Recently, my Instax Mini died on me. I was so bummed, I loved that little camera. there is very little support offered by Fuji for the Instax. I was kind of disapointed that I couldn’t drop it off somewhere to get it repaired. I really like the instant photography process.
Anyway, after pondering it, I decided to take the plunge and buy a vintage Polaroid camera. You see a few of these box-shaped rainbow Polaroids pop up on Etsy. They are called Polaroid SX-70. Polaroid stopped making them in the early 90’s. They also stopped making film for them, so they became collector’s items, not necessarily working cameras.
Then, a few years ago, ex-Polaroid employees decided to buy the film making equipment and start making film for these cameras again. They call it Impossible Film. When I was doing the 100 day project, I followed a woman on IG @polaroidgirl and her project was taking 100 polaroids of people walking in the city. I loved that project and the fact that she used Impossible Film sealed it for me.
So I bought a camera on Etsy. I came with one Impossible Film pack (8 photos). I bought another two films, thinking I’d use them mostly for typical americana scenes during our summer vacation. Here are all the photos I managed to take during my trip, plus two more that I used in my art journal.
So 14 photos out of a possible 24. Already the ratio is pretty bad. The film pack I got with the camera worked for one photo only. It was close to its expiry date. The thing is, the battery is the actual film pack. So I figured the battery must have been almost exhausted and that is why I got only one shot. Very frustrating nonetheless since each pack is worth 22$ US.
The second pack I put it gave me consistently overexposed pictures, even after I played with the dark/bright wheel on the camera. Not too much of a big deal for me because I like that analog/accidental/vintage look.
The third film pack gave me better contrast and color, but I got those streaks or spots of undevelopped film on the image. Again, that is not too bad because it inserts and element of surprise that adds to the whole feel. But it was a little annoying, especially when it went through the whole image.
Out of the fourteen pictures, I’m really happy with 12 of them, so that is pretty good. BUT. It’s frustrating to pay so much money for something that is, in the end, a long shot. It may of may not work. It may be the camera’s fault or the film pack. It may be the battery, the temperature, the film itself, the rollers, etc. There are a lot of things that don’t work the way they should. But that is also a part of using these types of cameras : you relinquish control.
I’m going to give Impossible Film another shot, but for the moment, my camera will be a part of the decor until I find an occasion worth putting down that kind of money for,