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Polaroid i-zone

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The Polaroid i-zone camera is a simple camera which takes it own Polaroid instant (pocket) film. The camera itself, whilst quite fun is really very simple. It has quite a wide angled fixed focus lens and manual aperture control (F10, F12.5 & F34.5) marked by symbols. It has one shutter speed and this is synchronised with the built in flash gun.

The i-zone takes 2 'AA' type batteries - but only for the flash. After exposure - each shot is removed from the camera by pulling on a paper tab. This draws out the pictures when then develops in normal light just like the
Polaroid SX-70 and Polaroid SLR680.

Silver Edition i-zone presentation pack


Lens Type

Fixed Focus

Focal Length

45mm approx.

Maximum Aperture


Film Type

i-zone Instant Pocket Film

Picture Size



 Single speed (1/125) instantaneous

Flash Sync

No - but has built in flash gun

Rotating Picture

 i-zone cameras come in lots of different colours and a few  variations.

Despite obviously aimed at the non-photographer - Polaroid has felt the need to treat the i-zone as a proper camera. Therefore as well as having lots of fun stuff on its web site - Polaroid also publish quite a lot of technical details on both the camera and the film:

However having said that, the i-zone is in my opinion best used at parties as it has a relatively wide angle lens which gets a whole room in. Also due to the fast film used and the small picture size - quality is poor - so its obviously not intended for serious use.

Last time I checked - this site included a store finder so at least if you are in the US - you should be able to find i-zone film local to you.

Also thanks to Tom Jacobson who provided the following info:

I buy my i-zone film from Rite-Aid or Walgreens or Sav On - all  drugstore chains - and they seem to never run out. I used to buy it in  bulk at Costco, but they have stopped carrying it. Unfortunately,  sometimes all these stores have is the "disappearing message" film,  which in my experience doesn't always disappear!

Tom also runs an excellent i-zone site with hundreds of samples photos:

For those of you in/near the UK - the following sites should be able to supply i-zone film:


Here are some examples:

Caroline in the garden

Just to prove it can be done - here is an example of portraiture with the i-zone. This is a central enlargement of a shot taken in the garden using flash. Exposure is not brilliant - and its quite difficult balancing flash and available light - giving the impression it was taken at night!

Garden planter in bloom

This is more like the sort of results you will get. You might wonder why I didn't get any closer (this is from about 6ft away). Well the viewfinder indicated that I had nicely framed the subject - but obviously the taking lens is much wider than the viewing lens! Actually in comparison tests with a 35-70mm zoom lens - the i-zone lens appears to be about 45mm whilst the viewfinder is about 60mm. This problem could be helped by making a simple frame viewfinder on top of the camera.

Note: Both above pictures have been adjusted for colour range. Otherwise they are direct 300dpi scans from the original prints.

It was these limitations of the camera - but the versatility of small instant pictures that led me to experiment with using i-zone film in other cameras.

HERE for a complete guide to having fun with i-zone film!


I have also done some experiments adapting an i-zone as a pinhole camera. Click HERE for more details.

My first i-zone was a gift from Caroline - but since then I've picked up several other examples for experimenting with. The first cost 5 pounds - but now I try and get them for 50p. Our local car boot sales have been the best source:

Caroline caught on camera at a boot sale

Up until this one - all the i-zone cameras had been empty when I bought them. This picture of Caroline was taken within a minute of me purchasing the camera - and shows Caroline pushing Benjamin around our local car boot sale.

The picture shows some fogging and the film was probably out of date.

Another day - another i-zone

Only the very next day - and I find another I-zone with film. This time Caroline gets a chance to pose! :-)

Different camera but still shows some fogging - though camera back wasn't properly shut. Not bad for an i-zone picture though.

I hadn’t noticed before - but the fogging on these 2 pictures is very similar. Shane Burnett very kindly sent me the following information which sheds some new light on this fogging issue:

“I found your i-zone page while looking for info on making an i-zone pinhole camera. I see that you mention the "fogging" in the images of the film you found in the cameras at car boot sales. I've found that the issue isn't one of light leaks -- it's something to do with the packing of the film in the container. I've encountered a lot of past-date i-zone film with this problem. If you take a print that still has its paper "tabs" attached, and re-fold the tabs to the position they're in when they're inside the film container, you'll see that the tabs line up perfectly with the discoloration in the prints. My hypothesis is that the tabs put extra pressure on those areas of the undeveloped prints and push away the photo chemicals so the exposures don't turn out right, or perhaps some component of the paper tabs themselves is interacting with the photo chemicals.”

Even Benjamin can't escape

Benjamin has since abandoned the use of the pushchair and is learning the basics of car boot shoping for himself!

Quite a good photo of him when he was younger - especially for an i-zone.

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All text and images Copyright © 2000-2011 Roland Givan, unless otherwise stated. All Rights Reserved.

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