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Where to Buy Polaroid Cameras and Film in Beijing

After a stroll down Beiluogu Xiang or Wudaoying it seems like the norm to stumble into a restaurant or cutesy shop with walls plastered with Polaroid pictures from elated customers. I jumped on board the trend of taking instant photos too but wasn't sure where to buy film anymore, as most information on the Internet was outdated. After a long hunt for myself, I decided to write this updated and Internet-generation-friendly lowdown on where to stock up on everything that you need to enjoy taking your own Polaroids.

Although the Polaroid Corporation, the company that first patented Polaroid cameras and made them available to the masses, was the pioneer of the medium, Fujifilm cameras have since taken off and are much, much cheaper and more accessible than its predecessor.

Online: Taobao

If you know what you want, and you don't need to see it or try it before you buy it, Taobao offers many cameras and types of film at good prices. You can get one of the cute pastel Fujifilm mini8 cameras for RMB 428, or different sets with film and accessories at slightly higher prices. In terms of film, the plain white film costs approximately RMB 70 for a double pack (20 sheets).

Fun film with different prints can be found by searching 'fujifilm 相紙'. This alone will produce a bunch of different options: Hello Kitty, Winnie the Pooh, funky patterns, you name it, Fujifim has created it.


Online: JD.com

The selection on JD.com is pretty similar, but I prefer to use JD.com because not only do you not need Alipay and can you pay on arrival, but you can also have it delivered the next day if you order before 11am.

Wukesong Camera Market

IRL: Wukesong Camera Market (Wukesong)

Wukesong Camera Market is still alive and buzzing, although the location isn't ideal for many of us. There are a handful of Polaroid shops that sell film and the cameras, mostly selling double packs of black mini film at RMB 70, and themed film at RMB 50.

Daily 10am-4.30pm. 40 Wukesong Lu, Haidian District (8811 9797)

五棵松攝影器材城:海澱區五棵松路40號

Wukesong Camera Market Shop

IRL: Spring Cameras (Gulou)

There's a shop on Cheniandian Hutong that sells cameras and accessories, as well as other trinkets related to photography, new, secondhand, and vintage. You can get film here if you prefer to buy it in person or if you have questions that the Internet has no answers to. If you don't have an instant camera, they do offer photo developing services and film for regular cameras.

Tue-Sun 12-9pm. 52 Cheniandian Hutong, Dongcheng District (136 4139 9334)

東城區車輦店衚衕52好

Other polaroid tips:

  • If you are traveling, do not put your film in your suitcase as the airport's check-in baggage x-rays will damage the film. The x-rays used for hand luggage, however, will not damage normal Polaroid film (ISO 800).

  • Read the instructions before you start taking photos: I didn't realize that taking a photo of an object too close would ruin the photo, and started to doubt my camera.

  • Get a case for your camera, otherwise it'll easily get scratched in your bag as you're on the go.

Click "Read more" below for direct links to the associated JD and Taobao stores.

Written by Margaux Schreurs