Retro chic: Polaroid Swinger

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Posted September 15, 2011 by Stuff Jedi in Features

What’s the story?
If you went out and spent US$20 on a camera today you’d come back with a snapper more suited to propping open a door than taking photos. Back in 1965, however, it’d bag you a Swinger – one of the best-selling cameras of all time.

Why should I want one?
The Swinger was the first instant camera to use ‘shake it like a Polaroid picture’ film that develops right before your eyes. Plus, its quirky design should grab the attention of any fixie-riding hipster within half a mile. There’s even a cute window on top that displays the word ‘YES’ when the aperture is set to let sufficient light in. With Hipstamatic, Swankolab and other Lomo-esque apps as popular as bags of free gold these days, buying a Swinger is a cheap taste of the retro camera vibe – although it comes with significant caveats…

What to look for?
Polaroid discontinued the 20-Series roll film used by the Swinger long ago, so the chances are that if you buy one, it’ll be little more than a fashion accessory or decorative ornament. The battery was built into the film, so without one it won’t even turn on. Some internet-dwelling photo nerds claim you can modify one to use 600 or 120 film, but bear in mind that Hipstamatic only costs US$3 – so do it for the love of it, not for the bargain.


About the Author

Stuff Jedi

After seeing the fall of HD (when the 3D empire swept through the galaxy), the Stuff Jedi continues to spread word of the latest gadgets at warp speed. An elusive, peaceful man, the Stuff Jedi wants nothing more than to give away gadgets. Just avoid the Dark Side of his eclectic taste in music, as the bass from his B&W speakers might send you flying far, far away.

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