Impossible Project

Discussion in 'Instant Cameras, Backs and Film' started by Jeff Canes, Apr 26, 2012.

  1. Jeff Canes

    Jeff Canes Member

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    Is anyone using their films? I have tried the Silver Shade in both the 600 & Spectra cameras, 2 packs in each. And I just load pack number 3 of Color Shade in the Spectra.

    So far the dark slide has jams on all of packs and the sometimes the film too when the camera tries to eject either. Playing with the film in a changing bag it fell as if the slide is catching an edge in carriages. Again it happened with both cameras.

    Also the quality of my image is nowhere near any of the arty-fartsy images on the Impossible Project sites.

    I was just wounding what kind of results other that have tried the films where getting and if they had positive or negative results. So far out of 6 packs of film I have gotten 10 Ok shots and only 2 nice arty-fartsy shots. I am having mostly negative feelings tore Impossible Project at this point.
     
  2. munz6869

    munz6869 Subscriber

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    I eagerly bought two packets of the initial release. None of those pictures survive today - The either faded instantly, and then once I had figured out they needed to be shielded from light as they emerge, subsequent pictures were destroyed by an interesting crystal growth. Kind of entertaining, mostly just annoying/expensive. Two years ago, I visited their shop in Vienna, and left without buying anything, which is not my normal camera shop practice. Subsequent improvements to the technology have not left me brimming with confidence. I really wish their product was any good - I would actually buy some.

    Marc!
     
  3. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I say again......... The emperor has no clothes.

    PE
     
  4. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    I am impressed with their progress so far. They have managed to reinvent Polaroid film from the ground up with virtually nothing to go on. That's a major feat for which they deserve a round of applause.

    I am watching. Progress has been made and, from all accounts, progress seems to be continuing. I am optimistic that it will get better.

    However, as impressed as I am and as optimistic as I feel, I'm just not ready to spend money on a product that "isn't quite right."

    I would like to try some just to see for myself but, I have too many cameras to feed and not enough time and money to feed them all. If I get some money burning a hole in my pocket, I'll buy some but I'm okay with waiting for a while longer.
     
  5. nickrapak

    nickrapak Member

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    I have had the privilege of testing their latest film for 600 cameras. It's nothing like the old 600 film, but it's a lot better than previous batches. Here's a sample shot: SCAN005.jpg

    This was taken with the exposure adjustment wheel to "darken", and it was shielded as it ejected.
     
  6. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Gentlemen;

    They have the formulas for emulsions and coatings, they have all of the information about chemicals. Re-creation is not simple. I don not denigrate their efforts, I merely state that with all of the information, they are not there yet. This should show you that they are not there yet and how hard it is to restart a line. IMHO, it also says don't waste your money. Let them waste theirs!

    :D

    Buy it when it is ready.

    PE
     
  7. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    I have tried several times to feed my sprectra camera. the last time I used the film it did fine...put it in the draw and it became mottled after a while. now I'm all for supporting the venture but several hundred dollars later have little to show for my worth. there is a kit they sell separate for the mottling and if you go to nyc they have a space where they teach you how to use the film properly...I will try it again though....
    Best, Peter
     
  8. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    You should not have to be "taught" how to use a commercial product that has antecendents. It should work OTOTB.

    Pe
     
  9. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    I didn't know that they had all the formulas. I thought they had the equipment and somebody had reverse engineered the film.
    It's good to know that they have the information.

    As I said, I'm not ready to buy yet but, IF I did buy today, it would be because I am curious to see how the product has progressed so far and it would be because I want to support the project.
    I wouldn't expect it to be perfect but, for the money I would pay, I expect them to try their damnedest to make it as perfect as possible.
     
  10. yeknom02

    yeknom02 Member

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    I have used most of their films at least once. After a number of failed color SX-70 films, they had a remarkable film in their first ASA 600 color film, the "beta" PX680 test film that came out about a year ago. Those still look like I just shot them yesterday. However, every subsequent film has something a bit more to be desired. Their latest release, the "Cool" films, are simply the existing formulations with all the components cold-stored at every single step in production.

    For whatever reason, their Spectra films seem to be some of the best, rather than the 600 and SX-70 films.

    I like to buy a couple packs every few months (maybe 3-4 times a year) and use them sparingly, but always for fun. I am really pulling for their success and will promote their efforts as much as possible... just not with the full force of my wallet (which isn't very forceful to begin with, if you catch my drift.)
     
  11. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    I use them - and they are getting better:

    Old: http://darkosaric.deviantart.com/art/Attack-of-the-Killer-Crystals-167898038
    New: http://darkosaric.deviantart.com/art/Warsaw-183-274571058

    But Photo Engineer is right - it shows how hard it is to restart a line. Worst thing that irritates me is that you need to shield picture when is out. With old polaroid films one big part of fun was to look at a picture how is slowly appears in front of your eyes :smile:.

    If fuji makes instax in B&W - I would not have need to use impossible films.
     
  12. MDR

    MDR Member

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    According to them they had to change the original formula for environmental reasons so they might have the original Formula but they had to change it with not so great success imho. I wish them well I like some pictures made with their films but it seems to be a hit or miss in terms of film quality.

    Dominik
     
  13. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    Actually what PE meant is that having the recipe is not enough to make the pudding. So it's bad to know that they had the formula.

    I read, also, that they had the formula but one or more ingredients are now not any more in production for environmental reasons. So they are trying to make a workaround and this is, in fact, a research / creative effort, with no guarantee of success.

    Fujifilm on the other hand produces instant film with proper colours (not artsy-fartsy).

    This leads me to think that sometimes it is easier to start from scratch, or to rebuild the house rather than trying to salvage an unsafe one.

    I am genuinely surprised that they find buyers for their products. With all due respect for the firm's generous and risky effort, they are basically relying on buyers of colour material who have a total disinterest for colours :wink:
     
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  15. Peter de Groot

    Peter de Groot Member

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    The people who buy their film now are the early adopters. (I'm not completely sure about the correct marketing terms) Paying a premium price for a not too great product. Once that product is good the rest will follow. So if your not happy with their products wait. If your willing to gamble and support their efforts go and buy.

    The idea of a product that you don't need to be educated how to use I don't agree with that. Everything has a manual on how to get the best result with a product. The same goes for the film of TIP. If one is used to use Polaroid...well that doesn't exist anymore. But it was a lot easier with those product.
     
  16. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Well, some people got what I meant and carried the ball and others missed my point.

    In analog film making, it is not enough to have the formula. It takes a lot of work to re-create a given film. If some of the chemicals are "banned", then it is a job of the chemist to create a work-around chemistry that solves the problem. We have done that more than once at Kodak.

    If you make a product that works for years (SX-70 for example), stop making it, start again and it does not work the same way, then you have a problem. Having to teach your customers how to work around this problem is not an option IMHO. It is a failed attempt at that product. It does not meet release specifications. If you sell it, then your customers become alpha testers or beta testers at best, or unhappy people at worst.

    We have had that at EK as well and have worked out the problems before any customer ever saw the product.

    If a defect only shows up in the field, it means that you yourself did not do adequate field testing. If prints go bad after one year due to failed seals, you did not have release specs and tests up to this task!

    IMHO, from most of the results shown, it is not a product yet, and should not be sold yet.

    PE
     
  17. Peter de Groot

    Peter de Groot Member

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    Personally I would have waited before putting out a product on the market. So therefor I have to applaud their marketing people. It is lomography at its best. I like some of the result and some I don't like. But I think that educating the customer how to use the film to get the best results is not a bad idea because people expect it to be Polaroid. And that it is not. That is why Bob Crowley is saying he is not recreating Type 55 film but is developing a Type 55 like film.
    However I do understand what you are saying PE and from your point of view I agree completely. But I also do like how TIP is doing their thing and creating a loyal fan base in doing so. With a faulty product.
     
  18. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    I agree that many of their early adopters are being treated like beta testers but, from what I have seen, they were mostly honest about this. They do say that they haven't got all the bugs worked out and, from what I have seen, they are getting better. Slowly but steadily.

    I am a little put off by the price but, if the product works, I'd say it's worth it. At this point, the price is more than it should be for an "almost working" product.

    However, because this is basically a crowd sourced funding project, I'm willing to give them a pass. They produce a product as well as they can, under the conditions they face and sell it for profit which is used to further future research and development. I'm okay with that as long as they are honest about it. So far, they seem to be honest about it.

    I also expect to see improvement in the product. So far, they seem to be improving but, as far as I am concerned, it's not quite enough to get me to spring for some film... Yet...

    I am watching and waiting. When I see enough improvement and when I have the disposable income, I do plan to buy.

    Just not yet.
     
  19. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Kodak did the alpha test in-house. It did the beta test with real customers with free film! Then it sold the perfected product to the customers. That is a POV that wonk Kodak a dual reputation.

    It had high quality products.

    It had high prices. This was in order to absorb the free film in the alpha and beta tests.

    PE
     
  20. mrred

    mrred Subscriber

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    Even with sales, they must be bleeding money. I doubt if they can achieve their goal. I never bought Polaroid products beceause I never thought it was worth the money then. I really can't justify it now, or probably ever.

    If you like the medium, buy Fuji, At least they sell a product that works and it would support your activity for time to come. Keep them wanting to make it.
     
  21. Peter de Groot

    Peter de Groot Member

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    They do ship some film to selected testusers. But different times calls for a different approach. I don't have problems with that. And for a product like film it will not be harmfull for people. For instant film it would be difficult to spent 3 years developing and then selling the perfect product. So the way TIP does it is probably the best way. And again you don't have to buy it if you don't like it. They don't claim to have a finished product. If I have some money to spare I will buy some film from them but not much. Too pricey for me.
     
  22. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    tried it, didn't like it. makes me very sad.
     
  23. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Member

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    The problem with doing it today like Kodak did it in years past is that doing it that way no longer works. That's why Kodak is bankrupt.

    In years past Kodak - and the others - could afford to self-fund new research and products because film was the only game in town. Everyone's profitable product lines could subsidize development of new product lines. And the public never saw those new products unless and until they were perfect. That doesn't work anymore because that critical mass of consumers isn't there anymore.

    TIP may succeed in reaching a perfect instant film. Or they may not, and go out of business. Or they may not, and stay in business at the "Lomo" level they're at right now. But funding their efforts by shrewdly marketing their research prototypes to the public is likely the ONLY way they could have made the attempt to resurrect a Polaroid-like film product in the first place. (Unless, of course, Paul Allen had off-handedly mentioned to Florian Kaps over lunch one day that he always really, really liked Polaroids...)

    :tongue:

    I seem to recall that Mirko did the same thing with the first not-yet-perfect runs of his resurrected APX400-like b&w film. It's a new world these days.

    Ken
     
  24. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    I find it funny the Impossible project team doesnt have a rep. on Apug, or has responded or participated in this discussion that has been running for a few days.
     
  25. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Microsoft gave out an early (Beta) version of Windows NT (4.0) to a number of large companies. Kodak was one of them and the other one was a large oil company.

    The software crashed regularly and gave us headaches. It paralyzed the oil company. I remember at the time that PC Week had a feature article on this.

    Anyhow, those of us that complained about Windows when the new version came out a while back, well, that was probably another case of Beta release.

    Maybe new products cannot be tested the same lavish way they used to be, but we should still not be forced to peel apart a product that is supposed to be integral, nor should we have to shield the print from sun if it is supposed to develop in front of us anywhere.

    I think that is part of my point and part of why the customer has to be "instructed" to work around product shortcomings.

    Ok, I agree that they are bleeding money. Yes, they need cash. But why charge full price up front and face dissatisfied customers?

    IDK. This whole thing makes me feel uneasy.

    PE
     
  26. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Member

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    I once read that the Art of Engineering is the art of risk mitigation. One can never reduce risk levels to zero in any designed system. But one goes as far as one can in pursuit of that goal. Real engineers always feel uneasy. The best continue to feel that way even after a product is out the door and into the wild.

    I'd hazard a guess that engineering goal hasn't changed for TIP, or for Mirko. What's changed in today's new world is that pesky definition of "as far as one can..."

    Ken