The Polaroid Autofocus 660: a square-bodied instant camera in Polaroid‘s 600-series. It was the first in the range to use Polaroid’s patented Sonar Autofocus device. The distance to the subject was calculated by firing an infra-red beam that bounced back to a gold-coloured receiver behind a plastic grille.
- Lens: 116mm, f/11, Single-element plastic.
- Sonar autofocus (sharpest at 4-5 feet).
- Shutter: electronic; automatic speed between 1/4-1/200 sec.
- Integral auto flash that works in low light but cannot be forced on or off.
- Polaroid’s Light Management System (the darken/lighten exposure correction slider).
When people talk about Polaroid cameras, most people mean the popular and relatively cheap models of the 1980s and 1990s that used film packs with integral batteries – 600 series.
Prints measure 79mm (3.1″) square with white border.
Prints took some 3 minutes to fully develop at 70°F (21°C).
The film has an ISO rating of 640.
The film was branded using different names: “Extreme 600” and “Notepad“.
A high definition “professional” film named “779” was also sold.
Some of the cameras had ‘sonar’ autofocus and/or featured glass lenses, but most had plastic lenses with a fixed focus of around 4 feet.
A “close-up” lens was often included, but this took the form of a simple plastic meniscus that slid into place.
Many of the models are functionally identical to others but have different coloured fascia, names and stickers according to marketing territory. Several models were limited editions with tie-ins to icons of popular culture, such as Barbie or the Spice Girls, while other versions were promotional items made for corporate entities and are now highly collectible thanks to their rarity.
Polaroids were the brainchildren of Dr. Edwin Land