way.

USPTO Contract = $$ (1)

tomservo291 (863856) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098517)

They just need to land a USPTO contract. Just a few months ago, they used a Polaroid with instant film to take my passport photo.

Re:USPTO Contract = $$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28098833)

And its the same for immigration pictures, I had to have a couple polaroids taken for a green card renewal. I guess the DHS feels they are less likely to be tampered (photoshopped) with.

Very low but long-term need for old films (2, Insightful)

davidwr (791652) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098589)

Just as there is a small art market for modern photography using long-obsolete film processes [wikipedia.org] such as tintype, there will be a small art market for various Polaroid films.

The patents on most instant films expired long ago.

Polaroid should publish the trade secrets it is no longer using and leave it up to hobbyists and entrepreneurs to either make the chemicals themselves or contract with a chemical factory to make them. They should also release Kodak from its consent decree on the off-chance that Kodak or a future successor-of-interest may want to play in that arena.

Other makers of obsolete film stocks should do the same.

Serious artistic interest (2, Informative)

wsanders (114993) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098603)

One thing about the "SX70" process (with the fully contained chemicals in a bubble at the edge of the film), the dyes used were unusually stable and long lasting for the time. There was some serious artistic interest for that reason.

Large-format Polaroid photography was all the rage during the late 80s and early 90s. Mostly because it was insanely expensive (hundreds of dollars per exposure.) Again, it had a unique look and feel that was of some artistic interest.

Since there is still quite a bit of large format activity out there, maybe they can make a go of it. Polaroid only tanked because it was managed by incompetents, not because of failures of their technology.

Properties of Polaroid films (3, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098635)

Polaroid film had some unusual properties. For one thing, it's grainless. Unlike silver-based films, Polaroid film itself potentially has detail down to the molecular level. Most of Polaroid's own cameras didn't have good enough optics to take full advantage of this, but there were Polaroid films for view cameras which did.

This is not about replacing digital cameras (1)

Junks Jerzey (54586) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098735)

Of COURSE digital cameras supersede the original Polaroid dream of instant pictures. Insert a big "duh" here." This is more about some people liking the quirky qualities of Polaroid film. There's been a resurgence in Polaroid photos on Flickr, and they're coming from people who also own thousands of dollars worth of digital photography gear. It's an artistic novelty, doing low-res pixel art (all the rage in Flash games) or playing music on a scanner.

Instant Results (1)

SoundGuyNoise (864550) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098743)

A lot of pro wrestlers and other athletes make extra money selling photos with their fans for $5 dollars a pop. A Polaroid allows the fan to have the results in their hand right away.

Since it spits the photo out right away, the line keeps moving, more money exchanges hands, and that's what drives the economy, right? If you have to wait for a print out or an e-mail, it slows down the works.

1) Polaroid
2) ???? (Chemical Process)
3) PROFIT!

Pictures with Santa (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28098751)

I think there is still a need for this. Last year we took the kids to a department store in my hometown that has had a Santa Land since I was a kid. They've always offered pictures with Santa for a few bucks... not the $20-$30 and up that they charge at the big malls, but $5 or less. They always used a Polaroid, but just recently switched to digital.

The only problem is that now the system is so complex that it slows down the entire visit with Santa, that is if 'Mrs. Santa' can even get a picture to print. When we were there, she couldn't, and finally told us to take our own pictures (which was allowed if you bought one, but she gave us our money back since she couldn't print one).

Now, for something like this, even us techno geeks have to admit that a cheap Polaroid with expensive cartridges is a better solution than a digital camera, computer, and printer. Santa at the mall has the digital camera, computer, and printer, but there are also about 4 staff working to support the system, and they even use pagers so you can arrange the time of your visit. And of course those pictures start at about $20.

So I think there is definitely a market for this, in some situations you want an instant picture and don't want to invest the time and money to mess around with a PC, printer, etc.

Other purposes: scientific devices (5, Interesting)

getuid() (1305889) | more than 5 years ago | (#28098799)

Right now (as in: this very moment) I'm using an x-ray Laue diffraction machine to orient a set of crystals at a given angle. The machine is probably 30 years old, but other than that, it works just great.

This step is crucial in order to permit further experiments I need to do. The problem: I still have approximately about 60 instant-films from Polaroid left ("Type 57" or "Type 53"). But they are discontinued, so when they're gone, there will be none. It's very difficult to get these (actually, it took me more than 6 months of waiting time to get 160 of them), and the only option is to buy another Laue diffraction machine to replace the one we have, which is probably going to cost something with 5 trainling zeros.

Now if somebody was to take over production of "Polaroid Type 57" instant films (they are used for instant photography aswell), that'd solve the problem without us having to spend several hundres of thounsands of euros.

The "normal" polaroid pictures (i.e. those a mere mortal used to take during a holiday) are not exatcly the same as Type 57, but I'll go on a limb here and assert the technology required to manufacture them is similar... so I, for one, welcome our new retro-acting, Polaroid-instant-film-manufacturing overlords :-)

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