Polaroid SX-70/Time Zero Film...great huh?

Discussion in 'Contact Printing' started by Dorothy Blum Cooper, Nov 4, 2005.

  1. Dorothy Blum Cooper

    Dorothy Blum Cooper Member

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    I wasn't sure if this had been posted or shared, so I thought I'd pass this on. Needless to say, this will affect many photographers/artists (including my husband!!) who work in this medium. A two step kick out the door!!!!

    http://www.polaroid.com/sx70/en/index.html

    Ce la vie!!!!!
     
  2. Dorothy Blum Cooper

    Dorothy Blum Cooper Member

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    Hmm...not sure how this got posted in 'contact' printing. I had it in alternative photography where SX-70 had been discussed previously. Thought this was more 'alternative'. No contact involved, just 'smooshing' the emulsion around under the milar. Oh well!!!
     
  3. Alex Hawley

    Alex Hawley Member

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    Dorothy, thanks for posting this notice again as it probably warrants reiterating. Yes, it is indeed an unfortunate decision Polaroid has made.

    A few months ago, I during a Google search on SX-70 film, I stumbled upon the Judge's written decision in the Polaroid vs Kodak patent infringement case. I didn't read all of the document due to its length, but the first 100-some pages were a fascinating review of all the business and technical issues that went into bringing the SX-70 camera and film to market. According to testimony given by the most senior Polaroid executives, including Dr. Land, the SX-70 line never was very profitable despite its seeming popularity. That was the reason for the camera's rather short production life despite its acclaim.

    Given that the film line was seldom profitable too, I believe Polaroid deserves credit for keeping it in production as many years as they did. As an engineer, I would bet the obsolete components necessary to keep the production line running could be replaced, but, there comes a time when a company has to make a decision such as they were faced with, and they have sadly made it.

    I'm hoping I can buy up several boxes of SX-70 early next year so I can enjoy it just a little while longer.
     
  4. eric

    eric Member

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    I was watching the HISTORY channel one night and they talked about German inventions during WWII. After the war, America null and voided all German patents and one of them was the instant film. That way, Dr. Land was able to patent the invention.
    There's information on Polaroid's site on how to use 600 film on the SX-70 cameras. I haven't tried it yet cause I'll need some ND filters but there is not quite anything like the Time-Zero stuff.
     
  5. Shmoo

    Shmoo Member

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    SOB!
     
  6. Alex Hawley

    Alex Hawley Member

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    That says it most eloquently Sharon!
     
  7. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Eric, under US law, it was not possible to re-patent the revealed German patent discoveries. Dr Land made some very important contributions to some of the inventions that already existed and was able to patent new add on items in their own right. The Germans were never able to make an instant photo material in the way Dr. Land did in spite of all of their work, and that is the hallmark of an invention and an inventive genius.

    Unfortunately, he was unable to make his own color materials and turned to Kodak to assist him in developing the instant color materials. Afterwards, he was unable to coat it, so Kodak produced it for him until he could build a plant capable of making the color materials.

    It was unfortunate that he used this development work against Kodak in the lawsuit, as the Kodak method used entirely different methodology to achieve instant color materials, and was able to achieve an ISO 3000 speed material with outstanding dye stability just before the lawsuit concluded. Kodak was judged innocent of any liability in terms of malicious or deliberate attempts to injure Polaroid. In fact, they were found diligent in their efforts to avoid Polaroid patents, and therefore triple damages were not awarded to Polaroid for this part of the lawsuit.

    Finally, under the circumstances, this was probably the best thing that could have happened to Kodak and the worst that could have happened to Polaroid. It made Kodak tighten things up in conventional photography and reconcentrate on it, and it made them look at digital more closely. It made Polaroid less aware of their own fallibility and more complacent.

    PE
     
  8. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    Eric,

    this issue is not having film for the sx-70 camera, it is the issue that only time zero film will allow one to manipulate the emulsion. 600 type film is useless with in this regard.