Friday, January 28, 2011

Three Pictures (or, Bored at Work)

My desk, January 2011.

You are viewing (1) an image created by a circa 2009 digital SLR camera with CMOS sensor. The picture on the left (2) is made with a 1973 Polaroid SX-70, on the Impossible Project's new PX-70 "Push" color film. The picture on the right (3) is made with a 1967 Polaroid 250, on Fujifilm's longstanding 100-speed type 100 pack film.

I admire the Impossible Project's effort to revive Polaroid films, but the product (here, its 2nd generation color film for the SX-70) leaves a lot to be desired thus far. Not only is image quality weak (in sharpness, contrast, as well as color fidelity); it is also very hard to work with -- the film is hyper, hyper sensitive to light and temperature, and degrades over time. Also, the failure rate -- stuck packs, weirdly damaged pictures, spilled chemistry, etc -- is pretty high in my experience (which also includes IP's Silver Shade film for the SX-70, as well as its 600-type film). And, of course, it's damned expensive (about $22 for 8 pictures (not 10, as Polaroid intended . . .).

The Fuji film is currently superior in every respect (including price -- $9 for 10 pictures). However, working with the SX-70 is a unique pleasure, and only IP makes film for this camera (as well as for the SX-70's evil twin, the 600-film-eating black beast officially called SLR 680).

Thus, I'll keep supporting IP despite the faults. There's no other game in town and it can only get better (and having tried IP's first effort -- "First Flush" -- there's no doubt that the 2nd generation film is a ton better . . . .)


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