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

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04-14-2010, 08:17 AM
I received 5 packs the other day....still waiting for my SX-70 i bought from USA for $4

04-14-2010, 10:14 AM
It still reminds me of the old child's tale "The Emperors New Clothes"! :D

Me too.

Granted, saying that hey were going to recreate Polaroid film was not entirely correct.
What they had promised was to make instant film that would fit Polaroid cameras, using the old Polaroid production facilities, trying to reconstruct the old Polaroid know-how to do so.

Change the world of instant photography they have not.
It was quite possible to mess up the original Polaroid and produce results not unsimilar (but though still expensive, a bit cheaper).

And that, Heather, i know because i have.
Why do you assume that people not impressed with what the IP has come up with so far have never used Polaroid and never will? That's demonstrably wrong (i present myself in evidence: so i'll change my 'alias' to "Exhibit A" ;)).

04-14-2010, 11:02 AM
I think some people here need to recognize the "revolutionary power" of what the IP has done.

Now I agree, right now, the film itself isn't revolutionary. But the marketing, the branding, the BUZZ has been remarkable. And that's what we need!

In this new age, analog photography has to set itself apart, it has to make a POINT of being analog, being different. I'm sure it's mildly disgusting for a lot of the older folks here (like over 30... sorry for saying "old folks") who vividly remember the days when film was king, to hear all this talk about "analog film", as if it's such a departure. It might seem slightly cheapened, eh?

But I'm afraid it's gonna be this way, and we can benefit, tangentially, from these "marketing segments". The Lomos, the hipsters, the Urban Outfitters crowd. Basically people who LIKE the look of film. Let them be the target market, and we'll reap the benefits of fresh, analog stock.

Lastly, if you haven't purchased the film, and you're complaining about the look, well I would charge you to go buy some. Maybe YOU can make use of it, maybe YOU can do something good with it. Quit your bitching, and support this project that is setting a precedent for how to make analog photography continue growing, continue innovating and continue infecting people with the incurable disease that can be.... ANALOG PHOTOGRAPHY!

*soap box down*

Photo Engineer
04-14-2010, 11:17 AM
Let us take a hypothetical case. Kodak shuts down and a group of ex-Kodak employees are given the keys to Kodak Park (Now renamed Eastman Industrial Park) with all of the formulas, most of the equipment and most of the chemicals.

I can assure you that that group would do a credible job of restarting the factory and producing some excellent product within a year given the capital to restart. So, we know that the Impossible Project people are working under a similar scenario. But, their first offering is not quite up to snuff!

Now, Heather makes a point of comparison with alternative processes, but I would say that anyone making a lith print that looked like one of the samples here would reject it and try again. I have seen many lith prints here that far surpass anything seen in this thread.

Now, as to my use of instant products; when I joined the instant film project at EK, I was given an SX-70 and a few boxes of instant film and was told to get familiar with instant and develop impressions. I was then given a stack of PR-10 film and a Kodak camera (not yet released, so I had to have a special "do not search" card to carry with my briefcase so that the guards would let me pass when I came and went out of Kodak Park). I was told to do the same with PR-10 and then to compare the two products and develop impressions on the comparison. I still have stacks of both types of prints. So, I have used a lot of integral and peel apart.

BTW, I have Polaroid backs for my 4x5, RZ and Bronicas so I have used it there as well, and we used it as proofs back at the cape. I have a few negatives from way back then as well.

So, I am no stranger to instant in all of its incarnations.


04-14-2010, 02:28 PM
holmburgers...here's a funny little thing though. "Analog" isn't even a correct term though. You can have an analog meter, an analog watch, an analog signal...but "analog film"?? That makes no sense. Film is film. No need to make up some new fad term for something that has existed for over 100 years.

Age has nothing to do with it either. I've gotten some of my friends into film photography and NONE of them call it "analog." They don't say stuff like "oh you shoot analog." They just call it film. In fact, I had just gotten one of my friends interested interested in darkroom developing too. I have a darkroom set up in my garage to develop B&W prints, and after I showed him how I develop prints, he was just starting to get into it. He was only 19. (He is no longer in this world...God bless him).

My whole point is there are a LOT of people who are into film photography. It's not just hipsters and lomographers. I buy film all the time and I use 99.99 percent film for all my pictures. I probably shoot more film in one week than a lomography hipster uses in an entire year. Somehow it seems ridiculous that people think they're the "saviours" of film.

And if anyone has any doubts about it, here's my Flickr stream...almost entirely film. Including some pictures I've taken with Polaroid 600 and Fuji instant film. (I really like the Fuji B&W instant film, BTW.)


Aren't we all doing our part to use and promote film? I know I'm doing my part. As I type this, I have a bunch of 35mm and 120 B&W rolls I need to develop, and I have several rolls of color Kodak film I'm going to take to the lab tomorrow to get developed. I love film and I'm doing my part to promote it as much as I can. And I have never set foot in Urban Outfitters. I don't use film to be cool or trendy...I use film because I love using it.

Anyway...to get back on topic, my doubts about the new film from Impossible Project are because of the examples I've seen, and the reviews I've read from people who HAVE used it. They say it's extremely inconsistent. Also, when IP said they were making a black and white film, I expected to see a film that would produce true black and white pictures. I'm not saying that sepia look doesn't have its charm, I'm just saying I'm kind of disappointed. And for the record, I also said I AM going to try it. If I like it, I'll buy more cartridges. If it ends up being as inconsistent and fickle as a lot of people are saying, then I'll have to wait until IP makes improvements to it and in the mean time I'll be happy using Fuji peel-apart film.

04-14-2010, 03:22 PM
Well put.
I too hate the "analog" thingy (but daren't say so on the Apug :D).

You can't have an analog meter, an analog watch, analog signal either.
It's all part of the digitalk. So calling the Apug "Apug" is paying reverence to the digiworld...

Unless, of course, i missed what this Photography Users Group is analogous to.
(And do we "Use" photography? Hmm... I guess we do, yes.)

04-14-2010, 05:04 PM
I'm going to split hairs, but there is film (silver image film) which has got only binary information as image. This information storage is called "bit-to-film". In this context one may speak of `analog filmī when referring to the classic image storage on film.

04-14-2010, 05:29 PM
But isn't digital then the thing that is analogous to that either-or film?

04-14-2010, 07:39 PM
Well I just bought four more packs, despite having only 4 successes with my first two packs. It is a finicky film, but when one nails it it is quite beautiful. As to the complaints: if it isn't the film for you don't use it, and what is gained by badmouthing it to those who do like it?

I was under the impression that IP got the machines but not the formulas?

Tim Gray
04-14-2010, 08:14 PM
They had to source a new film for it. That much we know.

04-14-2010, 08:21 PM
After speaking with ImPossible again today, they have said that the 600 is coming very soon and that the PX-100 First Flush is no longer manufactured and will be replaced by a reformulated PX-100 that is easier to work with as soon as the current stock sells out.

04-14-2010, 08:28 PM
hmm....sepiareverb, you're a lot more forgiving than me. Only 4 good pictures out of 16? That would just get me so frustrated. Especially since you don't have any manual control over the exposure. From what I'm reading, it seems like it's just pure luck whether the pictures turn out.

I do want to try the film...some of the pictures I've seen look pretty cool, almost like Van Dyke prints. But I just hope the film isn't as finicky and unstable as people have been saying. I understand the film is still new and experimental...if half of my pictures turn out, then I would be happy with that. But 1/4th...not so much. Not for $21 a cartridge and only 8 shots.


Ok, Patrick I just saw your post. That sounds good. Apparently, a lot of people have been saying the same things and Impossible Project is hearing them.

04-14-2010, 11:21 PM
Do you have an SX-70 Chris?

04-14-2010, 11:24 PM
Since their website says that the PX-100 is at a special "Introductory Price" I asked what it will change to and it will only go up $1 USD when the Introductory price is over...

04-15-2010, 12:47 AM
As to the complaints: if it isn't the film for you don't use it, and what is gained by badmouthing it to those who do like it?

The same as praising it to those who don't like it.

Is it not allowed, in a thread devoted to "the first impressions" we have of something, to say anything else than how great that something would be?

04-15-2010, 02:54 AM
I probably will look around for an SX-70 and I will try at least one cartridge just out of curiosity.

Look around for a One-Step. They're cheap, take SX-70 film, and have a nifty multicolor racing stripe.

04-15-2010, 03:21 AM
Are all the SX-70 cameras pretty much the same, or are there some models which are better than others?

04-15-2010, 07:23 AM
There are SX-70s that are SLR type and they are extremely high quality and then there are all plastic SX-70 that are more like most of the 600 but they all have a nice retro flare to them. See these photos.

04-15-2010, 12:46 PM
wooo hoo!

600 film just announced. I bought a couple of packs today and I'll be looking forward to trying them.

04-15-2010, 12:56 PM
Yeah, I just got an email too.

Notice how they're already reacting to the mixed reception of PX100.

quote, "A completely new material with totally different characteristics than the PX 100, precise, sharp and simply astonishing. "

Indeed, it does look better. So, indeed, progress already it appears.