Skip to main content

Farewell to a photography giant: Studio to stop producing huge Polaroid 20×24 film

end of 20x24 polaroid instant photography chuck close vanity fair
Vanity Fair
Among the multitude of photography formats out there, Polaroid 20×24 is perhaps the most unique. Known for the humongous cameras required to shoot it, such a large instant print is inherently different from any other medium. And now, the only studio in the world that produces the film and operates the cameras has announced it’s ceasing production of the massive film.

Polaroid 20×24 film is special for two key reasons. First, it’s big — very big. Sure, any photograph can be printed on a large piece of paper, but a Polaroid 20×24 is the film and paper in one, which is why the cameras have to be so huge. What about that medium-format mirrorless camera that Hasselblad announced earlier this week? Doesn’t even come close. And when compared to the popular 35mm format (or full frame), 20×24 is a staggering 360 times larger. This yields exquisite amounts of detail with an often very narrow depth of field.

Related Videos

Secondly, it’s instant film, so beautiful, gallery-size prints come to life shortly after a photograph has been taken. This also means each exposure is a one-of-a-kind work of art; there’s no negative (let alone digital file) to use for printing duplicates. As the film is quite expensive, nailing exposure and focus on the first shot is paramount. For instant-film aficionados, 20×24 is the Mount Everest of the medium.

As reported in Popular Photography, the New York-based 20×24 Studio is finally calling it quits after nearly a decade of making the unique film. The studio estimates it can maintain production and stock through the end of 2017. In a blog post on the studio’s website, owner John Reuter said, “Our hope now is that we can work on some great projects with many of our legacy clients, as well as new artists who have yet to experience the ultimate in instant analog image making.”

From Brad Bitt to Barak Obama, Polaroid 20×24 has been used to create portraits of some of the world’s most recognizable people. The process of shooting the format and sample images can be seen in this 2013 video from Vanity Fair featuring photographer Chuck Close:

Up Close And Personal

20×24 Studio maintains cameras in New York, Miami, San Francisco, and Dusseldorf, Germany. Photographers interested in working with the format should start saving their pennies. Cameras cost $1,750 per day to rent and film is $125 per sheet.

Editors' Recommendations

Moto Edge X30, first Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 phone likely to launch on December 9
Motorola Edge X30

Motorola has been very active lately with launches in the mobile segment ranging from entry-level to high-end devices. Now it looks like the race for the first Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 smartphone is heating up and Motorola is trying to get the upper hand by being the first to launch a smartphone with the new chipset. The Lenovo-owned smartphone maker has confirmed that it will be announcing an Edge smartphone with Qualcomm’s latest flagship chip on December 9. This is likely to be the Moto Edge X30 (or just Motorola Edge), but there’s also a possibility of the Motorola G200 launching at the same time.

The teaser doesn’t reveal much more about the device, and a lot is still under wraps, but there are some tidbits that we can gather from the phone’s certification. For starters, its battery certification shows a 5,000mAh cell with a charging capacity of 68.2W, which is one of the highest in Motorola phones. Consumers in China are likely to have many choices in terms of storage as there are reportedly 6GB/8GB/12GB/16GB RAM and 128GB/256GB/512GB storage options. Chen Jin, Lenovo China’s head of mobile division, also revealed that the phone has Gorilla Glass protection on both sides as well as the latest My UX 3.0 software.

Read more
High-end Motorola Edge X flagship leaks with 144Hz OLED display
Motorola Edge X render showing the front and back of the smartphone.

Motorola is prepping to launch a high-end device powered by the next-generation flagship Qualcomm chipset. The Motorola Edge X renders and specs have leaked online, which hints at an imminent launch. It is expected to be dubbed as Motorola Edge 30 Ultra in some regions, but will likely launch as the Edge X in the U.S., which tends to follow a different naming convention. As seen on the renders, it could feature a punch-hole camera cutout on its OLED display.

The latest development comes from 91Mobiles, which has collaborated with Steve Hemmerstoffer, aka OnLeaks, to reveal the details about the upcoming Motorola device. The smartphone is tipped to come equipped with a 6.6-inch OLED display that could have a 144Hz refresh rate and support for HDR10+. It will have a power button on the left, and the volume rocker and probably a Google Assistant button on the right edge. The display is claimed to be flat with no curved edges.

Read more
Nokia’s new, cheap X100 gives T-Mobile customers 5G for just $252
The Nokia X100 on a table

HMD Global is launching a new cheap 5G phone exclusively for T-Mobile and Metro, the company announced on Tuesday. Known as the Nokia X100, this phone combines 5G, a big screen, and great speakers for the low price of $252 for the 6GB RAM/128GB storage configuration.

Like most of Nokia's new phones, it's a big one. There's a 6.67-inch Full HD screen (no 90Hz at this price range) with Nokia's OZO Audio technology for an immersive audiovisual experience. There's a quad-lens camera with a 48-megapixel main camera and three other cameras that'll probably disappoint you, and all-day battery life brought by a combination of Android 11's adaptive battery and a 4,470mAh cell.

Read more