Polaroid Integral 600 Series

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When most people talk about Polaroid cameras, they mean the popular and relatively cheap models of the 1980s and 1990s that used film packs with integral batteries that were designated the 600 series. The "instant" prints measure 79mm (3.1") square with a white border around them and take around 3 minutes to fully develop at 70°F (21°C). The film has an ISO rating of 640. The film was branded with several different names over the years, including "Extreme 600" and "Notepad". A high definition "professional" film named "779" could also be used with cameras from the 600 series. Some of the cameras had 'sonar' autofocus and/or featured glass lenses, but most had plastic lenses with a fixed focus of around 6 feet. A "close-up" lens was often included, but this took the form of a simple plastic meniscus that slid into place. Many of the models are functionally identical to others but have different coloured fascia, names and stickers according to marketing territory. Several models were limited editions with tie-ins to icons of popular culture, such as Barbie or the Spice Girls, while other versions were promotional items made for corporate entities and are now highly collectible thanks to their rarity.

The 600 series can be divided into 8 sub-groups.

Models with no flash

The standard model is the Polaroid OneStep 600, which had a simple fixed focus 1-element plastic lens and lacked the close-up adaptor. The only user-control is the exposure compensation slider used to make pictures lighter or darker. Various versions were produced for international and promotional markets. These models can be partially folded to protect the lens.

  • Polaroid OneStep 600 (The first camera in the series. No close-up lens. Initially in black but followed by multiple naming variants - Amigo, Spirit, President, Quick, Revue etc. - and colours.)
  • Polaroid Amigo 620 (As above, but with close-up lens. Initially in beige, but also marketed as Quick 120, Spirit, and in other colours.)

Models with square corners

These models were an advance on the initial series in that they included a built-in automatic flash in similar straight-edged bodies. These models have a 116mm fixed-focus 1-element plastic lens and an exposure correction slider on the front. The basic model is the One Step Flash, which came with or without a close up (CU) lens. Many variants were made for international and promotional markets.

Without close-up lens:

Variant names: Polaroid 600, Polaroid 640 (SE), Polaroid Camel, Polaroid Coca-Cola, Polaroid CoolCam (600), Polaroid Lightmixer 630 (SL), Polaroid Magical Camera, Polaroid Spirit 600, Polaroid Sun 600 LMS/SE, Polaroid Sun 630 LMP, Polaroid Sun 635 QS/SE, Polaroid Sun 640, Polaroid SuperColor Esprit, Polaroid Supercolor (SE/SL) 635, Polaroid Supercolor 645, Polaroid SuperColors, Polaroid Tomy Kodomo

With close-up lens:

Variant names: Polaroid 600 BE (Business Edition), Polaroid Supercolor 635CL Jubilee , Polaroid 650, Polaroid ADT, Polaroid CoolCam 600 Close-Up, Polaroid EMS Photo System, Polaroid Job Pro (The Construction Camera), Polaroid McDonalds, Polaroid Party, Polaroid PEP Educator Edition, Polaroid Portfolio, Polaroid Planum, Polaroid Spirit 600 CL, Polaroid Sportcam (like Job Pro), Polaroid Sun 645 CL, Polaroid Sun 650 (SE), Polaroid Supercolor 635 CL, Polaroid Supercolor 645 CL, Polaroid The Fun Time Camera

Models with square corners and autofocus

Shaped similarly to the above models, but with a gold-coloured disc with a grille in front of it. This utilized Polaroid's patented Sonar autofocus system.

Alternative names (and multiple colours) include: Polaroid Autofocus 660 SE, Polaroid Lightmixer AF 660, Polaroid Revue Autofocus 660, Polaroid Sun Autofocus 660 (SE) (50th Anniversary Edition), Polaroid Sun 670 Autofocus QS, Polaroid Supercolor Elite, Polaroid Supercolor 670 AF/Deluxe/SE

Models with curved corners

Softer edges appeared in this generation, with some models sharing names the names of previous successes, such as "One Step". All of these cameras have close-up lenses or autofocus and the exposure compensation slider.

Variant names and designs included: Polaroid 600 Business Edition 2, Polaroid 636, Polaroid 636 Closeup, Polaroid 780, Polaroid 2000, Polaroid Barbie, Polaroid CoolCam, Polaroid Descartes, Polaroid Easy (636 Closeup), Polaroid Family, Polaroid Hello Kitty, Polaroid Jagermeister, Polaroid Job Pro 2, Polaroid Tomy Kodomo, Polaroid Legoland, Polaroid OneStep Close Up, Polaroid OneStep Flash, Polaroid OneStep Version II, Polaroid Popcam, Polaroid Spirit CL, Polaroid State Farm Insurance, Polaroid Street Photo Night Cam, Polaroid Tecate, Polaroid Zoe Cam

  • Polaroid One Step Autofocus (SE) (2-zone autofocus, not Sonar) Also known as Polaroid 636 AF/Autofocus, Polaroid OneStep Autofocus AF (SE)
  • Polaroid 636 Talking Camera (aka 636 Polatalk and OneStep Talking Camera.) Functionally equivalent is the Polaroid OneStep Talking Camera (QPS) (blue/green on dark grey; QPS is light grey on dark grey)
  • Polaroid Photo GraphiX2 (black and yellow, very odd flat-fronted design)
  • Polaroid Taz (Shaped like the head of Tazmanian Devil®, the Warner Bros. cartoon character)

Impulse Series

The Impulse models introduced in 1989 have sharp edges, diagonal lines and a tough rubber hand-grip. They do not fold up. Standard Impulse cameras have a single element plastic lens with fixed aperture (116mm, f/9) and minimum focus distance of 4 feet. A close-up adaptor is present on some models. Some of the models have a 3-element lens with 'Sonar' autofocus. To switch on the camera, the user presses the spring-loaded flash on the right hand side. The flash fires for every shot. Multiple colours were available.

  • Polaroid Impulse (Standard model is grey, but also available in black, blue, green, purple, yellow. No close-up lens)
  • Polaroid Impulse AF (grey, black, green, purple or blue, 'AutoFocus System' text on film exit; sonar autofocus is below flash. Grey and black models also available with remote control. Blue model has been seen with 'BASS - Bass Anglers Sportsman Society' logo)
  • Polaroid Impulse Close-up (Like standard model, but close-up adaptor slides in front of lens when switch above viewfinder is pushed. Available in grey and blue)
  • Polaroid Impulse CL (black, with close up adaptor)
  • Polaroid Impulse Portrait (Like Impulse Close-up. Sharpest focus at 0.6-1.2 metres. Available in grey and black)
  • Polaroid Impulse QPS (Special markets version of Impulse, with or without close-up lens. Available in black and with Kylie Minogue/Geffen Records branding)
  • Polaroid Impulse SE (Appears to be the same as standard Impulse. With or without CU lens).
  • Polaroid Impulse SE 'AutoFocus System' (same as Impulse AF)

Modern (round top) Models

These models have a rounded top when open and are very rounded when closed, resembling a bread bin. The flash is enclosed by a semi-circle of translucent plastic. A velcro hand grip is usually present on the user's left hand side. All models have a close-up adaptor or autofocus.

  • Polaroid 600 (round top) (Basic model with fixed focus, hand grip, close-up adaptor. Available in many colours inc. dark blue, dark grey with cyan trim, dark blue with white trim, dark blue with yellow).

Variant designs and names include: Polaroid 600 Aquablue, Polaroid 600 Asian Gold (orangey gold and black), Polaroid 600 Extreme (black with orange trim), Polaroid 600 af (presumably autofocus), Polaroid 637 (dark grey with cyan trim, like 600. Also seen with 'Key Coffee - Drip On' branding), Polaroid 790 (similar to 600 Extreme, but black and red), Polaroid Cam (black/magenta), Polaroid L.S./M.F.T. (black/silver 'Lucky Strike' logo), Polaroid neuve (white/orange/green),Polaroid OneStep Express (green/grey/yellow, came with matching case), Polaroid P (silver/dark blue, with or without 'Kenneth Cole - Reaction' logo; black/cyan; silver/black, with or without 'Coca Cola' or 'Goldschlager' logo), Polaroid Photo GraphiX (odd flat-front design in white on black with yellow button), Polaroid Photo Maker (green/dark blue, with smiley face and hearts cartoon), Polaroid Silver Express (silver/black like P), Polaroid Spice Cam (Black/pink/mauve/silver with 'Spice Girls' stickers)

  • Polaroid 600 Autofocus (round top) (light/dark blue) (As above, but with autofocus and no close-up adaptor).

Variant designs and names for autofocus version include: Polaroid 637 AF Autofocus (Black/mauve. Also with 'I.W. Harper' logo), Polaroid OneStep Autofocus (SE) (dark blue/black)

One600 Models (very sleek)

The final evolution of the 600 series. 100mm lens, with minimum focus distance of 3 feet. Aerodynamic styling (particularly when folded) with downward curve at back. Flash moved to right hand side of user and can be manually switched on and off. Hand grip on right. LCD frame counter. Self-timer.

Professional SLR cameras

  • Polaroid SLR 680 (SE) (Professional SLR camera with tilting electronic flash)
  • Polaroid SLR 690 (Later version of the SLR 680 with some cosmetic changes and a micro-controller instead of analogue circuitry).