Polaroid 'Instant' Film Could Be Back, Thanks to Retro-Loving Chemists
Call us old-fashioned, but there's nothing quite like pulling the ol' photo album down from the bookcase and flipping through the past few decades with friends and family. Sure, perusing pics on Facebook is a surefire way to blow a few hours, but, for our money, physical copies still reign. (This probably explains why that digital photo frame we got for Christmas is still gathering dust in storage.) Attempts to recapture Polaroid's instant imaging with digital tech have failed to gain much traction with photo enthusiasts.
Perhaps this love for the analog explains the drive behind a group of primarily Dutch scientists in Germany that are attempting to revive production of the iconic instant film, which was groundbreaking when it came out in 1972. Because Polaroid dismantled its manufacturing efforts, the new team has to recreate the chemicals that allowed the original Polaroid film to develop in just a few seconds. The company abandoned its instant film products last year, forcing devotees of the camera format to stock up on film as production ended.
Florian Kaps, the Austrian investor spearheading the revival effort, hopes to start production of the insta-film later this year. Regarding the market for an analog technology in an increasingly digital world, Kaps told the New York Times, "If everyone runs in one direction, it creates a niche market in the other."
Although Kaps optimistically estimates that there are over a billion Polaroid cameras worldwide, it remains to be seen whether or not analog film fans will pay hard-earned cash for refills. If you're just looking for the retro look without the cost, you can always approximate that cool Polaroid style with free apps and filters available on the Web. [From: NYTimes]