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  1. #1
    MDR
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    Why are Polaroids always thrown in with toy cameras?

    The title of the threads says it all. Polaroids have been used by pros pretty much since the beginning of Polaroid, many famous, not so famous and downright infamous artists have worked with Polaroid materials and cameras yet it seems as if Polaroid and instant photography is not being taken seriously by a lot of amateurs and some pros and internet fora and I wonder why that is.

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    It's hard to work w/ a medium that is not archival. Not sure if that's your answer though. A lot of people, including Warhol, used Polaroids, but as proofs, not as a final image. I suspect that the people marketing instant cameras and film play up the fun aspect these days, and it is fun. But the use of non archival mediums is problematic for serious artists/photographers, for obvious reasons.

  3. #3
    jnanian's Avatar
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    they shouldn't be considered toys,
    but they are fun,
    i wish i had a joy cam !

  4. #4
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    I have a Polaroid back from NPC for my Mamiya RB67 medium format film camera. Although not a Polaroid camera, the film was (is?) well, Fuji anyway. Back when, these backs were used all the time by pros for testing shots, lighting, exposure, composition, etc, before switching to film backs and committing to shooting film shots.

  5. #5
    AgX
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapguy View Post
    There are a lot of Polaroid formats and many people feel nobody makes film for their camera -- rightly or wrongly.
    There is a feeling in the pro photography community -- rightly or wrongly -- that some famed Polaroid "artists" are pulling a con and don't deserve the praise. There are people who feel that digital has taken the place of Polaroid, rightly or wrongly. The Polaroid company went belly up, making a lot of people unhappy. Some Polaroid cameras were cheap and people do not value cheaply made items for the most part. Most pro photographers used Polaroid -- if at all -- for test shots and never thought Polaroid was a "serious"camera -- rightly or wrongly. Polaroid cameras ain't Leicas. Some Polaroid models were awkward-looking and -shooting. Polaroids don't get no respect, rightly or wrongly.
    But none of these points are a reason to call them toys.

  6. #6
    AgX
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    In addition, the term toy camera is no standard term in Germany.

    It makes me think of those nonfunctional cameras for small children. Or those working Fisher-Price models.

  7. #7
    bvy
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    The idea of separating the two into their own subforums came up a few years ago...

  8. #8
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    From the Merriam-Webster Dictionary- Toy: something that an adult buys or uses for enjoyment or entertainment
    Maybe all of our cameras are toys.

  9. #9

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    In The Polaroid Book (Taschen) there are around 300 Polaroid photographs by various artists, including Elliott Erwitt, Robert Frank, Ralph Gibson, Mapplethorpe, Aaron Siskind and many, many others.

    http://www.taschen.com/pages/en/cata...aroid_book.htm

  10. #10
    MDR
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    That Polaroid was used as proofs is a proof that it is a pro tool, furthermore Polaroid materials were used for forensic photography, passport photography, Scientific photography (many Scanning microscopes used Polaroid), this indicates at least to me that Polaroid was a serious tool and not a toy.
    Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Joyce Tenneson (prefered Polaroid for a long time) and Paolo Roversi (mostly used Polaroid) are some of the big name artists who used Polaroids for more than just a gimmick.
    Regarding the Leica it's considered by many a rich men's toy, before WWII only the rich could afford a Leica and it was not really considered a pro camera far from it in fact. The SX70 Alpha is a superb camera the Polarid Sonar system was lightyears ahead of many other camera mfg. so far from at toy it's also very durable.

    Is it maybe that the Toy camera moniker is used for things that are different than the norm or what most people use. It can't be a serious tool or I would use it and so would the majority of people.

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