The Last 600

I came quite late to the game with Polaroid, taking my first shot (as an adult) in spring 2009. I bought one pack of ATZ to see if my dad’s old SX-70 still worked. It did. I was hooked. 

Back home I did my research, got a neutral density filter for the lens and searched out some 600 film. Boots The Chemists in Cambridge had stock and I was on my way. I went back a month later and bought the last packs if Polaroid in the shop. 

I loved 600 very much Рvery easy to use, good clear colours. Along with the 779 promotions Pola Premium then Impossible Project ran, I shot a ton. Many of my favourite pictures are on it. After trying a couple of packs of Time Zero, I yearned for the magic of that film (I mostly found 600 to be slightly more prosaic than the dreams TZ produced, but none the worse for that). It served me well in the forest, on the city corners, in Paris and in Provençe.

Until eventually I was down to one single pack.

At the end of April I finally took the plunge and put that last pack of Polaroid 600 film in my SLR680. It’s possible that I may shoot another pack if one turns up, but I’m not so keen on how the 600 ages: where Time Zero gets crazy flames and colour-shifts, 600 just seems to lose contrast and turn yellow. Not my favourite. 

The last 600 produced expired in the autumn of 2009, and this pack was one of the Giambarba edition bought from Impossible Project last year. Those Impossible guys have been excellent at sourcing the last stocks of films (especially the 600 and its twin, 779, as well as the Edge Cut packs), but all stock is gone, never to be replaced. 

This last pack had taken on a totemic value, sitting in my fridge, proclaiming “I am the LAST”, waiting for the perfect opportunity to be used. And I worried about the right occasion to use it, fearing that I would waste it on poor subjects in poor weather. 

But that pressure has been relieved by The Impossible Project’s PX680 film – there is now and going to be full colour film food for our cameras again! That pack of 600 lost it’s fearsome aura, and demanded to just be used and celebrated. I’m mostly very happy with what came out:

1. Lion and Dragon

2. Long Roof

3. Green Man

4. Cross Keys

5. Corner

6. Hotel Russell

7. Abbey Ruins

8. Road sign

9. Doctor Land

10. Forest

So farewell then, 600. You’ve been an excellent companion, and thank you for the journey. And if any of you have film left, shoot it! The pictures come out much better if you use the film…

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