It’s Impossible…..

“It’s impossible . . .
Tell the sun to leave the sky,
It’s just
impossible . . .” – Perry Como, 1970
I took a lot of flack for my recent slamming of Impossible Project films. The folks at Impossible, some of whom are Impossible Project group admins, even unceremoniously tossed me out of their Flickr group and pool. For simply speaking my mind. While I am still a huge admirer of their efforts, and Dr. Florian Kaps’ “full steam ahead” approach in the attempts to develop new products (color 600 films are promised for sometime this year), the feeling is that the films are very experimental, at best. The voodoo necessary just to take a shot, in some cases, really does remove a lot of the fun from shooting. After securing the “latest” films, I have found many of the images literally fading away. This harks back to the early days of Polaroid, when Dr. Land went “back to the drawing board” in development of black and white film, and the concept of coating those materials after the shot was taken, with a nice smelling chemical inside a vial, and put on with a squeegee. Of course, with integral films, you have a mylar coating. The latest advice from the folks at Impossible involves additional voodoo, and cutting the chemical pod off the sheet, preventing additional chemical reactions from taking place. Sorry, guys, at $3 USD/exposure?
The weather in New England this winter was miserable, with almost daily blizzards. Actually, and NO April Fool’s Day joke, today, April 1st, what do we have? A Noreaster. New Englanders pay the highest prices for everything. And we do so because? I digress.
So, I took this shot with the Polaroid Spectra First Edition camera. The image looked quite nice on December 27th, in the middle of a holiday blizzard, it has now faded to near nothingness-

Scan Them As Soon As You Take Them- They Will Fade Away

Scan Them As Soon As You Take Them- They Will Fade Away

Sorry, this is 2011. Why Impossible is seemingly struggling with UV chemicals that stabilize the print is truly baffling. But it also points out what a once-in-a-lifetime genius Dr. Land and his B&W and color engineers truly represented. I am going to try some Impossible films, but not until these films stabilize, and improve. Until that happens, I can think of better ways to spend money, like Fuji Polaroid crack and peel films, and Polaroid 300/ Instax Mini films. Why they do not seem to struggle with the stability issue, and Impossible does, truly boggles the mind.

9 thoughts on “It’s Impossible…..

  1. Well, given all they’ve accomplished in just a year, I’m pretty hopeful. But perhaps you’re pretty wise waiting for something a bit less experimental. Anyway, this is precisely why trade secrets can be a bad idea. I think that all the trouble that TIP is having creating even simple instant films should just further show the genius of Dr. Land and the folks in the early days of Polaroid.

    On a related note, there is practically no “voodoo” involved with shooting the new 600 film, and the results look vastly superior to all of their previous color films.

    • Yes, it is the new color 600 film, PX680. The only time you have to shield it from light is if you’re in the sun, and all the test images have experienced no image degradation.

      You mention cutting chemical pods – what do you mean?

  2. Impossible has suggested literally cutting off the pod area where the chemicals are housed, in such a way to discontinue the reaction, resulting, in theory, halting the process which would eventually cause the image to fade away. They also mention taping the rails in the back, but as I discovered, this technique is useless. Very, very frustrating. I also think having them toss me out of the Impossible Flickr pool for simply speaking my mind was a bit insane. We are in a free enterprise world.

  3. Sadly I think many film users like it. They like the instant vintage look. What they don’t realize is that the vintage look doesn’t stay, it fades away. I want to see a gallery exhibit of Impossible film that goes blank before the show ends, wouldn’t that be fun?

  4. Dude,

    Sorry to hear you got chucked out of the TIP flickr group. To be honest, I don’t understand why they have so much problem with the chemistry either. It seems pretty straightforward. I am almost guessing that they’ve got a whole bunch of technicians on board, but not a single chemist. Also, I find that many Polaroid shooters on flickr are, for lack of better word, a-holes. That might have something to do with your being kicked out.

    By the way, just found your blog, and I love it.

    • Thank you. I basically called out Impossible film for its limitations, and the frustration over the “voodoo” needed with cardboard shades, etc, just to make an exposure.

      Fixer is fixer, I am not quite sure why this has seemingly been such a challenge for them.

      There is a certain arrogance on there, but there are alos some very helpful, and respectuf Polaroid shooters as well. One just has to look a little harder.


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