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To Produce The Impossible Product
March 26, 2010 2:03 PM   Subscribe

On sale now: new film for Polaroid cameras. PX 100 Silver Shade / First Flush (for SX-70). Courtesy of The Impossible Project. (prev 1 2 3)

Product Specifications
Film Speed: ISO 100/DIN 21
Type: Monochrome Integral Instant Film.
Format: 3.5 x 4.2 in. (8.8 x 10.7 cm), Image Area: 3.1 x 3.1 in. (7.9 x 7.9 cm)
Finish: Glossy
Development: 3 minutes approximately at 70°F (21°C)
Special: First Impossible film ever produced. Universal Cartridge. Brand new monochrome film chemistry supporting many traditional manipulation techniques
Battery: Built in, long lasting battery to power up the camera and flash
posted by msalt (25 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
$22 plus international shipping. For 8 shots.

I'm strongly behind this in theory, and I am a big Polaroid fan, but I have yet to buy any of this stuff.
posted by dirtdirt at 2:10 PM on March 26, 2010


Well, it went on sale yesterday so I don't think you can be criticized for that.
posted by msalt at 2:13 PM on March 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


I wonder how long lived the "long lasting battery" actually is. Because I could see getting something like this, just to stick in a drawer for those incredibly rare occasions that a Polaroid is the best choice, and, for me, that could mean several years between uses.

Still, it's probably a lithium, most camera flash batteries are nowadays, and those typically will keep for about a decade.
posted by quin at 2:19 PM on March 26, 2010


So far, the reviews have been terrible. Well, they have been very political, dancing around the fact that the film is incredibly difficult to use and often just fails outright. I think they're trying to be nice because they got free film.

But my initial impressions are that PX100 behaves like a expired pack of 779 or Time-Zero. You're never sure of what you will get.

Chessum was a little paranoid “that I would use [the packs] before I got anything decent,” and that the learning curve was steeper than he anticipated--“in a good way,” he says. “I was really disappointed when they came out bad, I thought it was my fault,” he says, noting that he ended up with 6 or 7 images that were nice.
posted by infinitefloatingbrains at 2:22 PM on March 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


incredibly rare occasions that a Polaroid is the best choice, and, for me, that could mean several years between uses.

You need to spend more time in cheap motels.
posted by lumpenprole at 2:22 PM on March 26, 2010 [8 favorites]


Before the 600 film stock disappeared I bought up around 7 packs of Polaroid 779 and slowly used it all. Wasn't too much, I think it was around $11 bucks a pack. Hopefully they can bring this price down to around a buck a shot instead of $2.50 with shipping and all.
posted by wcfields at 2:25 PM on March 26, 2010


i do not picture myself purchasing this product anytime soon at that price point. especially because "i can just photoshop" or "i can just poladroid".
posted by the aloha at 2:26 PM on March 26, 2010


This is the future of all film.
posted by bonehead at 2:26 PM on March 26, 2010


Also, those SX-70s are fucking junk. I must have wasted at least 10-15 exposures on one of those over the years because of light leaks.
posted by wcfields at 2:27 PM on March 26, 2010


Wasn't Polaroid themselves set to make film as well sometime soon, to go along with their new cameras and Lady Gaga partnerships?

(SHE SNEAKS INTO EVERY THREAD)
posted by mccarty.tim at 2:30 PM on March 26, 2010


I miss T-55.
posted by woodjockey at 2:33 PM on March 26, 2010


Wow, its $22 for a pack, and getting two packs adds $11 shipping to the US, so it works out to around $2.75 per exposure at the cheapest. Realistically it'll be around $3 a pop since at least one or two pictures will be overexposed or fuck up in some other way.
posted by wcfields at 2:37 PM on March 26, 2010


Wasn't Polaroid themselves set to make film as well sometime soon, to go along with their new cameras and Lady Gaga partnerships?

Not quite - they have no ability to make their own film any more, since The Impossible Project has their old equipment. TIP will be making the film, and Polaroid will license a ton of it to slap their own name on.
posted by Tomorrowful at 2:58 PM on March 26, 2010


Here's the FPP on Polaroid teaming with Lady Gaga. The current Polaroid product categories are Polaroid PoGo™ (digi-cam with built-in printer), Digital Cameras, Digital Camcorders, Digital Photo Frames, LCD TVs, and Photo Books & Prints (digital printing). They aren't producing anything "analog" any more.

On the other hand, Fujifilm still makes Polaroid-compatable film. Japan loves it's cameras.
posted by filthy light thief at 4:51 PM on March 26, 2010


Wait, if Fujifilm still makes Polaroid compatable film, why didn't TIP go the cheaper route instead and start importing Fujifilm's stuff?
posted by mccarty.tim at 5:10 PM on March 26, 2010


why didn't TIP go the cheaper route instead and start importing Fujifilm's stuff

Fujifilm only makes the peel-apart type of instant film, which isn't the same as the SX-70 chemical-pod-at-the-bottom film.
posted by gac at 5:18 PM on March 26, 2010


Well, Fuji makes SOME integral film. They still make Instax (and, I think, Instax mini) films, which are integral, but in a different format than the 600 type stuff. I am not sure, but I don't think they make any for the US market, but you can get it pretty easily. But for whatever reason, Fuji never made the 600 style integral film, so there is nothing to import.
posted by dirtdirt at 5:28 PM on March 26, 2010


Well. I don't think anyone expects TIP films, even if they should become more reliable or affordable than they seem to be/are now, will ever compose the bulk of the average person's photographs. And yes, if all you're interested in is "the look," use your iPhone app or whatever (doing so seems vaguely analogous to getting dressed up for those faux-sepia "Wild West Saloon" photos, but to each his or her own).

Mind you I've never actually taken a Polaroid (that shit was always expensive; I've never had a Polaroid camera; digital cameras have been more-or-less ubiquitous for the entirety of my adult life), but I could see myself using TIP film in the future. Instant analog photographs (now especially) are frankly pretty special: they're unique, unreproducible indexes of actual situations ("experiences," if you will). Light physically bounces off a subject at a single moment in time, and, through a physical, chemical reaction produces a tangible record/index of that subject. Digital photographs are great for most purposes, but they are decidedly not that.

Sure, the appeal is largely sentimental, verging even on a kind of magical thinking—the way an exact replica of a family heirloom, say, is "not the same" as the "real" thing, the "real thing" giving (most of) us a nebulous sense of "connection" to an embodied history or experience. But sentimentality is not always a bad thing and a person can be forgiven for sometime wanting "nice things." If TIP proceeds and the films get less dodgy, they very well could yield some very nice things, and I think that's enough (enough even to justify $3/shot).

Also, we're almost 20 comments in and nobody's made a crack about hipsters. Are you feeling okay, MetaFilter?
posted by wreckingball at 7:14 PM on March 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


My theory is that as digital 3D video of everything ever becomes instantly accessible, truly live occasions will become precious -- the house parties, plays, comedy shows, improv, anything where you literally had to be there, because you're part of it. Look at SxSW exploding. And somehow Polaroids fit into that.
posted by msalt at 11:50 PM on March 26, 2010


Having just got a Polaroid Spectra AF at a rummage sale today (apparently it takes 1200 film) I have to say I'm pretty disappointed.

Monochrome?
18 €? Plus shipping? For eight shots?
And it might not work at all?

w t f

The "I can just photoshop" is really missing the point, though.
posted by dunkadunc at 7:56 AM on March 27, 2010


I agree with dunkadunc on the "I can just photoshop" sentiment. Your pretty much in the wrong thread, dude.

I like the effect of the film; reminds me of Holga, but instant- but yes, the price should be at a dollar per shot. Only fair.
posted by captainsohler at 9:53 PM on March 27, 2010


$22 plus international shipping. For 8 shots.


I've always avoided them precisely for that reason and avoided buying the stuff locally ($33 for a twin pack of type 600) when it was available, but I now do instant photography ala 1850's technology that is just as, if not more, expensive than polaroid film is, yet I always cringe at unsaleables prices/shipping costs. Partly because of products like Fade to Black, I want something that actually works if I am going to spend money on it.

I have a sx70 that'll be shoved to the back of the closet once I finish the last four shots. Once I use up the remaining type 669 I have I might turn that camera into a wall ornament ...

I'm pretty much done with using polaroid film.
posted by squeak at 9:13 AM on March 28, 2010


The "I can just photoshop" is really missing the point, though.

So what is the point? Nostalgia? "Art"?
posted by kcds at 12:58 PM on March 28, 2010


kcds, a sx70 uses a specific format, focal length, f-stop, four element lens that when combined with the film gives a characteristic polaroid look, it's a physical object. Verses taking any image regardless of format, lens type, focal length &c., opening it up in editing software, cropping it square, adding some guassian blur, vignetting in the corners, a bit of colour tweaking then slapping the same polaroid frame on the uppermost layer to complete "the look". A cookie cutter approach that attempts to emulate the original, but doesn't do a good job of it.

For some people the distinction matters. The physical, hands on, intimacy that just isn't the same sitting in front of a monitor pushing pixels with a mouse and, editing software.
posted by squeak at 8:52 PM on March 28, 2010


The physical, hands on, intimacy that just isn't the same sitting in front of a monitor pushing pixels with a mouse and, editing software.

Plus there is that thing that goes on with film, where once you snap a shot you're committed to having that shot, and you don't really know what it's going to be, exactly, until it develops.

Plus all the ways you can fuck with the image during developing -- writing on the developing surface with a ballpoint, etc. The effects created during that can yield surprising results, and while they can be imitated by Photoshop, the random nature and unknown factors can never be duplicated if you're creating those effects on purpose. Sometimes art, or photography, or whatever is about accidents caused by working in an actual medium. Planning rarely results in such events.
posted by hippybear at 11:18 AM on March 29, 2010


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