How to use my vintage Polaroid camera

  • Polaroid camera maintenance

From time to time, your Polaroid camera will require a little tender loving care. This will keep your camera producing the best images possible, and ensure the longevity of your camera.

Please remember that all Polaroid, Polaroid Originals cameras must be cleaned with care. You should only use a slightly dampened cloth when you are working on the plastic or metal components of the camera. Do not use chemical cleaners of any variety, as they could damage your camera. If cleaning the leather components (as found on folding camera models like the SX-70), make sure you do so with care, so as not to tear the leather.

  • How to clean lens ?
To clean the lens of the camera, use a microfibre cloth designed for that purpose. This will ensure that you do not scratch the lens or leave behind any strands that may impact the quality of your photos.
  • How to clean the rollers ?

The component which will require the most frequent maintenance are the rollers of your camera. In order to spread the developer paste between the negative and positive components of each photo, the picture goes through two metal rollers as it exits the film door. If they are dirty, uneven or a just little off-kilter, the chemistry will not be evenly spread. 

We recommend that you inspect your rollers between every pack of film, and clean them every 2-3 packs – even if they look perfectly clean to you. The rollers are accessible by opening the film door compartment of the camera. You can easily clean them with a soft cloth, dampened slightly with clean water. Allow the rollers to dry completely before using your camera again. 

  • How do I use my camera's lighten / darken control ?

All Polaroid, Polaroid Originals and Impossible i-Type cameras have some kind of exposure compensation, whether it’s a dial, a knob, a slider or a wheel. So, when should you be using it ?

In most cases, your camera will make its own best assessment of your environment using a built-in light meter, and will usually do a pretty good job creating a balanced exposure. If you aren’t happy with the result of a photo, you can re-take the photo, making it lighter or darker using the camera’s exposure control. Below are some instances where you may get better results initially by manually tweaking the exposure a little bit.

Very Bright Sunlight:
Polaroid 600 - slide 1/4 towards darken
Polaroid SX-70 - slide 2/3 towards darken
Polaroid Image/Spectra - slide 1/4 towards darken

Normal Daylight:
Polaroid 600 - keep settings in the middle
Polaroid SX-70 - slide 1/3 towards darken
Polaroid Image/Spectra - keep settings in the middle

Subject is in Shadow in Daylight Environment:
Polaroid 600 - slide 1/4 towards lighten
Polaroid SX-70 - keep settings in the middle
Polaroid Image/Spectra - keep settings in the middle


Vintage Polaroid camera information

  • Polaroid 600 series camera

From the bare-bones Polaroid Amigo to the exquisite Polaroid SLR680, and a ton options in between, such as the 636 Close-up, Sun660, 630 Lightmixer, Supercolor 635, Spirit 600 - just to name a few.

The Polaroid 600 camera was designed to make instant photography as simple as possible for photographers of any ability. Polaroid 600 series cameras can shoot under almost any conditions. With a new high-speed film, one-click focus (auto or fixed) and automatic flash settings (with manual override options), simplicity and ease-of-use are at the forefront of every 600 camera’s design.

600 cameras come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, but they share the same basic principles. Due to the wide variety of 600 cameras produced over the years, Polaroid Originals can’t guarantee the specific model you will receive when you order one through our online store. The exact name, design, color and cosmetic condition may vary from what is displayed. But all cameras are original vintage Polaroid™ cameras which have been carefully inspected, refurbished and tested by our team of repair technicians.

All 600 series cameras feature:

  • One-click photo taking procedure
  • Built-in electronic automatic flash
  • Lighten/Darken controls
  • 1 year limited warranty

  • Polaroid SX-70 series camera

The Polaroid SX-70 camera is probably the most well-known and iconic Polaroid instant camera:

  • Produced between 1972 and 1981
  • Features a unique folding mechanism that makes the camera the most compact of all Polaroid cameras
  • Works with all Polaroid film packs for Polaroid SX-70 cameras featuring the classic square format

The SX-70 camera is a Single Lens Reflex (SLR) camera, and is available as a standard model, with manual focus, and the Sonar model, featuring both manual focus and optional Sonar autofocus. The camera comes in a range of classic colors such as chrome with brown leather or black with black leather.

  • Refurbishment of Polaroid camera

At Polaroid we artfully refurbish vintage Polaroid cameras, collecting, cleaning and repairing them so they’re ready for a new generation of photographers. We do this at facilities in Ukrainian Treasures Inc. 2233 49th Ave North, Suite 180, Minneapolis, MN 55430

We currently refurbish the following camera types:

- Polaroid 600
- Polaroid SX-70

All the refurbished cameras we sell are originals – not reproductions. They were produced by Polaroid in the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s, so the cosmetic condition of each camera may vary slightly. Every camera comes with a one year limited warranty.