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the impossible project

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both a color emulsion and a black-and-white film for Spectra cameras were in Impossible’s portfolio, the latter was withdrawn about a year ago.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

Impossible Battery  1

After two years, The Impossible Project is ending its Battery Return Program. Originally conceived as an effort to help keep the environment a little cleaner, the program has reached the end of the line. Citing a rising cost of shipping and a large influx of batteries that can’t be recycled, the Impossible Project has set an end date of July 15, 2013. According to the press release, the folks over at Impossible are researching ways to “make analog instant photography more environmentally friendly”. Part of that includes battery-less instant film for new cameras they’re releasing next month: the Instant Lab and Pinhole cameras. The Impossible Project extends its gratitude to all who have participated in the program, and they lament the fact that they have to close the door on the program.

First a Ferrari, and now beer. What on earth does this have to do with photokina? Well, every day at 3 p.m. the guys from Peak Design (read more on their awesome products below) were giving out Freibier. This was their PR strategy, and you can bet it was well received!

This is part six of our photokina 2012 report, with a main focus on SLR Magic, the small lens maker from Hong Kong that has come up with a lot of amazing products in the last two years. Beside an exhaustive report on SLR Magic’s new lenses, the following companies and/or products are featured in this post: Alpa, B.I.G. Photo, Fotoman, the Impossible Project, Lensbaby, Peak Design, the Plustek 120 film scanner, Rollei, and SanDisk.

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(Top: Photo by Bill Phelps. Bottom: Photo by Chloe Aftel)

The Impossible Project’s story is one that is really inspirational in the photography world. With the death of Polaroid’s film, they tried to reverse engineer the process to continue the production of the film. Today, the company has announced that they are finally ready to release their PQ 8×10 instant film for large format cameras. As we stated before, we really need to keep medium format and large format film alive, and for the cool price of $189 US, you can score 10 sheets of this new film.

As is typical with Impossible Film though, we can probably expect the first batches to be nowhere as good as the improved formula they come up with in their, “cool” branding. Keep checking the Project’s shop for availability.

Also: not big enough for you? Take a look at the tour of the Polaroid 20 x 24 camera we did last year.

As instant film make a resurgence and companies like the Impossible Project announce new products, it’s only reasonable that we take a look at a relic: the fabled 20×24 Polaroid film camera. Jennifer Trausch at 20×24 Studios in TriBeCa, NY was kind enough to offer a tour of the camera. As a studio that specializes in shooting art and ad campaigns with this giant beast of a camera, they’re often very busy.

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