Polaroid Impossible Project instant film confusion

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by tom_cheshire, Dec 31, 2012.

  1. Ok, first I was told Polaroid went out of business and quit instant film production. Supposedly the instant film factories somewhere in Europe were closed and the production machinery scrapped, sent to the dump. Ok.
    Later, an upstart company, the Impossible Project, begins and the story is they are trying to revive the old film production but not doing well because the machines are gone and the formulas are scattered around and everything has to be pieced back together and reinvented where necessary.
    While all that is going on there are lots of unreliable postings everywhere saying Fuji was really the company who was manufacturing all the instant film for Polaroid in their final years. Ok.
    Now I was in Big Lots before Christmas and saw, in their display case, a brand new Polaroid instant film camera in the box and the box said something about "Classic Polaroid with instant film". I don't remember the model # but I am sure it wasn't a Pic300.
    Also, there is the Polaroid Pic300 which uses instant film for small sized instant pic. like a mini sx-70.
    So, the curiousity is what is going on? If Fuji was making all of Polaroid's film, what is Impossible Project trying to recover? If a "Classic Polaroid" is being retailed, who is making the film? If the Pic300 is using instant film, presumably made by Fuji, why is Impossible Project having such a hard time trying to figure out how to make instant film? How hard could it be to buy a few packs of Fuji and figure it out? Something just doesn't add up.
  2. "How hard could it be to to buy a few packs of Fuji and figure it out?"
    About as hard as buying a roll of Velvia and from that figuring out how to make Fuji transparency film.
  3. Your confusion is understandable. Fuji make a thing called the Instax Mini, which is also sold as a Polaroid 300. This is the one that takes Fuji film. Fuji never made film to fit the traditional 600 series Polaroid, however Fuji also make a pack film that is compatible with some Polaroid land cameras (the 100 series I think)
    So to sum up, there are three types of film:
    Fuji Instax = Polaroid 300
    Fuji FP100C pack film = Polaroid 100 series pack film
    Fuji does not make one for the Polaroid 600 series
    The Impossible film is the one that fits the Polaroid 600, this is the film people think of when you say Polaroid. Also SX-70 and Spectra I believe they make films for as well.
    The reason Impossible has had trouble is they did not get access to any of the Polaroid emulsions so they have had to do it from scratch. If you had read any of the APUG threads where the technical details of making slow b&w neg film are listed you agree the job was damn near impossible, hence the name
  4. Tom, a look here would have been helpful to you: http://www.the-impossible-project.com/about/#factory

    Chris has pretty much nailed the info. The Fuji color peel-apart film is very good, as is the b&w, which they may have
    stopped producing. Any land camera that takes the 3x4 pack film will be able to use it. The IP film, because it is still a
    work in progress, is uneven in quality, but I have seen good results with the latest batches, as they seem to have solved
    the opacifier problem during development. I still yearn for the days of the Time Zero film for my SX-70, and the IP film is
    not quite there yet.

    Anything you see new with the Polaroid branding is no relationship to the old Polaroid Corp., it's just a purchased name.
  5. The Polaroid headquarters building in Waltham is pretty much gone, now. Earthmovers are tearing up the land and there are piles of rubble where the buildings used to be. A very sad end for a proud company that was once a technology innovator. One of my co-workers used to do engineering for them and has a bunch of stories about how they did the impossible...repeatedly.

    I believe Fuji bought/licensed their technology from Polaroid...

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