In a nutshell, instant film or Polaroid Film is a type of film that develops itself in a matter of minutes. You take the picture, the film slides out of the camera, and voila, you have your photo (after a minute or so).
Instant film dates all the way back to 1947 and since then, Polaroid has sold millions of the stuff. The idea of being able to shoot a picture on film and see it almost instantly (in comparison to the laborious process of getting 35mm film developed) has made this type of film super popular throughout the decades.
The film comes in multiple different sizes ranging from from 24 mm × 36 mm (0.94 in × 1.42 in) up to 50.8 cm × 61 cm (20 in × 24 in) size but you’ll find the most popular size being 83 mm × 108 mm (3.3 in × 4.3 in).
How much is Instax/Polaroid film?
Thankfully, with the resurgence of Polaroid and Instant film in the past decade, you might be spoilt for choice when it comes to purchasing film but you can expect to pay about £12-£15 for 20 exposures of Fuji Film Mini whilst Polaroid Originals can range from about £10 all the way up to £300 if you’re shooting large format.
What is the best Instax/Polaroid to use?
If you’re looking for affordability you should start by taking a look at the Fuji Instax mini 9 range, these start at around £50-£60 mark and produce image sizes of 6.2 x 4.6cm. These cameras are considered entry level so if you’re looking to take care-free pictures, then this is the one for you. It’s worth noting, Leica makes a very similar camera to the Fuji Instax which produces the same image size so if you’re looking to brag to your mates that you own a Leica, this is your cheapest way to do it for about £275.
If you’re looking for something in the higher end bracket of instant cameras, you might consider a Polaroid® SX-70 Camera. These fold up cameras were originally released in the 70’s, these were popular among professionals for the amount of detail they could capture. They are technically an SLR, meaning that what you see through the viewfinder, is what the lens is seeing. The auto-exposure on the the SX-70 has a great reputation for it’s lighting accuracy, meaning this is going to produce some high quality images making it a great camera to start with if you’re looking to get into instant film photography.