Polaroid Films – Quick and Easy Fix (Part 2)

There are all kinds of Polaroid cameras. In this article we’ll be troubleshooting the Polaroid SX-70, because first of all, it is the king of all Polaroid cameras. Also it is the most beloved and one of the most common Polaroid camera that people like to use. So let’s dive in! If you haven’t read part 1, I encourage you to do so.

polaroid all white

Issue: My pictures are turning out white and blurry!

Tip #1 Hold the camera steadily while shooting

The original Polaroid SX-70 is an ISO100 camera, which means the shutter speed can be pretty slow. A lot of times, especially when the ambient light is dark, the shutter speed is longer than 1 second. You easily end up with a picture like the one above. There are two ways to avoid it. Either shoot under daylight and hold the camera steadily, or use a flash.

Tip #2 Check the expiry date on your film

The colors will look strange if the film is expired for too long. By too long, we usually mean 6 months past the expiry date. What you see on the box is the production date. If you store the film in the fridge, it can generally last 18 months. If you just place it in room temperature, it will last about 12 months, depending on whether it’s hot or not. I’ve seen film expiring within 6 months of production, but that was a hot place. My suggestion is to store the film in a fridge and finish up the pack within 2 weeks after it’s open.

Tip #3 Get your camera checked

The light meter on your camera might be malfunctioning. When the light meter malfunctions, the camera might overexpose the picture. Get your camera checked.

Issue: My pictures are completely black!

Tip #1 If you are using a flash, focus properly

For the Polaroid SX-70, the flash is very sensitive to the focus distance. If you focus wrongly, the picture will turn out all black. Read more about that in this post.

Tip #2 Get your camera checked

The light meter on your camera might be malfunctioning. Get your camera checked.

Issue: Four repeating dots or lines on my picture!

Tip: Clean the rollers

The rollers make approximately four full cycles for each picture. Clean them with a wet cloth or alcohol. A frequently asked question is whether you can open the film door while film is still inside. The answer is yes you can.

Hope that was useful! Let me know what topics you’re interested in in the comments below.


  • If you open the film door with a film in the camera then when you close the door will not the camera eject a print and so waste it?

  • Hassan almutiri

    Hey, I have 3 Polaroid sx-70 cameras, first in black Alpha, second REVUE Alpha 1 by Chrome and third model3, and I want the best way to clean the cameras, especially the ends of the camera. Does alcohol affect external cleaning of cameras, and how can I remove minor scratches? Thank you.

    • Alcohol may affect the body of the camera. There is no way to remove the minor scratches, the way we do it is replace it with other donor cameras. You can clean the rollers with alcohol though.

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