I'm going to surmise the numbering scheme polaroid used was so obscure, most people didn't know what they sold.
I started photography in the 1980's and only messed a tiny bit with polaroid because a family member had one or two. I really like the pull-apart images, but preferred a camera "system" and wasn't into LF at the time. I likened their numbering to printer ink cartridges today. You go into a store and instead of looking for a "669" box, you get a "J201" box or something like that. I really don't shop for printer ink though.
It's not marketing. It's obfuscating the product. I'm sure there are many reasons for their failure, but I'm pretty certain this was at least a contributor.
I wish I'd know more about their offerings when it was available.
we never had any issues with finding the "correct product". there failure is spelled DIGITAL, then of course selling the company to a fellow who wanted the brand name for his tv's.
I may be missing the nature of your complaint, but how was Polaroid's product numbering scheme of Type 51, 52, 53, 55, 664, 665, 669, etc. any more or less obfuscating than, say, Kodak's 110, 116, 120, 122, 124, 126, 135, 620....?
I am saying, it wasn't a problem for me, as I knew exactly what film type i was using went with which number.
It seems I don't understand your complaint about the system.
I bought my 1st Polaroid in the late 60's, do not remember which model but do not recall ever having a problem on which and where to get the film. I even carried mine to Vietnam and still used it into the 70's. A few years ago started using them again, sadly less film choices now.
in case of doubt http://www.rwhirled.com/landlist/landhome.htm a wonderful page where you can find what you are looking for. I don't think that they cared about a consistent numbering system. the just continued inventing every week. yes, they reused some numbers even several times, but where is the real problem?
Not much confusion...the right-most number:
x5 = instant B&W print and neg
x8 = instant color print
x9 = extended range instant color print
The left-most digits
5x = 4x5"
55x = 4x5" film packs
66x = 3-1/4 x 4-1/4
77x = 3-1/4 x 4-1/4 pro emulsion of 600 films
Thanks guys/gals. The Internet is great for this!
Originally Posted by wiltw
It is not as simple as the above:
The last two ciphers in combination indicated the emulsion.
The first cipher (including its absence) indicated the format.
Though, to realize that I needed a flip-chart type prospectus that Polaroid once published. Thus: it was complicated (as with the competitors), but logical.
However this systematic had been added as well in the sheet as in the spooled film range by types given a name.
(I refer to the mid-90's Situation.)