Polaroid and Instax Instant Film Comparison by Samantha Stortecky

Various packs of instant film - Polaroid and Instax Film Comparison by Samantha Stortecky on Shoot It With Film
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Written by Samantha Stortecky

Hello friends, I am so glad you are here today. We have got another fun post for you.

If you are like me, instant cameras and film are some of the best parts of shooting film. You can take a picture, and have it printed in a matter of minutes.

Heck yeah.

But with so many different cameras, printers, and types of film, I figured it might be a good idea to break down all of them!

So, let us jump into it.

Find Fujifilm Instax film and Polaroid film on Amazon.

Various packs of instant film - Polaroid and Instax Film Comparison by Samantha Stortecky on Shoot It With Film
Polaroid and Instax Instant Film Comparison
Polaroid and Instax Instant Film Comparison
Polaroid and Instax Instant Film Comparison

Fujifilm Instax Color Film

First up, I want to talk about all the Instax color films such as Mini, Wide, and Square.

I am combining these together because I have found, as far as colors and appearance goes, all three of these films look very similar.

The only difference other than their physical sizes is the clarity of the images based on what camera/printer you are using.

Here’s a size comparison of the different Instax films available:

Instax Film Size Comparison on Shoot It With Film
Click to enlarge
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All three film packs have such beautiful colors, and I find are as true to life as an instant film can get.

The colors are very natural and rich with solid contrast, while the Polaroid films have a more artistic, vintage look to them.

Overall, I have found that anything photographed straight out of the camera will have that very soft and film-like appearance that instant film is known for, whereas if you print your images with the Instax mobile printer or the Instax Square SQ20 you will have a lot more clarity and sharpness within your images.

Something to keep in mind when starting your instant film journey!

Two Instax Mini images, one of flowers in a pool and one of a city street - Polaroid and Instax Film Comparison by Samantha Stortecky on Shoot It With Film
Instax Mini Film
Instax Square double exposure of a dog - Polaroid and Instax Film Comparison by Samantha Stortecky on Shoot It With Film
Instax Square Film
Instax Wide image of flowers - Polaroid and Instax Film Comparison by Samantha Stortecky on Shoot It With Film
Instax Wide Film

Black and White Instax Film

Now, let us talk about the Instax Wide 300.

It is no secret around these parts that I love the Instax Wide 300 camera. It is such a great camera when used properly, and the Instax Wide black & white film makes me love it even more.

This was the first time I have ventured into black & white instant film and I got to say, I am kind of in love.

I used my Instax Wide 300 camera, and I found that when using flash, it gave my black and white images that pop of contrast that I adore.

B&W Instax Wide image of a house plant - Polaroid and Instax Film Comparison by Samantha Stortecky on Shoot It With Film
B&W Instax Wide Film with Flash
B&W Instax Wide image of clouds - Polaroid and Instax Film Comparison by Samantha Stortecky on Shoot It With Film
B&W Instax Wide Film
B&W Instax Wide image of a child on a couch - Polaroid and Instax Film Comparison by Samantha Stortecky on Shoot It With Film
B&W Instax Wide Film with Flash

Polaroid Film

Let us jump into Polaroid film. The three films we will talk about are the original Color 600 film, the color i-Type film, and the B&W 600 film.

Polaroid 600 and i-Type film are both the same size. Polaroid also just came out with Polaroid Go film, which is quite a bit smaller than the standard Polaroid film, and even smaller than the Instax Mini film.

We don’t have image examples with the Polaroid Go yet, but here is a size comparison with all of the Instax films and the Polaroid films.

Click to enlarge

Polaroid Color: 600 and i-Type Film

When it comes to Color 600 Polaroid film and color i-Type film, the main difference I feel between the two is the price point.

These two film technically have the same chemistry, but the Color 600 film packs are like the original Polaroids and have a battery built into the actual film.

This film is compatible with the vintage Polaroid 600 cameras and the modern Polaroid cameras.

i-Type film does not have a battery and can only be used with modern Polaroid cameras and Polaroid printers like the Polaroid Now, Polaroid OneStep+, and Polaroid Lab.

Because of the battery packs, Color 600 film is always a bit more costly.

Polaroid image of the sky - Polaroid and Instax Film Comparison by Samantha Stortecky on Shoot It With Film
Polaroid 600 Film
Polaroid image of a plant - Polaroid and Instax Film Comparison by Samantha Stortecky on Shoot It With Film
Polaroid i-Type Film

When it comes to appearance, the film size and border are identical.

In my experience, I have found that Color 600 Polaroid film always has a very heavy pink cast to it, especially when used with the OneStep 2 camera.

This pinkish hue is a lot more noticeable when taking photos indoors but even in broad daylight, there is still a lot of magentas.

Polaroid image of a child in a doorway - Polaroid and Instax Film Comparison by Samantha Stortecky on Shoot It With Film
Polaroid 600 Film
Polaroid image of a dog - Polaroid and Instax Film Comparison by Samantha Stortecky on Shoot It With Film
Polaroid 600 Film

The i-Type film packs go to the other end of the tint spectrum with a more greenish cast.

For me, the i-Type film packs have an overall warmer appearance with some hints of orange and green.

It tends to give off a slightly muted exposure and vintage tones, especially when shot with the flash in settings with lower light.

Polaroid image of a field - Polaroid and Instax Film Comparison by Samantha Stortecky on Shoot It With Film
Polaroid i-Type Film
Polaroid image of plants - Polaroid and Instax Film Comparison by Samantha Stortecky on Shoot It With Film
Polaroid i-Type Film

My experience with these Polaroid films is that they are all incredibly light hungry and work the best when taken during broad daylight.

There is also Polaroid SX-70 film available made for the vintage Polaroid SX-70 cameras.

It is not compatible with any of the modern cameras. This film is a bit of a different chemistry than the 600 and i-Type and usually creates a bit more natural colors without the magenta tints.

Polaroid image of the sky - Polaroid and Instax Film Comparison by Samantha Stortecky on Shoot It With Film
Polaroid i-Type Film

Polaroid Black and White Film

Ok, here is our last film pack, the Polaroid 600 Black & White film.

Just like with the Instax Wide 300 Black & White, this was my first time using the Polaroid version, and I will be honest, I am a bit mad at myself for how long it took me to shoot this film, because it is stunning.

B&W Polaroid image of a carnival - Polaroid and Instax Film Comparison by Samantha Stortecky on Shoot It With Film
B&W Polaroid 600 Film

This Polaroid film is everything I love in a black & white image; it has a very matte appearance with a beautiful warmth to it.

Compared to the Instax black & white, it has a lot more depth and contrast to it. I used my Polaroid printer, and I might have my cart filled with more packs because oh my gosh!

B&W Polaroid image of palm trees - Polaroid and Instax Film Comparison by Samantha Stortecky on Shoot It With Film
B&W Polaroid 600 Film
B&W Polaroid image of flowers - Polaroid and Instax Film Comparison by Samantha Stortecky on Shoot It With Film
B&W Polaroid 600 Film

Polaroid Camera vs Printer

All three Polaroid film packs have that soft, almost blurry, appearance that Polaroid and instant films are known for.

Very much like the Instax film, the Polaroid film packs seem to have a bit more clarity and sharpness when used with a printer rather than a Polaroid camera which I find looks a lot more natural when done with the Polaroid printer.

Polaroid image of a child reading - Polaroid and Instax Film Comparison by Samantha Stortecky on Shoot It With Film
B&W Polaroid 600 Film

A Side-By-Side Comparison

And lastly, what would a comparison post be without all the different film packs, scanned side by side.

These are all the different films, taken in the same place (which is my very boring backyard) so you can get an idea of how all these film packs vary!

Comparison of Instax and Polaroid film.
Click to enlarge

Well, that is it for me friends. Let me know what instant film you have been shooting lately. I always love chatting film and adore seeing everyone’s work!

Instax Mini image of a boat - Polaroid and Instax Film Comparison by Samantha Stortecky on Shoot It With Film
Instax Mini Film

Thank you so much, Samantha! Samantha is a regular contributor here at Shoot It With Film, and you can check out her other articles here, including a Fujifilm Instax SP2 printer review and how to shoot Kodak Portra 400.

You can also check out more of Samantha’s work on her website and Instagram.

Let us know any questions you have about the Polaroid or Instax film below in the comments, and you can pick up some for yourself on Amazon here: Polaroid Film and Fujifilm Instax Film

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Samantha Stortecky

Samantha Stortecky is a regular contributor for Shoot It With Film. Find her other articles here, such as How to Shoot Kodak Portra 400 and 5 Unique & Experimental Film Stocks You Need to Try.

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