The Polaroid Impulse: An Instant Taste of the 80's.


The Polaroid Impulse was released in 1988 and it's got the looks to prove it.

I found this one at a thrift store (the bag it came in was more expensive than the actual camera). A nice way to quadruple its value is to load it up with a pack of film and go on an adventure (the Impulse takes Polaroid 600 film).

To turn the camera on you have to release the pop-up flash which removes the lens covering. Since the two are connected there’s no way to turn off the flash, but if you’re not one for automatic flashes, just block the light with any opaque tape, or cover it up with your hand, which will give the photo a weird, flesh-toned hue (a natural colorsplash of sorts!).

Like other similar Polaroid models, the Impulse has a fixed aperture and a pretty simple 3-option light setting control. The focal length ranges from 4 feet (1.2 m) to infinity.

The camera’s a bit clunky and has a definite 80’s vibe to it. Polaroid also released the Impulse in other color schemes, but there’s something nice and reassuring about the thin, bright red stripe against grey and black—like a comfortably crappy car or cheesy Brat Pack movie. All in all, this camera’s definitely worth the money I bought it for, I just wish the film weren’t so expensive!

written by mblair23 on 2009-04-30 in #reviews #600-film #instant-camera #polaroid-impulse #80s #polaroid


  1. eyecon
    eyecon ·

    # 6 is fantastic

  2. ttrsgirl
    ttrsgirl ·

    looking at polaroids make me sad :( i have a joycam, but no film...
    great shots btw, i like #4

  3. lomodirk
    lomodirk ·

    Polaroid is just adoreable, great shots :)

  4. d_i_hunter
    d_i_hunter ·

    Polaroids are great! But you're right about the film. Still we live in hope of new production...

  5. 3lla
    3lla ·

    Lovely photos! I still wish the film was in production too, but I think the save polaroid project might just come up with something soon :)

  6. stouf
    stouf ·

    Whooo superb gallery !!!

  7. blue-dog
    blue-dog ·

    I too love polaroid..the colors..I like 1+ 5 and 6. No I like them all.

  8. -a-l-b-e-r-t-o-
    -a-l-b-e-r-t-o- ·

    i miss my polaroid...i hope they can do it....check the impossible project...

  9. azd1
    azd1 ·

    LOVE #8!!! nice camera, too ;-)

  10. devrimarie
    devrimarie ·

    Oh, the kid in the sand is great! Great review!

  11. kolumbia
    kolumbia ·

    I just found one of these among my parents' old cameras. What kind of film does it take?

More Interesting Articles

  • Reviving An Old Polaroid 1000 Camera

    written by Wessel de Haas on 2015-02-13 in #gear #reviews
    Reviving An Old Polaroid 1000 Camera

    Some time ago, my parents-in-law gave me an old Polaroid camera that they used during my wife's childhood. After some investigation, I found out that Polaroid had stopped making instant film. But the factory in Enschedé, the Netherlands had been taken over by The Impossible Project, so I bought a package of fresh film and gave it a try!

  • This Is What An LC-A Instant Looks Like

    written by shhquiet on 2015-04-01 in #gear #news
    This Is What An LC-A Instant Looks Like

    Anything can happen in an instant, right? This is also true with instant snapshots taken with the Lomo LC-A+ camera and LC-A Instant Back+ accessory. Here's a quick look at the bizarre, unpredictable world of LC-A+ Instants!

  • 5 of the Best Ways to Share Your Lomo'Instant Pics

    written by jacobs on 2014-11-25 in #people #news
    5 of the Best Ways to Share Your Lomo'Instant Pics

    We love sharing photos! So, with the recent release of the beloved Lomo'Instant camera, we thought it would be a great idea to look at some of the best ways to share your instants with the world. Rather than letting them collect dust on a shelf or stay hidden away in a drawer somewhere, why not let everyone else in on your superb instant creations? Check out these 5 awesome ways you can do just that!

  • Shop News

    Shoot recognizable images with the Petzval

    Shoot recognizable images with the Petzval

    You want your subject be the center of attention? Petzval lens photos are recognizable for sharpness and crispness in the centre, strong color saturation, wonderful swirly bokeh effect, artful vignettes and narrow depth of field that will make your subjects stand out!

  • Gallery Alert: ‘Larry Clark: Tulsa’

    written by cheeo on 2014-11-24 in #news
    Gallery Alert: ‘Larry Clark: Tulsa’

    Moody, dark, and shady, Larry Clark’s “Tulsa” photographs rocked the public when it was released in 1971. Experience its enduring impact in the flesh at the Chrysler Museum of Art until mid-January next year.

  • The Phoblographer Gives the LC-A 120 Five Stars and Editor's Choice Award!

    written by jacobs on 2015-01-08 in #news
    The Phoblographer Gives the LC-A 120 Five Stars and Editor's Choice Award!

    We love our cameras. We especially love it when you love our cameras. And we get super pumped when you tell us about it. So when the LC-A 120 got a stunning review from the fellas at The Phoblographer, we were giddy with delight! Not only did they give it a killer, in-depth review, but they also bestowed it with a 5/5 rating and Editor's Choice award! Read on for a little taste of the review and then head to their site to read the whole thing!

  • An Instant Camera Unlike the Others: The Lomo'Instant

    written by brutemus on 2015-01-15 in #reviews
    An Instant Camera Unlike the Others: The Lomo'Instant

    The Lomo'Instant is different from all other instant cameras. The lenses and various settings really set it apart from Polaroid and Instax cameras. I bought the Lomo'Instant just last December, and it is already my go-to camera for instant photography.

  • Shop News

    Standard Photo Development Services

    Standard Photo Development Services

    Done shooting and want your films to be processed? We can process your colour and black & white 35mm, 120 or 110 films! Development, prints and scans are also included. (Service availability depends on your markets)

  • Pixelstick + Lomo'Instant: Take Light Painting to the Next Level

    written by bgaluppo on 2015-04-20 in #gear #lifestyle
    Pixelstick + Lomo'Instant: Take Light Painting to the Next Level

    Ever since the Pixelstick came out, I've been dying to try it out. This past week, I finally got my chance! With one goal in mind — getting some super cool light-painting shots — I grabbed some friends for an amazing session with my Lomo'Instant and the Pixelstick. Take a moment and have a look at these priceless pics!

  • My First Lomo Affair: Jourdanlynch and the Holga 120N

    written by icequeenubia on 2014-11-20 in #lifestyle
    My First Lomo Affair: Jourdanlynch and the Holga 120N

    Jodo and his friend used to make fun of the Holga 120N's plastic body and doubted its capability to take even simple photographs. After shooting a roll with it, he instantly got impressed by the artistic portraits it produced. Have a glimpse of these photographs that led him to have a change of heart!

  • The Instant Project

    written by suizidekid on 2015-06-23 in #world #lifestyle
    The Instant Project

    It was a cold and cloudy winter day in 2012 when I came up with the idea of compiling photographs of people's faces. I decided that the most personal way to do it is through instant shots. They are one of a kind and you immediately have something in your hands.

  • Shop News

    Fisheye One Pearl Blue

    Fisheye One Pearl Blue

    Snap dazzling 35mm fisheye shots at the push of a button with this shimmery blue lightweight beauty.

  • LomoAmigos: Public Service Broadcasting

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-01-07 in #people #lomoamigos
    LomoAmigos: Public Service Broadcasting

    Public Service Broadcasting is a UK-based duo with J. Willgoose, Esq. on guitar, banjo & samplings and Wrigglesworth on drums & piano. They've been on tour promoting their debut album "Inform - Educate - Entertain," which was released in 2013. The folks at Lomography UK managed to catch them mid-tour for an interview and gave them an LC-A+ to capture all the action.

  • The Kwanon, Canon's First Camera, Turns 80

    written by chooolss on 2014-09-04 in #lifestyle
    The Kwanon, Canon's First Camera, Turns 80

    Canon has risen to the ranks of the biggest and most influential camera manufacturers in the world, and it all started 80 years ago when the company produced its very first camera, The Kwanon. Find out all about this historic shooter after the jump!

  • Kelly Angood and the Exciting World of Pinhole Photography

    written by jacobs on 2015-04-03 in #people #news #lifestyle
    Kelly Angood and the Exciting World of Pinhole Photography

    The founder of The Pop-Up Pinhole Co., Kelly Angood, has been handcrafting pinhole cameras from scratch since 2010. After developing a huge online following from one of her early pinhole designs, she embarked on a mission to design an affordable, functional pinhole camera that could be constructed all in the comfort of your own home — and it had to look great too! Following an incredibly successful Kickstarter campaign, her mission was realized. Read on to see how it happened and what's next for Kelly and The Pop-Up Pinhole Company!