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Imossible Project Film for 600 Cameras (Color)
on March 13, 2014
In 2011, I started using The Impossible Project after three years of pining for Polaroid film. I purchased a very beat up Polaroid SLR 680 SE and went through many disappointments throughout the months. The film was tricky. You couldn't eject the film without covering it (unless you like orange everything). Out of a pack of eight shots, I would have one usable shot and for almost $24.00, it wasn't worth it.
Over the course of two years, I had a love/hate relationship with the film. As soon as I planned on giving up using the film, there was that one shot that dragged me back in. Sigh.
In 2013 (or was it '12?), The Impossible Project introduced Color Protection. Not only was the film more reliable (every shot came out) but shielding the film wasn't necessary. I still do it as a precaution, but I don't feel guilty for peeking.
This film is a slightly modified version of the Color Protection film. It's reliable. It's easy to use. The only time I don't get great results is when lighting is off or I'm impatient and "just shoot." This film isn't for just shooting. For $3+ a shot, it should be a sure shot. The colors from this film are fantastic. This film definitely has a mind of its own sometimes, and you're not going to get true to life colors. You're also not going to get Polaroid colors. This film is definitely very unique, and I would highly recommend looking at The Impossible Project and Flickr website to see what kind of results others are getting from this film.
Some things to mention:
-This film might always be expensive. No company can live without profit and growth. There are always specials and deals throughout the year to stockpile to your heart's content at their website, but you won't find film for less than $20.00 a pack.
-If you need reliable film, I would recommend going with Fujifilm Instax. I used it extensively in 2011, and it was the most reliable instant film I have ever used. The only con is that the cameras are awful. The new Neo 90 (I think that's what it's called?) is promising but if an SLR was made for these films, it would be perfect. Someone mentioned to me instax film is very similar to Fujifilm's peel apart film, and I can definitely see that.
-The Impossible Project is dedicated to improving their film. If you aren't happy with their current film, wait another year or so, and there might be something better.
-The type of camera you have matters. If you're using a Polaroid One600, you can't control much (not even the flash!), so go with a camera that's going to give you some extra functions. For example, the Polaroid Spectra, though it uses a different format than the 600, is FULL of controls (turning flash and autofocus off, self-timer, lighten/darken/neutral). If you're willing to spend a pretty penny, you can go with an SLR 680 SE or even an SX-70. If you give yourself a month on eBay, you can find a great one for less than $80.00.
-This might be the wrong time to mention peel apart film due to Fujifilm's not so recent announcement regarding the discontinuation of FP3000B, but you could go oldschool and get a pack film camera. Again, most of these cameras are automatic but do come with some great features. I'm not sure how much longer Fujifilm will stay with peel apart film now that we only have FP100C, but the film is reliable and so much fun to use.
If you miss Polaroid film, try it out. If you're just getting into instant photography (especially integral film), absolutely give it a shot. Just make sure to alter your expectations. This film gets better and better.