Made In Polaroid™

Polaroid's Official "Made In Polaroid" Watermark Logo

Polaroid's Official "Made In Polaroid" Watermark Logo

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-

  1. 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?
  2. 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?
  3. 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?

-A

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4 thoughts on “Made In Polaroid™

  1. TIP doesn’t make pack film, they can’t as they didn’t get those machines. But Polaroid doesn’t have them either; were they sold for scrap? I hope not but if so then Fuji is the only hope so I’m going to keep on buying and using as much as I can. If I shot the other types I might give TIP a try but I enjoy the control offered by the pack film and so far TIP film seems more for artsy use rather than snapshot use and my family is really enjoying the 100C, real colors and a perfect size for albums, instant pictures the kids really love even more than looking at an LCD on the back of a digital camera.

  2. It is my understanding that Polaroid destroyed their factory for the old films. I have no idea why they’d go that extreme. And that the secret material for the UV coating is no longer available leaving TIP to try to invent it. Which so far they haven’t been able to accomplish.

    There are a lot of other problems with their films besides having to immediately shield it from light. This defeats the old magic of the photo ejecting and then watching it develop. Now you set your thermostat on 72 degrees, shoot into some kind of container and run into a closet like you’re being invaded by the Body Snatchers.

    Can you imagine saying to someone, “Want to see something really cool?” like you used to with the 600 films? Yeh, watch me act like an insane person.

    I think we should support TIP because they are the only hope for 600 and SX70 film at this point in time. And also Fuji, which as pointed out, makes fantastic pack film for less than half the price of TIP film,

    But yes, we need to be able to use the logo.

    • I will only buy more TIP film when they really do make an improvement. Until then, I think I am throwing money away. I plan on doing a future article about Impossible’s marketing approach, but they really are trying to give the films this artistic material bend, when in reality, it is film that is just not ready yet. The UV coating is just one of many innovations that makes people realize today what a supreme genius Dr. Land was many years ago. I heard that the chemicals in the original formula are no longer available. Which begs the question- the Fuji Instax/Polaroid 300 films seem to function and develop in much the same fashion as the original SX-70/600 films did, right down to the mylar protective coating. How can they do it?

      Nor will I go out in public with an SX-70 and a silly cardboard contraption taped on the front of it. The voodoo really removes the elegance and panache from the device. My Fuji materials, well, they do what they are supposed to do, and are true to the spirit of the original classic Polaroid films, both in look and in technique. No voodoo necessary.

      A

  3. Pingback: Making Instant Film Photography A Blast Again – The Polaroid 300 (AKA Fuji Instax Mini 7) | arthurpolaroid

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