Polaroid Originals

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Polaroid Originals
Formerly
The Impossible Project
Private
IndustryPhotography
GenreInstant photography
PredecessorPolaroid (by acquisition)
Founded2008; 11 years ago (2008)
FoundersFlorian Kaps
André Bosman
Marwan Saba
HeadquartersBuilding Noord, ,
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
Oskar Smołokowski (CEO)
ProductsInstant film and cameras
Websitepolaroidoriginals.com

Polaroid Originals is a Dutch photography company and manufacturer founded in 2008 by Florian Kaps, André Bosman and Marwan Saba. It manufactures its own cameras, the Impossible I-1, the OneStep 2, the OneStep+, modelled on the original Polaroid OneStep Land Camera, the i-Type instant film for its original cameras, and instant film for select Polaroid Corporation instant cameras.

From 2008 to September 2017 the company was called Impossible Project (stylized as IMꟼOSSIBLE)[1][2][3]. Polaroid's brand and intellectual property were acquired by Impossible Project’s largest shareholder in May 2017.[4]

History[edit]

"IMPOSSIBLE" with an inverted P.
The Impossible Project

The Impossible Project was founded in 2008 after Polaroid announced in February 2008 that it would stop producing film for Polaroid cameras.[5] The founders are Florian Kaps, André Bosman and Marwan Saba. In June 2008, Kaps and Bosman met at the Polaroid factory’s closing event and decided to found a company to produce materials for Polaroid cameras.[6] In October 2008, Impossible bought the production machinery from Polaroid for $3.1 million[7] and leased a building, called Building Noord, which was formerly part of the Polaroid plant in Enschede, Netherlands. The company has offices in Vienna, Berlin, New York and Tokyo. It leased the Polaroid production plant and developed new instant film products for use in some existing Polaroid cameras, beginning mass production and sales in 2010.[8] They generated USD270,000 in profit on USD4 million in revenue[7] and sold 500,000+ units.[9]

In January 2012, the company announced that it and Polaroid would launch a range of collectible products, called The Polaroid Classic range, that originate from different periods of Polaroid's history. Between six and ten products will be released each year. In July 2013, Florian Kaps announced his 'retirement' from the project[10] and Creed O'Hanlon took over the role as CEO.

In December 2014, The Impossible Project announced that Oskar Smołokowski would be their new CEO and Creed O'Hanlon would become the Executive Chairman of Impossible's management board.[11]

Impossible has licensed its name to stores in Germany, Spain and London.

In May 2017, Impossible's largest shareholder acquired the brand and intellectual property of the original Polaroid corporation.[4] Impossible Project was renamed Polaroid Originals in September 2017.[1][2][3]

Products[edit]

Instant film[edit]

Impossible manufactures films for the Polaroid Corporation SX-70, 600, Spectra as well as its own i-Type (600-without-battery) system. Large format 8x10 film is also made. Unlike the original 8x10 film, the new 8x10 is an integral film with the positive and the negative kept together.[12]

The SX-70, 600, and the i-Type all have the same dimensions, a ~3.1 x 3.1 in² (77 x 77 mm²) square image area and a ~4.2 x 3.5 in² (108 x 88 mm²) total area. The spectra has a rectangular image area.[13] The integral zinc-chloride battery of the SX-70 and 600 is replaced with a lithium-ion system in Impossible remakes.[14] Current SX-70 films has a film speed of ISO 160; all other lines are ISO 640.[13] Except for the 8x10 film which comes in 10 sheets per box,[12] all films are sold in units of 8 exposures.

In addition to the usual white-framed film, Impossible makes films with special frame colors, patterns, and/or shapes. These can be limited in quantity and become discontinued earlier. For the classical SX-70 and 600 series, many earlier "test versions" are listed as well.

Discontinued Current
Polaroid SX-70
Film name Type ISO Release Discontinued Characteristics
PX 100 Silver Shade First Flush B&W 150 February 2010 ??? First flush, B&W, instant film for Polaroid SX 70 cameras. Released first to artists,[15] then to regular customers[16]
PX 100 Silver Shade B&W 150 March 2010 ??? Second generation film
PX 100 Silver Shade Cool[17] B&W 150 September 2012[18] ???
PX 70 Color Shade First Flush Color 125 July 2010 ??? First flush, experimental color system
PX 70 Color Shade Push![19] Color 100 December 2010 ??? An ongoing chemical reaction makes images taken on the PX 70 PUSH! shift to blue with time.[20]
PX 70 Color Shade[21] Color 125 June 2011 ???
PX 70 Color Shade Cool[22] Color 125 April 2012 ???
PX 70 Color Shade V4B Test Film Color 125 August 2012[23] August 2012 Introduction of an Opacifier
PX 70 Color Protection[24] Color 125 ??? ???
Color Film for SX70 Gold Frame Color 100 ??? ???
Color Film for SX70 Silver Frame Color 100 ??? ???
Color Film for SX70 Color Frame Color 100 ??? ???
Cyanotype for SX70 Color 100 ??? ??? Cyan Color
B&W Film For SX70 B&W 160 April 2015 N/A
B&W Film For SX70 Black Frame B&W 160 ??? ??? Black Frame
Color Film for SX70 Color 160 October 2013 N/A
Color Film for SX70 Black Frame Color 160 ??? ??? Black Frame
Polaroid 600
Film name Type ISO Release Discontinued Characteristics
PX 600 Silver Shade First Flush B&W 600 February 2010 ??? First flush, first supplied to artists,[15] then to regular customers[25]
PX 600 Silver Shade v05 B&W 600 May 2010 ???
PX 600 Silver Shade v06 B&W 600 June 2010 ???
PX 600 Silver Shade UV+[26] B&W 600 June 2010 ??? UV+ sheet improves the black & white tone; also versions in black, grey, and gold frame.
PX 600 Silver Shade Cool[27] B&W 600 June 2010 ???
PX 680 Color Shade Beta Color 680 ??? ???
PX 680 Color Shade Beta 2 Color 680 ??? ???
PX 680 Color Shade First Flush Color 680 ??? ???
PX 680 Color Shade Gold Frame Color 680 ??? ???
PX 680 Color Shade Cool Color 680 June 2012 ???
PX 680 Color Shade Gold Frame Color 680 ??? ???
PX 680 Color Shade Block Party Color 680 ??? ??? Urban Outfitters Exclusive
PX 680 Color Shade V4B Test Film Color 600 July 2012 July 2012
PX 680 Color Protection Color 600 ??? ???
PX 680 Color Protection American Woods Color 680 ??? ??? Features wooden style frame
PX 680 Color Protection Gold Edition[28] Color 680 December 2012 ??? Gold Frame
Ltd Edition Generation 2.0 Color 600 Film Color 600 ??? ???
Cyanotype Film for 600 Color 600 January 2015 ???
B&W Film for 600[29] B&W 640 March 2015 N/A
B&W 2.0 Film for 600 Black Frame[30] B&W 600 March 2015 ??? Black Frame
B&W Film for 600 Hard Color Frames[31] B&W 640 ??? N/A Hard Color Frames
B&W 2.0 Film for 600 Round Frame[32] B&W 600 October 2014 ??? Round Frame
Skateistan B&W 2.0 Film for 600[33] B&W 600 ??? ??? Geometric Afghan Design frame
Third Man Records Edition Black & Yellow Film for 600[34] B&Y 600 ??? ??? Black frame, Black and Yellow film
Color Film for 600[35] Color 640 ??? N/A
Color Film for 600 Black Frame[36] Color 640 ??? ??? Black frame
Color Film for 600 Color Frames[37] Color 640 ??? N/A Assorted colors
Color Film for 600 Round Frame[38] Color 640 ??? ??? Round frame
Color Film for 600 Gold Frame[39] Color 600 ??? ??? Gold frame
Color Film for 600 Silver Frame[40] Color 600 ??? ??? Silver frame
Color Film for 600 Ice Cream Pastels Edition[41] Color 640 Summer 2018 N/A Ice Cream Pastels colored frame
Color Film for 600 Tropics Edition[42] Color 640 Summer 2018 N/A Tropics colored frame
Color Film for 600 Deep Sea Dive Edition[43] Color 640 Summer 2018 N/A Seaweed colored frame
Color Film for 600 Gold Frame Edition[44] Color 640 October 2018 N/A Gold frame
Color Film for 600 Metallic Red Frame Edition[45] Color 640 October 2018 N/A Metallic Red frame
Color 600 Mickey’s 90th Anniversary Edition Film[46] Color 640 November 2018 N/A Every pack contains 8 out of 12 total Mickey frames, each based on a singular element of one truly original character
i-Type
Film name Type ISO Release Discontinued Characteristics
B&W Film[47] B&W 600 October 2013 January 2015 "Impossible Hardware", Type-600 film without battery
Color Film[48] Color 600 October 2013 January 2015 "Impossible Hardware", Type-600 film without battery
Color Film for i-Type[49] Color 640 September 2017 N/A Type-600 film without battery
B&W Film for i-Type[50] B&W 640 September 2017 N/A Type-600 film without battery
Color i-Type Film Rose Gold Frame Edition[51] Color 640 Summer 2018 N/A Rose gold frame
Color i-Type Film Gradient Frame Edition[52] Color 640 Summer 2018 N/A Gradient frame
Polaroid Image/Spectra
Film name Type ISO Release Discontinued Characteristics
PZ 600 Silver Shade Sepia 600 ??? ???
PZ 600 Silver Shade UV+ Sepia 600 December 2010 ??? UV+ sheet improves the black & white tone
PZ 600 UV+ Black Frame Sepia 600 ??? ???
PZ 600 silver Shade Cool Sepia 600 ??? ???
PZ 680 Color Shade Color 680 ??? ???
PZ 680 Color Protection Color 600 December 2012 ???
Color Film Black Frame Color 600 ??? ??? Black Frame
B&W 2.0 Film Black Frame B&W 600 2015 ??? Black Frame
Color Film[53] Color 640 October 2013 October 2019
B&W Film for Spectra[54] B&W 640 May 2015 October 2019
8x10 Film
Film name Type ISO Release Discontinued Characteristics
PQ Silver Shade[55] B&W 640 August 2012[56] Late 2013
PQ Silver Shade B&W 640 Late 2013[57] Late 2013[58] Second generation
B&W 8x10 Film[59] B&W 640 July 2014[60] ??? Third Generation[61]
B&W 2.0 Film for 8x10[62] B&W 640 ??? Out of stock
Color Film for 8x10[63] Color 640 ??? Out of stock

Future and other formats[edit]

The Impossible Project has stated that they will not manufacture packfilm "in the foreseeable future", due to the investment required,[64][65] and cannot produce 4x5, Type 100, or Type 80 films, Polaroid 500 film and I-Zone film as they do not have the production machinery. These were disassembled along with the factories that used to produce the film when Polaroid filed for Chapter 11.[66]

Impossible founder Florian Kaps left the company in July 2013 and later founded a coffee house and photo studio in Vienna called SUPERSENSE.[67] Kaps revealed through a series of blog posts and interviews in 2016 that he had personally approached Fuji about acquiring their machinery in an attempt to rescue their soon-to-be discontinued FP3000b and FP100b packfilm products.[68][69][70] Kaps was unsuccessful in this pursuit, but motivated by his disappointment in Fuji's decision, he established the Analogue Product Institute (API) with the goal of "developing a NEW generation of analog instant packfilm [and] Establishing a rich network of new suppliers, manufacturers and financiers from all over the world".[71]

Hardware[edit]

Polaroid Originals produces its own hardware as well as refurbish Polaroid Corporation cameras.[72]

Instant Lab[edit]

The Instant Lab is a device that exposes digital images from a smartphone onto analog instant film, using the light produced by the screen.

The first generation of the Instant Lab was introduced in October 2013. It supports the iPhone 4, 4s, 5, 5c and 5s, as well as the iPod Touch. The device was produced after a successful crowd-funding campaign on Kickstarter.[73]

Impossible Project introduced a new battery-less film cartridge design for use with the Instant Lab. The system, now known as the i-Type system, is a Polaroid 600-type cartridge stripped of the battery. The Instant Lab is internally-powered and does not rely on the battery to work. It works with all Polaroid square film formats, that is the original 600, the battery-less i-Type, and the less sensitive SX-70.[74]

A "universal cradle" is later released for Instant Lab 1.0 to accommodate different screen sizes on the iPhone 6 and various Android phones.[75][76] It turns the device into the newer Instant Lab Universal (2015), a new generation announced at Photokina 2014.[77][78]

Instant cameras[edit]

Impossible I-1[edit]

In 2016, Impossible started manufacturing its own instant camera, the Impossible I-1. It is a part of the company's original i-Type system, which uses its new i-Type film and 600 film.[79][80] It features Bluetooth connectivity for remote control, double-exposure, advanced manual settings, among other features.[81] It was designed by Teenage Engineering.[82]

Polaroid OneStep 2[edit]

In September 2017, Polaroid Originals announced the Polaroid OneStep 2 instant film camera that uses its i-Type film and 600 film.[1][2][3] In the first version of this camera, framing is done by looking through a window on the back of the camera. Later in 2018, the company released a version with a built-in viewfinder that makes framing more accurate, the OneStep 2 Viewfinder.

Polaroid OneStep+[edit]

In September 2018, Polaroid Originals introduced the Polaroid OneStep+ instant film camera that uses i-Type film and 600 film.[83] The OneStep+ has built-in Bluetooth wireless technology that allows the camera to be paired with the Polaroid Originals app on an iOS or Android smartphone or tablet. This enables six new features: remote trigger, double exposure, light painting, self timer (with up to a 12 s countdown), manual mode (controlling aperture, shutter speed, flash intensity and photos ejection) and noise trigger.[84] The OneStep+ has an additional portrait lens, with minimum focusing distance of 30 cm. A slide toggle on the top of the camera switches between the two lenses.

The camera also includes a higher-capacity battery (recharged through a microUSB adapter), a built-in flash, and a viewfinder.

Media[edit]

The complexity of developing new generations of (prototype) instant film was depicted in the 2017 documentary Instant Dreams. Parts of the documentary where shot on location at Polaroid Originals labs and production facilities in the Netherlands and Germany and include Chief Technical Officer Stephen Herchen.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Polaroid lives again with new brand and OneStep 2 instant camera" Daven Mathies, Digital Trends, 13 September 2017. Accessed 14 September 2017
  2. ^ a b c "The first Polaroid instant camera in a decade is adorable" Sean O'Kane, The Verge, 13 September 2017. Accessed 14 September 2017
  3. ^ a b c "Polaroid Originals Launches with New OneStep 2 Camera and i-Type Film" Michael Zhang, Petapixel, 13 September 2017. Accessed 14 September 2017
  4. ^ a b "Polaroid Acquired by The Impossible Project’s Largest Shareholder" Michael Zhang, Petapixel, 12 May 2017. Accessed 14 September 2017
  5. ^ Sean O'Hagan (5 April 2010). "The Polaroid revival". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
  6. ^ Wright, Mic (14 September 2017). "The Impossible Project: Bringing back Polaroid". Wired. Retrieved 4 November 2009.
  7. ^ a b "Finding a Place for Polaroid in the Digital Age". BloombergView. Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 2016-01-11.
  8. ^ Sarah Gilbert. "Picture This: The Impossible Project That Kept Polaroid Film Alive". DailyFinance. Archived from the original on 2016-02-02. Retrieved 2016-01-01.
  9. ^ https://static.the-impossible-project.com/resources/press_releases/2010-12-13.pdf
  10. ^ Olivier Laurent (4 January 2012). "Polaroid and Impossible to release stream of "collector's items"". British Journal of Photography. Incisive Media Investments Limited. Archived from the original on January 8, 2012. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
  11. ^ "A New Chairman, A New CEO For Impossible". Impossible Blog. Archived from the original on 2016-02-02. Retrieved 2016-01-11.
  12. ^ a b "10 Things you should know about 8 x 10 (Tip sheet)". Polaroid Originals Support. Retrieved 2019-04-02.
  13. ^ a b "Polaroid Originals photo dimensions". Polaroid Originals (Impossible Proj.). Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  14. ^ "How to recycle your empty film pack". Polaroid Originals. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  15. ^ a b "taken on the very first film materials leaving the factory of the Impossible, proclaiming a future of analog instant photography". March 2010. Archived from the original on June 26, 2013.
  16. ^ "Date first available at Amazon.jp: April 23, 2010". April 2010.
  17. ^ "PX100 Silver Shade Cool Product Page". 2011.
  18. ^ "Date first available at Amazon.com: June 11, 2012". June 2012.
  19. ^ "PX70 Color Shade Push Product Page". 2011.
  20. ^ "IMPOSSIBLE - Color Shade". 2010-12-18. Archived from the original on 2010-12-18. Retrieved 2018-01-24.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  21. ^ "PX70 Color Shade Push Product Page". 2011.
  22. ^ "PX70 Color Shade Cool Product Page". 2011.
  23. ^ "Review: Project PX-70 V4B Opacification Test Film". August 2012.
  24. ^ "PX70 Color Protection Product Page". 2011.
  25. ^ "Date first available at Amazon.com: August 26, 2011". August 2011.
  26. ^ "PX 600 Silver Shade UV+ Product Page". 2011.
  27. ^ "PX 600 Silver Shade Cool Product Page". 2011.
  28. ^ "PX 680 Color Protection Gold Edition Product Page". December 2012.
  29. ^ "B&W 2.0 FILM FOR 600 Product Page". November 2015.
  30. ^ "B&W 2.0 Film for 600 Black Frame Product Page". November 2015.
  31. ^ "B&W 2.0 Film for 600 Hard Color Frames Product Page". November 2015.
  32. ^ "B&W 2.0 Film for 600 Round Frame Product Page". November 2015.
  33. ^ "Skateistan B&W 2.0 Film for 600 Product Page". November 2015.
  34. ^ "Third Man Records Edition Black & Yellow Film for 600 Product Page". November 2015.
  35. ^ "Color Film for 600 Product Page". November 2015.
  36. ^ "Color Film for 600 Black Frame Product Page". November 2015.
  37. ^ "Color Film for 600 Color Frames Product Page". November 2015.
  38. ^ "Color Film for 600 Round Frame Product Page". November 2015.
  39. ^ "Color Film for 600 Gold Frame Product Page". November 2015.
  40. ^ "Color Film for 600 Silver Frame Product Page". November 2015.
  41. ^ "Color Film for 600 Ice Cream Pastels Edition Product Page". Summer 2018.
  42. ^ "Color Film for 600 Tropics Edition Product Page". Summer 2018.
  43. ^ "Color Film for 600 Deep Sea Dive Edition Product Page". Summer 2018.
  44. ^ "Color Film for 600 Gold Frame Edition Product Page". October 2018.
  45. ^ "Color Film for 600 Metallic Red Frame Edition Product Page". October 2018.
  46. ^ "Color 600 Mickey's 90th Anniversary Edition Film Product Page". 2 November 2018.
  47. ^ "B&W Film for Impossible Cameras Product Page". October 2013.
  48. ^ "Color Film for Impossible Cameras Product Page". October 2013.
  49. ^ "Color Film for i-Type Product Page". September 2017.
  50. ^ "B&W Film for i-Type Product Page". September 2017.
  51. ^ "Color i-Type Film Rose Gold Frame Edition Product Page". Summer 2018.
  52. ^ "Color i-Type Film Gradient Frame Edition Product Page". Summer 2018.
  53. ^ "Color Film for Spectra Product Page". October 2013.
  54. ^ "B&W Film for Spectra Product Page". May 2015.
  55. ^ "8x10 Silver Shade Page Product Page". August 2012.
  56. ^ "Blog entry introducing PQ 8x10 Silver Shade". August 2012. Archived from the original on 2014-10-24. Retrieved 2014-10-18.
  57. ^ "Late last year, we introduced an all-new B&W integral instant film based on a new formula developed by Impossible's R&D team based in Monheim, Germany". July 2014.
  58. ^ "the last of our 2013 production run of B&W 8x10 Instant Film was available at a reduced price. (...) We will not produce a new B&W 8x10 film until later this year". February 2014.
  59. ^ "B&W 8x10 Page Product Page". 2013.
  60. ^ "All-New Impossible B&W 8x10: Bigger Is Now Better". July 2014.
  61. ^ "There is a lot more to this film than new packaging". July 2014.
  62. ^ "B&W 2.0 8x10 Page Product Page". 2015.
  63. ^ "Color 8x10 Page Product Page". 2015.
  64. ^ "A Statement From Our CEO On Packfilm". Polaroid Originals. 14 November 2017. Archived from the original on 25 May 2018. Retrieved 25 May 2018. Polaroid Originals will not be working on packfilm in the foreseeable future
  65. ^ Jonas Bauten. "Will you reintroduce Polaroid packfilm?". Polaroid Originals. Archived from the original on 25 May 2018. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  66. ^ "We won't be able to produce 4x5, Type 100, or Type 80 films, as we don't have the production machinery. These were disassembled along with the factories that used to produce the film when Polaroid filed for Chapter 11". May 2010. Archived from the original on 2014-10-17. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
  67. ^ Zhang, Michael (3 November 2015). "Supersense Can Turn Your Digital Photo Into a Giant 20×24 Polaroid Picture". PetaPixel. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  68. ^ Zhang, Michael (12 March 2016). "Impossible Founder Meeting with Fuji to Keep Peel-Apart Film Alive". PetaPixel. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  69. ^ Zhang, Michael (18 March 2016). "Impossible Founder Florian Kaps on His Effort to Save Fuji Packfilm". PetaPixel. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  70. ^ "We have periodic discussions with Fuji and others in the industry about popular formats like these that are at risk. BTW - we have approached Fuji on this and have yet to receive a solid response". October 2014. Archived from the original on 2014-10-17. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
  71. ^ "Save Packfilm Travelog No. 19: The Analog Product Institute (API)". www.savepackfilm.net. Super Sense. 19 April 2016. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  72. ^ "Vintage Cameras: Old school. New life". Polaroid Originals. Retrieved 21 March 2019.
  73. ^ "Introducing the Instant Lab" (PDF). Impossible. 1 October 2013.
  74. ^ "Which Film to use with the Instant Lab". Polaroid Originals Support. Retrieved 21 March 2019.
  75. ^ "Customers will have the opportunity to exchange their current Instant Lab cradle to a new one that supports many phone sizes in one". October 2014. Archived from the original on 2014-10-17. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
  76. ^ "The cradle on the Instant Lab 1.0 can be upgraded to a Universal cradle (to be bought separately) when the product becomes available later this year". October 2014.
  77. ^ "Which devices does the Instant Lab work with?". PO Support. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  78. ^ "Additional devices will be supported in the future". October 2014.
  79. ^ "Impossible i-Type". Impossible Project. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  80. ^ "The Future of Instant Cameras is Impossible". Format Magazine. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  81. ^ "I-1 Camera". App Store. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  82. ^ "teenage engineering – impossible i-1 analog instant camera". Teenage Engineering. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  83. ^ "Polaroid OneStep+ Product Page". September 2018.
  84. ^ "Polaroid OneStep+ instant camera connects to your smartphone". 1 September 2018.

External links[edit]