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Polaroid Spectra Pro | Image by kanonn on Flickr

Polaroid Spectra Pro | Image by kanonn on Flickr

The Polaroid Spectra (also known as the Image in some markets), introduced in 1986, is somewhat of an oddball among the other popular Polaroid cameras, in that it used a unique rectangular film format instead of the more common square format of the 600- and SX-series cameras. Apart from its different form factor, the Spectra film was almost identical to the 600 film, though, including its ISO rating and development method.

Of course, as with all things Polaroid, the era of the Spectra eventually came to end, leaving many a camera out of use for the lack of film supplies. That changed when The Impossible Project began its mission of reviving Polaroid instant photography and started manufacturing and selling instant film for numerous Polaroid systems again. While both a color emulsion and a black-and-white film for Spectra cameras were in Impossible’s portfolio, the latter was withdrawn about a year ago.

In the meantime, the film has been completely re-worked, and it’s now back again as a pre-release for pre-order. According to the Impossible website, the new Spectra black-and-white film is “better than any of its predecessors, with improved tonal range and contrast and a fast development time.” Currently available only in an unbranded, plain-white box, an 8-exposure pack can be ordered online for US-$ 16.50, with a twin-pack coming it at $30.

For those who have been eagerly waiting for the return of black-and-white Spectra film, this should be great news. To everyone else who once owned such a camera or might still have one collecting dust in the attic, why not order a pack of film and see if the old lady is still working? Not only will your purchase help the Impossible Project continue their work, it can also be great fun to turn back in time and do photography “the old way” again for a change.

Via PopPhoto

Video thumbnail for vimeo video - The Phoblographer

Three young, financially-challenged friends stumble upon their dead neighbor’s tank of a camera, which incidentally takes Polaroid photos 24 hours into the future. It sounds very much like a Twilight Zone episode. Oh hold on a minute, it is a Twilight Zone episode.

While first time feature director Bradley King’s (Requiem, Dear John) suspenseful Time Lapse, at first glance, may sound like Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling should get some writing credits on it, it might just expand on an incredibly remarkable idea, which the popular 60s anthology series somehow failed to accomplish.

What if you do find a camera that tells the future? It’s one of those ultimate fantasy “what would you do” questions, like “what would you do if win a million dollars tomorrow?” Would you use it for personal gain? Save lives? Try and change fate?

Two broke dudes and a girl friend find themselves in that exact situation in the movie and after half-heartedly (obviously) debating what to do, decide they are going to use it to win bets and get rich. Things would have been fine and dandy and sailing for the sunset for these three, except that in movies, there always has to be a conflict; and in this one, it comes in a form of a bookie in a suit carrying a baseball bat. As soon as this guy shows up, everything is shot to hell and back. Naturally.

The movie does, however, promise to engage and excite without sounding too fake or too contrived, despite its seemingly obvious and predictable plot. It’s already gotten favorable reviews at the Seattle International Film Festival. So while it might sound like it’s just another one of those movies that completely ruin a great premise, Time Lapse might just be one of those few that break the mould.

I guess we’re just gonna have to wait and see.

Its official trailer has already gotten my curiosity piqued, at least. And you know, any excuse to watch a movie that involves a film camera, I’d take. I’m pretty sure you feel the same way. Watch it after the jump.

Via io9

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All images by Alastair Bird. Used with permission.

While old school instant film cameras are pretty readily available, finding one that works flawlessly is like getting your hands on a unicorn sometimes. Photographer Alastair Bird got his hands on a modified Polaroid camera. It was modified to shoot 4×5 film. Due to the fact that that film can still be acquired (though it’s largely discontinued) in the form of Fujifilm Instant emulsions, Bird decided to shoot the film in a studio with strobes, a light meter and the like.

“Using the camera was quite a challenge–if you notice at one point I’m shooting and the dark slide is in – whoops.” says Bird. “Those shots didn’t turn out too well. But what I find is that when I really challenge myself with my equipment, it’s always amazing what I get and it is worth the effort.” Bird continued to say that it’s totally possible that he could have achieved the same results with the digital cameras, but it wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun. “Using the camera requires your FULL concentration. Darkslide, lens cocked, aperture and shutter speed set; focus; direct talent; click.. Hope it’s in focus or properly(ish) exposed. Then do it again.”
Alastair likes shooting with instant film. He got the pack that he was working with as a gift from a friend. The pack was a bit expired, hence the magenta tones.
“I was shooting for the thrill of peeling the film back and seeing what is there. I love peeling a little corner of the film and seeing if there is anything there and then going for the full reveal. It’s like opening a present, but you only have to wait 90 seconds rather than for Christmas or your birthday.”
The video and some of Alastair’s photos are after the jump.

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All images by Oliver Blohm. Used with permission.

Photographer Oliver Blohm had a problem. He absolutely loves instant film. But as many photographers know not only is it tough to come by but it also has its problems. The older Polaroid film used to develop fairly quickly–as does the current available stock of Fujifilm instant emulsions. But according to him, the closest thing is Impossible Project film. However, the development time can take 30-45 minutes.

That’s longer than some folks’ lunch breaks! And with that in mind, Oliver set about trying to find a way to speed up the process. By using a microwave and a shield that is based on a wet carton and glass, he discovered a procedure that ended up shortening the development time back to two or three minutes. As a result though, you also get a more or less controllable process of destroying the film material which creates unique failures, textures, shapes, burns, etc.

He calls the series Hatzfraz/Fast Food.

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I find few things as satisfying as putting together wall art that has a truly personal touch. Why buy a random print from Target when you can easily make something that really says something about you? The crafting world has fallen hard for bunting in recent years, and although I’ve seen dozens of bunting kits sold online, I’m more given over to handmade bunting. It not only has a more authentic touch – it’s cheaper, too!

I’ve made polaroid photo bunting throughout my apartment with a few cheap supplies I had already stocked and some polaroid photos of my friends and my favorite vacation spots. The beauty of this project is that you can buy really cute clothespins or paper clips to hang your items with, or go super simple with whatever you have at hand for a shabby chic touch. Check it out:

Editor’s Note: this is a guest blog post by Jessica Michelle Fregni. It was originally published on Bee’s Beautiful World.

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Polaroid SX-70

Even though the Polaroid instant process was developed already in the late 30ies and the first Land Camera was introduced in 1948, it wasn’t until the SX-70 arrived in 1972 that instant photography really took off. The Polaroid SX-70 Land Camera was (and still is) not only a beautiful camera, it was also the first SLR-type camera to use instant film. And back in the day, the film it used was kind of revolutionary, as it developed all by itself.

In fact, the SX-70 film was the precursor to many modern types of instant film. Now, wouldn’t it be great if we could go back in time and witness how this then-revolutionary camera was being used for the first time? Thanks to LIFE photographer Co Rentmeester, we actually can. LIFE has just publishes a gallery of images that Rentmeester took with the camera while preparing an article on its creator Edwin Land in 1972–before the camera was actually available on the market.

So the pictures you see in the LIFE gallery were actually some of the first taken with the camera, before it became popular and “helped to define the early Seventies” as LIFE puts it. Despite their obvious age, apparent in the various patterns of cracks that many of them are covered with, the pictures still preserve a beautiful range of colors and tonality, which is pretty amazing of over 40-year-old instant photos.

Today, the SX-70 is seeing a renaissance thanks to the folks over at the Impossible Project, who have made SX-70 film available again. If you’d like to own one, be prepared to pay ridiculous prices for a fully working model. But then again, you’re buying a piece of photography history.

Via boing boing via /r/photography