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Instant Film Woes

Everyone remembers how easy Polaroids used to be – you point, press the button and no matter where you were, you got a good shot or at least a good memory.

Since Polaroid stopped production it has been a one horse race with Fuji providing a few choices – the FP series of professional peel apart instant film and their small credit card sized Instax style films.

At this point you had to change from your old favourite Polaroid camera to either an instant back on a medium format camera or one of the new Fuji cameras.

That was until late last year when the Impossible Project bought all the old stock from Polaroid and their machinery to start production of these much loved films – or that was what many people thought was the plan; as to date the Impossible Project has produced a host of difficult or near impossible to use products at up to date Polaroid prices.

It started with the First Flush/Silver Shade film PX100 which was as temperature sensitive as it is time sensitive – and the picture doesn’t ever seem to stop developing so that after a short time you have a pure white picture.

Then came the Silver Shade – which is meant to be less sensitive and closer to the FP-100B B/W Instant film from Fuji. (I have a pack to use but need to use the current pack first and so will post later on the results).

At the same time we have the first colour film – again a First Flush to signify the early development and called Colour Shade and is rated at ASA125.

This is not a bright or saturated colour film. It should look more like an old expired Polaroid and be lightly shaded. Not as temperature sensitive but still needs to be turned and kept dark whilst it develops.

At the same time as getting frustrated by the impossible to use films – I have put a Polaroid back onto a plastic lens Holga and used Fuji FP film.

The obvious problem here is that the 6×6 medium format of the Holga won’t fill the larger FP film and that as the camera becomes very dark with the Holgaroid back – you need direct sun to get an image.

So the obvious answer here as any photographer will tell you is to buy a decent camera that uses the Fuji FP film – or just keep using film and forget about instant film that is produced these days.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t marry with the romantic memories of Polaroid and just how easy and fun it was to use and so I will keep looking for a decent image on instant film, that doesn’t fade or require a thermometer, stop watch and luck to develop.

Posted by simon on August 7, 2010

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