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View Full Version : First Impressions of Silver Shade SX-70 Polaroid Film - Impossible Project



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patois
04-12-2010, 09:00 AM
http://www.bessablog.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/rulesthenation.jpg

Shot #8 from my first pack of PX100 (http://www.bessablog.com/my-last-px100-shot/). It is frustrating but has really forced me to really take time to compose and make it work.

coigach
04-12-2010, 10:31 AM
I've taken a few pictures and will post a couple in the gallery when I get round to scanning.

First impressions?

- strewth, this is a tricky film to handle! I shot indoors in the shade of diffuse window light, put photos into a dark film bag straight away and left for 10 mins to develop...and still big variations between shots.

- has a real tendency to look 'overexposed'. Don't know yet if the asa is optimistic, or the issue is really to do with the 'doesn't-actually-keep-the-light-out' opaque layer, rather than any characteristics inherent in the film itself. Suspect it's probably the opaque layer...

- difficult to get deep shadows - will try with an improvised orange filter next.

- seems to develop for a long time. Pictures seem to shift in colour slightly over 24 hours.

- has a peculiar random 'speckled' quality sometimes, although this varies from shot to shot (given the effects I'm looking for when I use Polaroid cameras this is not necessarily a bad thing, just a bit odd).

- for me with the indoors shots described above, shots worked best with camera dial 3/4 of the way to dark. Unless I find a workaround, I can't see the film being used much outdoors unless I want very overexposed images...

Conclusions so far?

- an interesting but bloody tricky film to handle if you want shots that are consistent from shot to shot.

- it seems specialised and pretty limited, but capable of interesting results within this narrow use. I particularly like the fact it is manipulable and can be used for emulsion transfers - will explore this more.

- I just wish I could get a bit more contrast...

As the film has only been out a few weeks, it's still early doors in my learning curve and it may well be I can work around some of the experiences above...

Cheers,
Gavin

Photo Engineer
04-12-2010, 10:42 AM
At the risk of getting a lot of nasty feedback I must say that this film looks pretty bad. I have used a lot of SX70 film and have never seen any this bad. Especially at this price.

I don't ever remember a B&W SX70 film either regardless of tone.

Sorry.

PE

ann
04-12-2010, 10:48 AM
doesn't look like sx70 film to me as well, including the fact that one can't make transfers from that type, unless it is peel apart and that is not my understanding of the "fade to black" film.

Photo Engineer
04-12-2010, 10:53 AM
Fade to black is simply an instant film with no timing layer that shuts off the process. Thus, the film keeps developing forever and gradually turns black. It may also have a thin light barrier layer and this will gradually leak light to hasten the total exposure of the emulsion.

Basically, it is faulty film.

PE

Peter Schrager
04-12-2010, 11:49 AM
I'm in agreement with PE....this stuff looks terrible! I have an entire collection of sx70's and they are beautiful to this day...Impossible needs to turn up the research a bit before they get my $$
Best, Peter

ann
04-12-2010, 12:05 PM
i never got the "fade to black" anyway, as to what value?

wblynch
04-12-2010, 02:09 PM
I wonder if anyone has experimented with making a dark cloth bag (black velvet?) and attach it to the camera where the film exits?

This would dump the film straight into the dark bag with no further light exposure until fully developed.

Just a curious thought....


I've taken a few pictures and will post a couple in the gallery when I get round to scanning.

First impressions?

- strewth, this is a tricky film to handle! I shot indoors in the shade of diffuse window light, put photos into a dark film bag straight away and left for 10 mins to develop...and still big variations between shots.

...............snipped...................

Cheers,
Gavin

Ektagraphic
04-12-2010, 02:11 PM
Fade to black as I understand was never officially an ImPossible film but one that is still under Polaroid. If you look at the photos on the website under that black sleeve it comes in, it is in a Polaroid box!

Q.G.
04-12-2010, 02:17 PM
I'm in agreement with PE....this stuff looks terrible!

And i.

Looks a lot like they didn't get there yet, but just had to show something to appease a money lender.
Not good enough to attract new/more money lenders.

Photo Engineer
04-12-2010, 03:04 PM
And i.

Looks a lot like they didn't get there yet, but just had to show something to appease a money lender.
Not good enough to attract new/more money lenders.

They seem to be bringing in a lot of money through sales of this product!

As for the fade to black, it is probably a rejected Polaroid product that was there in a master roll. Or, it may have been packed or they tested the packaging equipment. In any case, it was most likely a reject!

PE

Q.G.
04-12-2010, 03:21 PM
They seem to be bringing in a lot of money through sales of this product!

Or not, given that not everyone shares in the enthusiasm about what the film turned out to be. ;)

railwayman3
04-12-2010, 04:39 PM
I confess that I hadn't followed the "Project" in any detail and I suppose I was just expecting that it was, effectively, the "old" polaroid films or equivalents being brought back into production.

I can see that this new film has real possibilities in the hands of enthusiastic analogue photographers, but, given the price, the apparently tricky or critical handling, and the finished results, it's surely not going to persuade the average snapshotter to dig out his old Polaroid camera from the attic?

Not being deliberately negative, but if I were an investor, I'd be worried that there would be sufficient ongoing sales volume from the more specialist "enthusiast" users for the project to be viable?

clayne
04-12-2010, 05:01 PM
I can see that this new film has real possibilities in the hands of enthusiastic analogue photographers, but, given the price, the apparently tricky or critical handling, and the finished results, it's surely not going to persuade the average snapshotter to dig out his old Polaroid camera from the attic?

Too late - they're already digging them out to dump on eBay.

railwayman3
04-12-2010, 05:32 PM
Too late - they're already digging them out to dump on eBay.

True enough...there's certainly an enthusiast/cult demand, but I was thinking of the tens of millions who just want quick-and-easy instant family snaps and have swapped to d****** of one sort or another, they're not going to come back to Polaroid. :(

gatewaycityca
04-12-2010, 06:38 PM
I'm on the fence about this. I really want to try this new film and give it a chance, but I'm very disappointed with everything I've been seeing and reading about it. Some of the pictures I've seen look interesting, but most of them are just...yuck. Total crap. True, there is an interesting "dreamy" quality to them...but that novelty is going to wear off fast. Especially considering how expensive the film is and apparently how hard it is to use. Some people are saying you just have to be more patient and take more time with your shots...well, I already do that with medium format film. What's the point of putting all that work into composing your pictures but then you never know how they're going to turn out...especially when you only get 8 pictures per cartridge!

I probably will look around for an SX-70 and I will try at least one cartridge just out of curiosity. But I don't know...I'm really on the fence about this.

I also don't like how Impossible Project is trying to market themselves as if they're the ONLY ones left who are making any kind of instant film. Fuji makes very nice instant peel-apart film which works great with antique Polaroid Land cameras. The results are consistent, giving very nice pictures with beautiful colors...and their film is cheap. I especially like Fuji's black and white instant film, FP-3000. It captures absolutely beautiful pictures.

Impossible Project needs to remember that. They act as if they're the saviours of instant film and they're trying to cater too much to the lomography fad. I'm not into lomography. I'm into film photography.

But I will give it a chance. I've been following the Impossible Project for a while. Right now, I'm short on money and I'm also going through some rough times in my personal life. I'll look for an SX-70 and give it a try though. I just hope the Impossible Project improves the film and realizes that not everyone who likes instant film is into lomography.

skyrick
04-12-2010, 06:47 PM
Glad I didn't buy any of this first batch. I've had better results w/3 yr old 600 from eBay.

Ektagraphic
04-12-2010, 07:29 PM
Talk to the Impossible USA. The woman there is so awesome. She has explaned to me that there are much better things to come and to keep my hopes up especially for the 600 film.

Chazzy
04-12-2010, 07:42 PM
I must say, some photographers have learned how to treat this film and are getting interesting results. Have a look at what our own Akki14 has done, or look at the work on Flickr.

Ken Nadvornick
04-12-2010, 08:20 PM
Talk to the Impossible USA. The woman there is so awesome. She has explaned to me that there are much better things to come and to keep my hopes up especially for the 600 film.

Yes, patience is a virtue - albeit not one often in evidence.

I suspect things will improve dramatically over time. These guys had to show something. And given the enormity of their task - and their noteworthy willingness to take it on - what they showed seems to demonstrate promise. They just didn't have the luxury of working out all of the problems behind closed doors while waiting to unveil the perfect final results.

It is indeed a new world in analog Photography. And Impossible's efforts are part of that new world.

I agree with Chazzy. Take a look at Akki14's initial efforts. They're very good. At least I think so.

We have on APUG an entire group who regularly post tonally-soft, dreamy landscapes and portraits created using more traditional materials usually associated with razor-sharp, significant-contrast images. These efforts are consistently praised for their minimalist vision and beauty.

At the moment, the Impossible films fall into a similar rendition category. Let's be patient and see how they evolve down the road.

Ken