Thursday, February 19, 2009

Second Chance for Polaroid Film

From The Impossible Project:

Polaroid is transforming itself from an analog Instant Film Production Company to a global Consumer Electronics and Digital Imaging company.

Production of analog Instant Film stopped in June 2008, closing the factories in Mexico (Instant Packfilm production) and the Netherlands (Instant Integral production).

Impossible b.v. has been founded with the concrete aim to re-invent and re-start production of analog INTEGRAL FILM for vintage Polaroid cameras. Therefore Impossible b.v. has acquired the complete film production equipment in Enschede (NL) from Polaroid, has signed a 10-year lease agreement on the factory building; and has engaged the most experienced team of Integral Film experts worldwide.

The Impossible mission is NOT to re-build Polaroid Integral film but (with the help of strategic partners) to develop a new product with new characteristics, consisting of new optimised components, produced with a streamlined modern setup. An innovative and fresh analog material, sold under a new brand name that perfectly will match the global re-positioning of Integral Films.

I am a sucker for Polaroids and was devastated when they stopped production of instant film. Though I have 600s, Captivas and Sx-70s, the best Polaroids are the old bellows Land Cameras. Though experts would probably differ, I consider the Land Camera to be an extremely inexpensive, durable view camera. The image from the lens is projected directly to the film - no puny negative to reduce the resolution.

As far as I am concerned, everything looks better in a Polaroid picture, but there are downsides to the technology. For example, it seems contrary to common sense to have a battery in every film pack - both from a cost and environmental perspective. Of course, the old Land Cameras used the peel-apart film, which did not include a battery, but with a two part process it had its own waste issues.

The Impossible Project website states that they will soon post the 7 biggest challenges to develop a new instant film technology. This should prove interesting as they certainly seem committed.

The Impossible Project (via If It's Hip, Thanks Marilyn!)