The Right Place to Store Your Polaroid Camera and Films

I always tell my customers: The two enemies of Polaroid are 1) Moisture and 2) Heat. We want to avoid moisture and heat when storing Polaroid camera and films.

Keep your gear in a cool dry place, with one exception: the dehumidifier. There are chemicals inside the film, and we don’t want the chemicals to dry up. I’ve seen customers come to me because of dried up film which were still within the expiration date.

For those of you living by the sea, you have to be extra careful with the humidity. Some parts of the camera were built with metal and will oxidize. Store the camera in a dry place.

There are 3 stages in a film’s life-

  • Unopened pack of film
  • Opened pack but not yet developed (usually inside the camera)
  • Developed film with an image

Let us investigate each case.

Unopened pack of film

This is the stage where you have least to worry about. A new pack of film is tightly sealed, so moisture is not a problem. You just have to worry about heat. Just don’t leave it in high temperatures, especially direct sunlight.

Opened pack inside the camera

This is the trickiest part. Once a pack of film is open, it is not protected from the tight seal anymore, therefore vulnerable to moisture. It’s like a carton of milk – once you open it, you have to drink it up. We recommend finishing a pack of film within 2 weeks for best results and no longer than 1 month.

Some people ask if you have to put the camera (with the film inside) in a dehumidifier. The answer is no don’t do that, because it might dry up the chemicals. You don’t have to put it inside a fridge or anything like that either. Just keep it in a cool dry place.

Developed film

Most people already knows this. Don’t put Polaroid film under direct sunlight and it will last for decades. In some earlier batches, the film would erode from moisture and heat. The life of Polaroid film is much longer now thanks to technological advances. But we still recommend keeping developed film cool and dry just to be safe.


The conclusion is: Store your camera and films in a dry cool environment, but don’t put it in a dehumidifier. If you put film in a dehumidifier, you risk ruining the film.

2 comments

  • Erik Hendrickson

    Hey thanks for all the tips.

    I looked for a contact page on the Mint website but didn’t see any, and I’ve searched online for this answer too: does anyone have the exact specs of the lens elements in the SX-70? The geometric data? I am working on a project to make an adapter for Nikon and Canon lenses so they can be used on the SX-70…

    Thanks
    Erik

    • Hey Erik

      Sounds like an interesting project you’re working on. I doubt you can find the exact design of the SX-70 lens online, unless you go to the designer himself (http://www.wtpoptics.com). I think there was more than one version manufactured.
      What we do know is the focal length 114mm, and I guess that’s enough information to make an adapter? I’m not sure. Plus you can always experiment with the SX-70s you have on hand.

      The contact form is at the bottom of every page.

      Best
      Gary

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