If you were frustrated with the Impossible Project era films for Polaroid cameras, you’re definitely not alone. Alongside raves of the moody and retro look they created, these instant films were plagued with so many reports of failed photos and disappointing color renditions. Fans of instant photography and Polaroid cameras finally got their hopes up for better emulsions with the Polaroid Originals rebrand, and they were not disappointed. In an in-depth test by Cyrus Arthur for The Science of Photography, we get to see how big the improvements are for the new Polaroid Originals color films.
In what he says “might be the most important video” we’ll get to watch about the Polaroid Originals films, Cyrus has put the new packs to the test against the Impossible Project color films. To make his findings as accurate as possible, he used the new i-Type and the SX -70 films. The i-Type should cover for the new 600 films and the Spectra films as well, as he mentions that all three share the same 640 ISO emulsion. The Spectra film is obviously just wider, and the i-Type film doesn’t have any batteries like the 600 film does. The SX-70 films are made of a different 160 ISO emulsion, so it warrants a test of its own.
The first part is a detailed, studio-controlled test to demonstrate the differences between the two color emulsions. Cyrus created a studio setup with controlled lighting conditions and had a standard color checker ready for accurate comparison. His attention to detail is pretty strong here, as he also went to see how powerful the OneStep 2’s flash looks and how well the camera auto-exposes with it. In the second part, Cyrus does a “real-world” test and took the SX-70 to a state fair to test for the contrast and skin tones. He’s still working on a similar test with the OneStep 2, so we’ll keep our eyes peeled for that.
Now, watch how the test unfolds in Cyrus’ video below.
So, there you have it, fellow Polaroid snappers. The verdict tells us that the new films by Polaroid Originals show an impressive improvement from the Impossible Project films. If you’re not a fan of the soft, washed out look of the earlier emulsions, you’re going to love the better contrast and accurate color renditions of the Polaroid Originals. I think it still retains that iconic retro look of Polaroid films, so I’m sure we’ll all love shooting with our Polaroid cameras with these.