First Impressions of Silver Shade SX-70 Polaroid Film - Impossible Project
So I thought it might be good to start a thread dedicated to discussing the new film from the Impossible Project. The Ilford rep's on here might find it interesting, and indeed as it's brand spankin' new, let's be the first to review it!
I received mine on Friday here in the U.S. I ordered it the day 1st day it was available, or at least once they sent me an email, whenever that was. With shipping, and only buying 1 8-shot pack, it costs me $4 per picture! I intend to only use it for special occaisions.
I've only taken two shots so far, and my impressions are this...
The latitude is fairly narrow, and I think it'll be key to learn how best to use your "exposure wheel". Highlights were easily overexposed and left nothing but white, while the shadows aren't exactly the richest of blacks (maybe I'm just overexposing period). There is some interesting graininess in the dark areas. It's hard to describe, and I wish I had a scanner to show, but it's almost like little grains of sand spread far apart. It doesn't appear to be silver-grain, per se.
My shots ended up with a great sepia tone, perhaps due to the temperture here in Kansas at the moment, which is maybe just a bit above room temp. Pictures took at least 10 minutes to fully develop and maybe an hour til they're really rich & finalized.
Using a new-old-stock flash bar that came in the bag w/ my SX-70 (antique mall for $15!) produced an awesome portrait. I'd recommend darkening maybe one degree on the dial, especially if your friend is white & pasty like mine.
All in all I'm excited. I've never been a Polaroid shooter before this, but despite the cost & fairly lo-fidelity, it's something I intend to keep shooting. Speaking of the fidelity, it's not gonna rival shots from a typical film camera, at least in my "2 shot" experience. I half expected to see the resolution you'd get from an equally sized negative, but I don't think that's gonna happen at the moment. The shots on their website seem like accurate representations. Kind of dreamy looking. At first I was disappointed, but it was because my first picture was just plain crappy, and thus I didn't have the "resolution" to fall back on. But my next picture, a portrait of an old friend, knocked my socks off. The resolution didn't matter anymore, it was the image that counted. So in a way, this film will put your pictures to the test.
I will probably only use this film sporadically, maybe only a few shots per month! (sorry Impossible Project) I hope they've considered this in their business structure, and they're not expecting people to buy this stuff weekly. It's just too expensive for that, but it's well worth it when the occasion justifies it. And maybe some people have deeper pockets than me and don't have as much money tied up in other gear!
I can't wait for the color film as well.