As I have blogged here before, Impossible Project films for the Polaroid integral film cameras have been a major disappointment, both creatively and artistically, not to mention the impact on one’s wallet. At about $3 an exposure, it is about $2/shot overpriced. While I never expected a direct replacement for Polaroid’s beautiful, classic films, their quality really underscores what a landmark achievement Dr. Land and his team scored in the early 70’s with the introduction of SX-70 film. The stuff simply worked.
It is still baffling why Impossible photographers still have to wrestle with cardboard light contraptions, images that fade, and all kinds of voodoo simply to have a shot that lasts. Meanwhile, people who shot Polaroids decades ago can go back, and look at instant prints that have lasted and lasted. Why some simple things, like contrast adjustment, photographic fixer, and light sensitivity, have been such challenges for Dr. Florian Kaps and his team in the Netherlands, truly boggles the mind. It shouldn’t be that hard. Especially given what they have achieved in a relatively short period of time.
Enough negativity. Last fall, my mother found at a thrift shop a Polaroid Model 7500 Close Up stand. Not knowing much about it, as I had never seen one before, I was pleased to discover it was designed for the Polaroid Spectra system. The 7500 was designed to use the Spectra to photograph jewelry, coins, stamps, small objects. The Spectra was introduced in the early 1980’s, and used significantly larger film, for large format prints. There were many technological advancements in the system, including a spectacular little lens system.
I had surgery last week. Getting out and about has been a struggle. So, bored, and not planning to venture out today, I decided to flatten a Kodak Tri-X, and Plus-X box, and stuff them into the close up kit. The gadget really does work, very well. And, maybe the first Impossible shot I have actually been happy with. As for our friends in Rochester, let’s see what happens. Fingers crossed.