Today I find myself toying with the idea of “watermarking” my Polaroid images with the above logo. Today’s Polaroid seems to have had a bit of a rift with The Impossible Project folks. I am guessing there are a couple of factors at play here. One may be Polaroid’s original announcement at the 2010 CES, that they would begin to start manufacturing a brand new 600-series compatible camera, which I believe they dubbed the PIC (Polaroid Instant Camera) 1000. What they showed was a rather hideous looking wooden mock up. They also announced that they would start making 600-series film again! This got the folks at Impossible a bit nervous, as their noble efforts have, so far, produced films which are best described as experimental, at best. And oh, by the way, Polaroid announced 600 films before they even realized that they had no way to make it, and then after months of anticipation, we heard nothing. In addition, when Polaroid announced the PIC-300, a fun little camera, but essentially a rebranded Fuji Instax Mini, Impossible had to start “damage control”, and put out press releases, distancing themselves from the product, and the Polaroid brand. The author believes that Impossible still needs the Polaroid brand and cache, as does Polaroid. Why, in 2011, you have three distinct and different directions-
- Polaroid, at CES 2011, announced the Grey Label products, which while admittedly cool looking products, are anything but “instant”. Has anyone ever produced a cell phone image that they want to print?
- Impossible chugs along, assumingly trying to stabilize and improve their films, which the author feels, are in dire need of improvement. To say they are “experimental” is an understatement. The films are very pricey, unstable, and require “voodoo’ to simply yield an exposure. The SX-70 has seen a huge resurgence as of late, and seems to appeal tremendously to the hipster movement. An SX-70 Sonar, which I picked up a couple of months ago at a local pawnshop for $70 US, is suddenly selling for literally hundreds now. Supply and demand?
- Fuji makes beautiful films. The FP-100C , and FP3000B, rank as some of the nicest instant products out there. It just plain WORKS. The Fuji Instax films, also branded as Polaroid 300 film, are poppy, and colorful. I wish the silly flash didn’t go off every time I hit the shutter button, limiting this ISO800 film’s look. Do I want a flash firing when doing an outdoor landscape shot? But that is more of a hardware issue. Yes, these prints are small, and the grains, when you look at them scanned, aren’t great, but again, this format WORKS. Fuji also makes “higher end” Instax cameras that are sold in Japan, which give photographers more options, such as lighten/darken, and actually turning the flash off. And, they also make Instax Wide cameras, which take larger, wider films. Why hasn’t Polaroid started rebranding these, and marketing them in the States?
Come on, Impossible, Polaroid, and Fuji. Please, for the photographers out there that love instant photography-cooperate, and please provide us with fun products, that work. Can’t we all just get along? I want to start using this watermark, because I am proud to photograph with Polaroid gear, but CES 2011 pretty much put the nail in the coffin that we are likely not to see any new instant film cameras from them. And, today’s Polaroid is not Dr. Land’s. Cell phone printers? Nothing “instant” about them. What might “Din” say today?