Vintage Camera Review: The Polaroid SX70

The Polaroid SX70 is one of the most iconic and well known analog film cameras ever made. It was designed to be simple to use, compact, yet versatile. In today’s culture, it is a camera often associated with the hipster culture, and many people don’t even know that film is still made for it. Using film from the Impossible Project and Polaroid originals, your Polaroid SX70 is an option bound to not only look great on a bookcase, but also will be fun to use. Many companies tend to buy them up, refurbish them and then flip them for sale.

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First Impressions: Polaroid Originals One Step 2

The Polaroid Originals One Step 2 is a throwback to the classic camera.

If you use the Polaroid Originals One Step 2, you’ll probably be really enamored with its retro aesthetics if you’re not put off by its chunky size. But I thought the same thing about the Instax Mini 8 and other cameras; and they sell out really well. While I’d prefer a camera like the SX-70, I can see how and why folks will like the Polaroid Originals One Step 2. If you owned or used the Impossible Project’s I-1 camera, then you should know that the new Polaroid Originals One Step 2 camera has more or less the same type of body. Of course, it isn’t as advanced as the I-1: it doesn’t have wireless connectivity via Bluetooth. But you’ll also not be too worried about the pretty low price tag associated with the camera.

And perhaps most interesting is the claim of a 60 day battery life.

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Film Test Shows Greatly Improved New Polaroid Originals Color Films

Screenshot image from the video by The Science of Photography

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.

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First Impressions: Polaroid Pop (Square Format zINK Paper)

The Polaroid Pop isn’t from the company Polaroid Originals–and that’s absolutely showing in every single way. By all means, this is a digital camera designed to simulate the Polaroid and Instant film experience without using anything nearly close to the original film. The new zINK paper is designed to be more square in format to seem a bit more like what the Impossible Project tried for years to keep alive and that Polaroid Originals now manufactures. So at a recent event here in NYC, I had the chance to play with the Polaroid Pop. I’ve tried some of the company’s other cameras and I simply cannot get behind the idea of zINK. The Polaroid Pop is really no exception.

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Polaroid is Teasing a Very Big Return to Chemical Based Analog Instant Film Photography Right Now

Polaroid for many years now has been created a poor excuse for Instant Film in the form of Zink paper and prints with options borders, but a recent update from the company is teasing the return to their roots as an analog instant film based company. The Impossible Project has been working for years on resurrecting their film and can only get so far due to environmental standards; and Fujifilm has been the only other big manufacturer of instant film using chemicals and a full process to develop a photo. But earlier this year, one of the owners of the Impossible Project also acquired a large portion of Polaroid. So it was only a matter of time until some sort of return was being talked about–and I didn’t think that we’d be hearing news as early as September 13th, but it seems we are.

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An Introduction to the World of Black and White Instant Photography (Premium)

Lead image by Doctor Popular

When we think about Polaroids and Instant photography, we’re sure to think about and associate most of our memories with color. But if you didn’t know any better, you’d probably just completely skip the fact that there is indeed black and white instant film out there. Though arguably mostly in use with artists due to its higher price tag, the various black and white instant films are capable of delivering really stunning photo results providing that you’ve got the other ingredients of the photo just right. Fairly recently, Fujifilm discontinued 3000B–which was the last and arguably the best black and white Instant film made. In its absence, other films have appeared on the market though nothing is really available for cameras that used the peel apart film.

If you’re looking to understand more of the black and white Instant film market though, then consider the following.

Fujifilm Instax Monochrome

Fujifilm took its sweet time getting a monochrome film out to the public. Why? I’m honestly not quite sure. But it’s a fantastic film overall that has interesting characteristics to it. Fujifilm Instax Monochrome is a film that is designed to be business card sized. The small size is loved by so many people and its main demographic are young adults. Additionally, photographers who just like black and white film may enjoy using it with a more advanced Instax camera of some sort. Fujifilm Instax Monochrome is unlike a lot of other modern instant films. Like the original Polaroids, they developed in a fairly quick amount of time and didn’t have much of any sort of problems doing so except in the cold weather. In cold weather, it still does a pretty decent job vs many other instant films. The reason for this is because the emulsion is just slightly different enough that it doesn’t totally completely freeze and can still do pretty well even when it’s just above freezing temperatures outside. It’s still obviously capable of freezing due to the fact that there are real chemicals inside of the pod though–so keep that in mind.

Fujifilm Instax Monochrome does a swell job with higher end Instax series cameras like the Mint TL70 2.0, Lomography Lomo’Instant, Lomography Diana F+ with the Instant back and glass lenses, and finally the Lomography Lomo’Instant Glass, Oddly enough, none of Fujifilm’s own cameras incorporate glass lenses. So to that end, the image quality won’t be that sharp. But if you’re looking to play with Instant film then chances are that you’ll really like the softness that the plastic lenses can give you. Fujifilm Instax Monochrome is a pretty standard contrast film. Essentially, it’s like taking the scene that you’re shooting and removing the colors. So to that end I honestly recommend sometimes underexposing the film just a little bit. However, it can also look pretty special when shooting it overexposed–if you’re into that look.

New55

New55 has a very interesting story behind them. You see, the Impossible Project went after the more conventional and famous films. But Polaroid also produced a Type 55 film that wasn’t as famous. So New55 took it upon themselves to go after that market. The results that I’ve seen with this film are absolutely stunning and part of this comes from the fact that it’s all available in larger formats that need to be used with fantastic cameras. New55 has been working to improve their film over and over again. With each generation it gets better. With their recent PN films, they were trying to improve the reliability and the quality of the pods which contain the chemicals. They don’t exactly have the pizzazz and wonder that the other brands can inspire and part of that is because they tend to stay a bit more quiet about their options. However, the quality issues are indeed something that they state they’re trying to work on. Besides this, you’ll really want to keep it in the fridge or freezer so as to make it last beyond the typical six month lifespan before expiration kicks in.

So what’s so special about New55? They’re the last film that easily produces one negative image and one positive print. This was always available with Fujifilm peel apart film for years but now it’s only available in large format instant for New55. To develop your negative, New55 sells a monobath as well though in many cases they recommend using Ilford’s option.

Impossible Project Black and White Film (Different Formats)

The Impossible Project has had it pretty tough for a while now. They were in the process of reverse engineering the original Polaroid film and after three generations of working with the product, they’ve finally got something that works in black and white pretty well. Previously, the images faded and really needed to be shielded from light after being shot. They don’t need the shield any more but I personally still recommend it. After a few weeks or months though, the film will turn sepia in color. Indeed, the Impossible project really does have an impossible task considering that what’s holding them back so hard right now are environmental standards in Europe (where the film is manufactured) that don’t allow them to do everything that they can.

With that said though, Impossible Project’s black and white film offerings come in a variety of sizes–namely 8×10, 600, SX-70 and Spectra. They’re known to be very beautiful but the issue is that most people haven’t seen what the film is truly capable of. To do this, I strongly recommend going to a gallery of prints where the film was shot. Additionally, using cameras with more manual control (like Mint’s SLR670) is one of the best ways to get the most from the film. With that said, obviously loading it up into an 8×10 camera will give you top notch results that digital files only wish they had. If you’re willing to trash your positive print, Impossible project film has a negative inside that’s pretty tough to get your hands on and requires more work than you may care for.

Like many of the other black and white films out there, the film has standard contrast. Like many other Instant films, it doesn’t handle highlights incredibly well. In fact, they’re pretty much going to be blown out with black and white instant film so you may always want to underexpose just a tad. With that said, working with the film can be a bit difficult because you never quite know what the results will be unless you’re in a controlled studio space.. Your best bet is to use a handheld light meter.

What You Need to Know About Instant Film: The Beginner’s Guide to Polaroid Film, Fujifilm Instax, Impossible Project, and More.

When you think about instant film cameras, folks often say Polaroids, Instax, etc. But the truth is that not a lot of people truthfully know the difference between all the various options from manufacturers. Why? Unfortunately, there isn’t a whole lot of it coming from the mainstream press. Many people just don’t understand Instant film–for years folks used it for fun and just to see what the images would look like when they got back to shooting their negative films.

So to help everyone out, here’s what you need to know.

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The Beginner’s Tips on Using and Shooting Polaroids (or Impossible Project 600 Film)

Summer is the season of endless sunshine and vibrant colors, so this is the perfect time to add a fun twist to your photography game. Anastasia gives a few tips on how to get the best results.

Photography and text by Anastasia Egonyan – Model Chiara Lee –  Edited by Alex Burchell

You know I have been keen on instant photography lately, so as soon as I had a chance to continue my experiments this project was born, full of colours and a bit over the top. This time I am testing the new Polaroid 600 limited edition films, the Hot Pink and Mint Frames by Impossible Project. Our Licorne Girl, Chiara, fits perfectly into this concept and colour scheme, so with her eccentric style we had an inspiration for a shooting instantly. Coloured frames always give a bit of a challenge as they set some boundaries on how and what to shoot. I find such boundaries really cool because I love moving outside my comfort zone sometimes.

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Three Retro Modern Instant Film Cameras For the More Serious Photographer

Instant film cameras, otherwise called Polaroid cameras, are incredibly fun and have been incredibly popular with lots of people. Typically, the cameras and film are most in use with young adults though in recent years, there have been more efforts to expand the category to make it appeal to those who want something a bit more serious. Whether it’s the case of adding manual controls or even giving off a nice retro aesthetic, some cameras have just been more popular with the folks who reach for higher fruit.

So if you’re looking to go for some of those more serious instant film camera offerings, then look no further than right here.

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Six Film Emulsions to Travel With on Your Next Trip (and a Few Recommended Cameras)

Lots of photographers are wary of bringing film with them on their next airplane trip, but the experienced photographers have learned how to do it. Sure, your phone, a good point and shoot, or a small ILC camera will work great but there is something absolutely unique about what film will do for the experience. Typically, folks love to look at and fall in love with their travel photos as soon as possible. But when you delay that otherwise instant gratification just a bit, you’ll be much more thoroughly surprised later on. Even if you shoot instant film, there’s still a Je Ne Sais Quoi about that moment that enhances the experience.

Here are a few of our favorite film emulsions

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Phrame.it Protects Your Polaroid Prints From Fading Due to UV Light

One of the biggest problems with prints from the Impossible Project has to do with how UV light degrades the images over time–but a new solution from Phrame.it is looking to counter that issue. The Kickstarter initiative is for the creation of picture frames with acrylic glass designed to protect your images from UV light while also giving the appearance that the image is floating in air. If you’re a person that shoots a whole load of Impossible Project film, then it makes a whole lot of sense for you to show off your snaps this way vs putting them in a box shielded from the light of day.

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The Phoblographer Answers: Why Does Instant Film Not Work So Well in Cold Weather?

If you’re one of those photographers who uses Instax film, Impossible Project film, or have your hands on a little bit of Fujifilm Peel Apart, then you’ve probably noticed just how frustrating it can be to use instant film in cold weather. This is an issue photographers have been facing for a really long time, but if you consider it carefully you’ll realize how much it makes sense.

In this short article, we’ll explain exactly what happens.

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Impossible Project Polaroid 600 Review and Test

This is a syndicated blog post from Licorne Magazine. Originally done by Anastasia Egonyan. I personally encourage all of you to go ahead and follow them. If you love analog film photography be sure to also support our Kickstarter, which Anastasia is also a part of!

Some time ago, a parcel was delivered to my home with a polaroid camera and a bunch of different films from the Impossible Project, one of the coolest and funkiest companies of today. The level of excitement I felt at that moment, while removing the packaging and going through the contents, was unbelievable; I just could not wait to start playing with the new toy I got.

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These Beautiful Images of the Milky Way Were Shot on Impossible Project 600 Film

Images by Daniel Stein. Used with permission.

Photographers have very mixed opinions on Impossible Project’s film, but there’s no denying that Daniel Stein nailed this photo of the Milky Way. Using an SX-70 and IP600 film, he was able to use the film to capture this hypnotic and beautiful moment.

“In brief, I first got into photography a long time ago when I was 10 (I am 23 now).” says Dan in an email interview with us. “I am quite visually impaired, seeing primarily out of my left eye only. Holding a viewfinder up to my face gave the world a new meaning to me.” According to Dan, this allowed him to see things beyond what his physical vision could see.

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Review: Impossible Project I-1

We’ve waited a long time for a brand new Polaroid camera if you’re in the analog market, and just this year the Impossible Project announced the I-1: which is in many ways a world’s first for analog film cameras. With a slightly retro design though in some ways embracing the future, the camera is pretty easy to operate and pretty simple to use if you know how Impossible Project’s film work and if you’re just willing to be a bit more experimental. The Impossible Project I-1 is also pretty fun–which means that it’s bound to start conversations.

With that lean towards fun though, you’re going to get varied results.

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EXCLUSIVE: Mint Camera Announces New TL70 2.0 and Manual SX70 Camera

The Instant Film Photography world just got a million times better for many of us. Mint Camera, the folks who designed the TL70 camera, just announced two new cameras. First and foremost is their TL70 2.0, which incorporates a brighter focusing screen that they’re claiming is 5x brighter than the first version. To do this, they’re using what they call an “all new Fresnel anti-­glare coated viewfinder.” Plus you can attach a load of accessories and lens modifiers.

It’ll cost $389, but there’s even more available today too.

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Want to Win Some Impossible Project Film?

For those of you who love Instant film, check this out!

We’re teaming up with the subreddit R/Polaroid to give away four packs of Impossible Project film in black and white and color (two of each) shipped anywhere in the world and whatever format you need (except large format.) The film is generously being donated by the Impossible Project America!

So how do you enter? Details are after the jump.

Be sure to also check out our Kickstarter!

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The Phoblographer Answers: Do You Really Need to Shake a Polaroid?

This post honestly wouldn’t have been written if it weren’t for the song “Hey Ya” that many of us millenials knew growing up. The song has the famous lyric “Shake it like a Polaroid Picture.”

These days with Fujifilm Instax and Impossible Project film being the norm and selling like hot cakes covered in glorious bacon, it’s not surprising if you see someone trying to shake an instant film print. But in all honesty you don’t need to; and I’d actually really recommend that you don’t.

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