Week 24 of Avi's Polaroids {with an Impossible Project's PX70 V4B test film review}

Avi just finished her 24th week with us. Can't believe she is getting so big! This weeks polaroids are a lot of fun as I was shooting with some test film released by the Impossible Project. Now... before I get into this new batch of film, let back track a bit with my experiences with Impossible Project film. When Polaroid was alive and well, I shot a lot of packfilm and 4x5 film. The stuff that I was using mostly was for proofing of strobe lighting, or having fun with older land cameras. I really wasn't shooting a whole lot of integral film mainly because I didn't own an SX-70. I was spending enough money on film and cameras at the time that I didn't feel the need to try another medium. And after all, it was always there. I could get some later. Then, after art school, Courtney and I got married. We used a few Polaroid cameras for our wedding and I really enjoyed them. We took one on our little mini-moon up the California coast. Love! Unfortunately, that was in June of 2007 and a year later, Polaroid stopped producing film. I was really bummed. I felt like I missed out on a whole segment of photography that I really would ever be able to enjoy. It was lost, gone into the past like so many other films that were disappearing. Then came the announcement of the Impossible Project. I was excited. I bought four different SX-70 cameras off of eBay. I was ready. But... the film that first came out wasn't that great. I soon learned that The Impossible Project was starting from scratch. Many of the materials for Polaroid weren't available any longer. Patience was the word online from them. But, as a consumer I had to keep buying the stuff. If I didn't, how else would this company stay afloat?

Now, this brings me to the review of the new film (currently called PX70 V4B). One of the main points of frustration was the need to shield the film from light when it was ejected from the camera. At first, I really didn't understand the importance of this. The film would be washed out, lacking in color and/or contrast. Once this was figured out, one would then have to perfect their technique of shielding the film and getting it into a dark place for the next 10 minutes or more. It was a bit of a pain. This new batch of film take care of this problem. You no longer have to shield it from light right when it comes out of the camera. I still let it brew in a dark box as it processes, but fumbling with shields or hoping that I don't drop it while trying to put it into a box isn't a problem any longer. Just shoot, and casually put it away. Another improvement is the shadow depth. They are much deeper and are much much smoother. With the older films, the shadows would be super blotchy. I once read someone describe the shadows of the film as a "snake skin effect". But, this new film's shadows are amazingly smooth. But with these new improvements, there is a drawback. The time it takes for this film to process is ridiculously  long. Part of the joy of the original Polaroid film was the ability to watch the image develop before your eyes. With this new film, you should be prepared to toss a couple of beers, or watch an episode of your favorite TV show while the image processes. This is a problem because by the time the image is viewable, the subject matter may no longer be there, or the light might have changed. You really want to be dialed into your camera with this film as you may not be able to get another shot.

So, is this new film perfect? No. But, it is the best yet and the progress that The Impossible Project is making is pretty impressive. The only thing left is for them to release it publicly so I can buy more. Hope you enjoy!

Week 24

All shot with Impossible Project's PX70 V4B on folding SX70 cameras.

PX70 V4B vs PX70 Cool {plus the time it took to process}

After five minutes, you can see the image on the PX70 Cool starting to show, but not the new PX70V4B

Ha! I just realized I had the text reversed on the PX70 Cool.

After 25 minutes, I had to run out the door, but you get the idea of how long the new stuff take to process.