Polaroid just created a crazy new film by accident

Polaroid Reclaimed Blue 600 film
(Image credit: Polaroid)

Feeling blue? Polaroid has accidentally invented a new type of limited-edition 600 film that's unlike any other, being both blue and the rare result of a new chemical reaction and process without the need for any dye to make the colors pop. 

The Polaroid Reclaimed Blue 600 film was created using a chemical called tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ), and emerged from a trial-and-error experimental process discovered by one chemist that isn't quite over yet. 

• These are our picks of the best instant cameras to bring your photos to life

The new and unique product joins Polaroid's 600 range of compatible film, intended for the most creative and experimental photographers only. Although, the company can't take full credit for its creation, as its invention was a complete accident that Polaroid still can't really explain.

(Image credit: Polaroid / Bret Watkins)

At the only Polaroid film factory still standing in the world, a young chemist named Brian Slaghuis was responsible for this accidental yet amazing discovery, occurring through a chemical reaction. 

The limited-edition striking blue 600 film interestingly requires no extra blue dye, as the reaction itself is what causes this unique processing color. But It’s not Monochrome. And it’s not Duochrome. So what is it? 

In simple terms, the process of creating the new Polaroid Reclaimed Blue 600 film involves combining the usual Polaroid color film process with a chemical known as  TBHQ (which is commonly used to create Polaroid's black-and-white film) as well as incorporating a mix of reclaimed and out-of-spec waste material from the Polaroid factory into the film manufacturing process. 

• See: What type of instant film do I need?

The Polaroid Reclaimed Blue 600 film is compatible with the following devices: Polaroid 600, Polaroid Now, Polaroid Now+, Polaroid Lab, Polaroid OneStep 2, and Polaroid OneStep+.

New limited-edition Polaroid Reclaimed Blue 600 film (Image credit: Polaroid)

"At the Polaroid lab, I’ve tested over 200 different chemicals as we’re constantly improving our film chemistry," said Polaroid's star chemist (and now presumably inventor), Brian. "After experimenting with one called TBHQ, the Reclaimed Blue film was an incredible discovery by accident."

It's great that Polaroid has given Brian the limelight that he totally deserves, and embraced the spirit of honesty in admitting that this new quirky product was actually an experimental accident as opposed to a stroke of marketing genius. Finding the humor in the situation with the commercial above featuring Brian is also an amazing touch.

(Image credit: Polaroid / Felicita Russo)

"Polaroid’s DNA is rooted in experimentation and unlocking the unexpected," adds Polaroid Chairman, Oskar Smolokowski. "Reclaimed Blue captures that essence. It’s science mixed with human perseverance and remarkable accidents."

(Image credit: Polaroid / Felicita Russo)

As part of the promotional campaign for the new blue film, Polaroid invited chemistry expert and social media star NileRed to the factory for a tour, but little did the company know that as an April Fool's prank, Nigel snuck into the lab alone to attempt to steal their secret formula and develop his own instant print. 

What kind of instant photography would require blue film? Polaroid admits that it doesn't know either, and is asking customers to experiment and find out for themselves what this vibrant blue film is best suited for. 

You might want to be fast, though, as this film is as limited in stock as it is experimental, available to order now directly from Polaroid's website at a price of $16.99 /£15.99 / AU$25 (approximately) for an 8-exposure pack. 

(Image credit: Polaroid / Bret Watkins)

You might also be interested in these 10 tips for shooting better Instax photos, as well as the best digital instant cameras, and not forgetting the best retro cameras too.

Don't have an instant camera? Invest in one of the best portable printers, or one of the best iPhone printers to bring your smartphone photos to life.

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Beth Nicholls
Staff Writer

A staff writer for Digital Camera World, Beth has an extensive background in various elements of technology with five years of experience working as a tester and sales assistant for CeX. After completing a degree in Music Journalism, followed by obtaining a Master's degree in Photography awarded by the University of Brighton, she spends her time outside of DCW as a freelance photographer specialising in live music events and band press shots under the alias 'bethshootsbands'.