Polaroid Impulse

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Designed for Polaroid's 600-series integral film, the Impulse models are similar in body design to the OneStep or Pronto! models released for SX-70 film in that they feature a non-folding plastic body, single-element plastic lens and fixed focus.

The basic Impulse model as shown here is usually found in a dark gray colour, but there were a variety of different colours of Impulse released including yellow, red and light gray. Some autofocus models were also made which were designated as Impulse AF and feature higher quality 3-element lenses. The body is a hard-wearing plastic, and features rubber grips around the rear, a tripod-socket, flash-ready light and film counter. The flash is raised by pressing down onto the top of the unit; this also turns the camera on and retracts the lens cover.

Features common to all Impulse fixed-focus models are:

  • Single element plastic lens with fixed aperture (116mm, f9)
  • 4 ft minimum focus distance.
  • Exposure compensation controls below lens.
  • Flash fires for every shot; cannot be user controlled.

The exposure compensation control acts as a crude shutter speed control by moving a variable density filter in front of the exposure meter sensor to block some of the light from reaching it. Moving the control towards the dark arrow increases the light reaching the sensor, resulting in a high shutter speed and an underexposed (darker) final images. Moving the control towards the light arrrow decreases the light reaching the sensor, resulting in a slower shutter speed and an overexposed (lighter) final image.

The Impulse Portrait model adds a simple plastic "close-up" lens for focussing between 2 and 4 feet, but it lacks sharpness. The yellow-bodied model also features a warning sticker reminding users that, despite its colour scheme, it is not waterproof.


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