View Full Version : Large format Impossible (Polaroid) films in the works

18-Feb-2011, 08:54
I asked the Impossible Project (via Twitter) whether there are any plans to do an 8x10 or 4x5 version of their new former Polaroid films. Here's their reply:

8x10 film is in the works, sadly we don't have the equipment to make 4x5 film but @bobcrowley is trying to recreate it though.

Bob Crowley's site: http://new55project.blogspot.com/

Apologies if this is old news, but it was the first I'd heard about the 8x10.



Brian C. Miller
18-Feb-2011, 16:16
Yes, they've been at it a while. Bob is working on a sort-of-replacement, which is more like Readyload/Quickload, and an on-site developer tank.

18-Feb-2011, 16:31
I'm trying hard not to sound too judgemental, but I get the email updates from Impossible Project, and the images they show , to put it mildly, are dreadful!!!

Are they showing just artsy/fartsy stuff or it this the actual quality of the material? Surely their scanning can't be degrading the images to the point shown!

If they are really going to put out a large format product, will it be comparable to Polaroid's excellent gray scale capabilities or even Polaroid's iffy color materials, or are these samples all we can expect in terms of image quality? If so, I'm afraid I'll stick with Fuji for my testing purposes, because there is no way that I will have confidence in how final film will look compared to the test material.

Please, somebody tell us what the real product will look like.

Eric Leppanen
18-Feb-2011, 17:12
If this write-up in Bloomberg is any indication (http://www.businessweek.com/smallbiz/content/feb2011/sb20110210_498067.htm), The Impossible Project is unapologetically going the artsy route. Some excerpts:

Florian Kaps, one of three founders, says the company's success lies in preserving the soft, distorted colors of vintage Polaroid film. "Because of the digital revolution, people are starting to go in the opposite direction, toward retro analog products, and the fun is just beginning," Kaps says...

......Last April [Polaroid] started reselling a Fuji instant camera and film packets under its own brand. Polaroid President Scott W. Hardy says he was impressed with Fuji's global distribution and image quality..."There's definitely a need for the artsy, surprise-me-with-how-it-develops film," Hardy says. "But for the mass market…there's a much higher standard in terms of the photographic quality."

Kaps isn't worried about the competition. He predicts that Impossible will prosper by catering to shutterbugs who love the imperfections of the original Polaroid. "The big advantage Fuji once had—which is the big disadvantage now—is that it's a far better quality product, so it almost looks like digital," he says.

On one hand, you gotta love their moxie: touting bad quality as a sales advantage! After briefly browsing through some of their blog entries, which include such discussions as baking the film in an oven to achieve increased color saturation, it appears to me that they've given up the ghost on producing an accurate color film and have embraced a business plan predicated on retro-weirdness. And from I have seen of the Lady Gaga marketing strategy (shrinking retro-violet that she is), which features Polaroid prints with strangely desaturated colors and written annotations apparently made with a black Sharpie, I wouldn't hold my breath for any substantial qualitative improvements to be made.

18-Feb-2011, 17:15
Sounds a lot like some of the biggies. They just really don't seem to care about what we need, just what they want to give us.

Frank Petronio
18-Feb-2011, 18:03
I pissed my money away on their crappy film, it faded before my eyes, I think they are all marketing and zero ability. They certainly shouldn't be making 8x10 until they can figure out how to make their existing products usable.

It's a scam. Makes Lomography look earnest.

Brian C. Miller
18-Feb-2011, 18:15
It's a scam. Makes Lomography look earnest.

Lomography is earnest. It's earnestly bad and earnestly fun and if you care about what comes out, you should be shooting large format instead. :p :D

Yeah, I expect that the product should be good and the images should last, too. The New55Project is OK by me, because that's what Bob is trying to do. And when he posts crap, he says that it's crap and he doesn't like it. He wants a better result.

Scratched Glass
19-Feb-2011, 10:19
I'm too you to have seen fresh Polaroids from the 50's 60's or 70's, were they really that bad fresh, or is it that they faded? I can't imagine that they were that bad as the impossible project stuff is. That said more power to the artsy-fartsies that like it. It is a lot better than an iphone app that mimics aged 126 photos, or 80's unevenly developed Polaroids.

19-Feb-2011, 11:01
Maybe I was selectively reading between the lines, but I was truly under the impression from the early press that they were going to resurrect a quality product for traditional imagining as well as their experimental stuff.

I guess this is devoted to the same type of thinking that the Diana camera devotees seemingly have, pure joy in being experimental. Lord bless them, they do some interesting and fascinating things but its just not the working material needed to replace the accuracy that Polaroid once gave us either for testing or for fine original images.

Makes me miss Polaroid all the more!!!!!

20-Feb-2011, 07:54
They just really don't seem to care about what we need, just what they want to give us.

Or more to the point, you are not their target customer base. Their target base is arty hipsters with old SX-70s and Spectras who want the "surprise-me-with-how-it-develops". The old SX-70 material was nice, the new stuff doesn't come close. So of course they market it that way; what are they going to say, we've failed to duplicate the old Polaroid look, sorry? I mean, this is the best they've come up with, so they have no choice. But Mr. Polaroid guy shouldn't scoff, he's just selling rebranded Fuji product. Is he planning to rebuild Edwin Land's R&D dept.? No? Didn't think so.

Robert Hughes
21-Feb-2011, 14:22
They don't call it the Impossible Project for nothing.

Years ago, like a fool, I invested in a silver mine. Their prospectus looked on the level, and they said they were "just about ready" to restart the old machines, and resume pulling money outta the ground.

Of course it went bust, with my money. But I have a little consolation in that Mark Twain also lost his shirt to silver speculators.