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  1. #1

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    Would instant film be difficult to make?

    After seeing all the debates about Polaroid quiting the instant business, and the instant film lovers trying desperately to get another company to produce it, a question comes to mind. Just how hard would it be for say, an upstart, to come along and make a similar product? A small business filling this niche market could still make millions. Its only the large companies that have huge overhead that wouldn't take it on. I'm not surprised at all that ILFORD turned down Polaroid. I'm really shocked that they would even ask another big company. How about Polaroid just auction off the process and equipment to someone who's actually interested in instant film?

    I figure though that theres got to be an ex Polaroid employee or film expert that would know how to produce limited quantities of instant film. Of course it would have to be different from the Polaroid brand for infringement reasons, although I don't know what difference it makes now that Polaroid doesn't give a care.

    I've seen a lot of people who are doing film transfers. Some even make a living going to parties, fairs, etc who make money taking someones picture and transfering it to watercolor paper. Not the mention the Artists who use it. Now they're scratching their heads trying to figure out what to do next.

    With all the money people are spending on the last Polaroid stock, you know theres a market.

    Just my opinion. Correct me if this should have come under a different category.

    CrystalClear

  2. #2
    Sino's Avatar
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    Welcome to APUG.

    The topic has been discussed to death before, and there have been some serious opinions on whether or not there could be such a company making such a product. Try a forum search on Polaroid. Although I wish someone would, I believe that it's not going to happen.

    -Sino.
    Close your eyes to see. This will take a while.

  3. #3
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    You need to make a camera film with emulsion on it, a reciever layer with shutdown materials on it, and a method to capture the image and you need to produce a pod that will process the film.

    All three require some rather specialized equipment, and pod making is hardest of all. We made them under an inert atmosphere at Kodak.

    In addition, you need the pull tabs, rails to separate the two pieces of the packet properly, and you need dark covers on each half to protect the film from light.

    It does not matter where you place it, the answers are the same. Instant products are very very hard to make.

    PE

  4. #4
    keithwms's Avatar
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    CC, bear in mind that with exception of type 55/665, sx, polaroid tungsten, and polaroid sheets larger than 4x5, the fuji instant materials have pretty much filled the instant film void. The fujis are very, very good, and still being made freshly, with excellent QC (beter than polaroid's IMHO)... at viable cost.

    Regarding the thought of polaroid simply giving the equipment and technical details over to someone else, well, the expense is moving the big equipment and all that. Their process was very much scaled up and, ironically, it's less expensive to scale up an industrial process than to dial it back into a niche. It would be hideously expensive for somebody to try to move the equipment, set up new contracts for the raw materials, get the polaroid line back up and running in reduced capacity, and then move the product reputably into a declining market.
    Last edited by keithwms; 04-30-2008 at 06:40 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: spelling
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  5. #5

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    Keith is very right.

    The best we can hope for at this point is that Fuji would be willing (say in cooperation with Unsaleable) to make special runs of 'heirloom' emulsions: 669-like, 55, Choco, Sepia, etc. In that instance they would have a guaranteed buyer for the entire run. However, I notice that Unsaleable still has stock on the run of 2000 Choco-80 twin-packs. They were manufactured at least 18 months ago. That tells me the art market for instant film is much smaller than Polaroid fans are willing to admit.

    As for integral film that is SX-70, 600 or Spectra compatible...the odds are looking pretty grim. Pickup a Fuji Instax camera and get practicing.

  6. #6
    thebanana's Avatar
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    Most people can't boil water, never mind make a Polaroid type film
    "While you're out there smashing the state, don't forget to keep a smile on your lips and a song in your heart!"

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebanana View Post
    Most people can't boil water, never mind make a Polaroid type film
    I guess I should never expect to teach you how to make and coat an emulsion then, right?

    PE

  8. #8

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    Well, maybe its time someone started thinking outside the box. This is fifty year old technology we're talking about here. Just look at the ZINK technology. No inks! No cartriges to change, just special paper. Dare I mention this in a film forum, but a digital to print hybrid might be the ticket.

    I fully intend to use FP-100C and FP-100B in my LAND 104. I have a feeling that the price will jump through the roof when polaroid stocks are depleted though.

  9. #9
    thebanana's Avatar
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    Is that the same thing?
    "While you're out there smashing the state, don't forget to keep a smile on your lips and a song in your heart!"

  10. #10

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    I was just making the point that maybe theres a cheaper and simpler way to do it these days.

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