Is Polaroid Back? Hardly.

The “Return” of Polaroid?

First, let me get this out of the way right now. People all over the internet, in a race to press, or putting their 2 cents in on forums, are ignoring one thing; the “new” Polaroid is basically just rebranded Impossible film. It does NOT look, feel or develop in the same manner as the “old” Polaroid did. Just look at the images of Edo Bertoglio from Polaroids’ hey-day. Or even the Helmut Newton book, “Polaroids“. This is not to say I don’t greatly admire the Impossible Project, and all they have done to keep my SX-70 going. I love them. However, as angry as I may make some people, it’s not “Polaroid”. A facsimile? Yes.

Polaroid in Name Only

The Impossible color film ‘look’ is an acquired taste. I guess if you never used the original, it would be a moot point. Not worse than the original Polaroid, just different. Think of it as some people loving Kodak Ektar, and some just prefer Kodak Portra. One is not “better” than the other,….just different. I guess Polaroid ‘lost’ the original formula. Or since the Impossible Projects largest investor bought the Polaroid brand, they are just consolidating their product, and just using the name. Makes perfect business sense to me. In fact, if you put in Impossible’s web address, it will redirect you to Polaroid now.  However,… it does break my heart.


The New and the Old OneStep


The new camera, Polaroid’s One Step 2, takes the ‘I’ film. It has automatic flash built-in, plus there’s a 10-second self timer, and a USB-charged battery that Polaroid says lasts for 60 days. A row of LED’s topside show how much film is left out of an 8 pack. The film itself is a continuation of Impossible Project’s work, and will develop a crisp, saturated photograph in 15 minutes. (you can see it in about 2 minutes, and “crisp” is their words,…not mine) It also has a “selfie” lens, which can focus as close as two-feet away, compared to the original which needed at least four feet. Oh, yeah, the lens is fixed. But at $99, it’s cheap enough. (although the film is a bit expensive)


Old Box – New Box


Colors and Film

All the Impossible films are still available in Polaroid boxes. As far as colors go, Fujifilm Instax is much closer to the original Polaroids. Why Fuji didn’t just make battery loaded film in the same vintage formats as the original 600’s, Spectra’s or SX-70’s never made sense to me, as the money is in the film, not the cameras. Especially as Mint is making new SX-70’s. Maybe the battery is proprietary. Honestly, I have no clue. Black and White is not quite as contrasty as the original. Again, it becomes a matter of personal taste. But then, I also thought Fuji made a mistake with the SQ10. That is not an analog instant film camera.

I guess that’s my 2 cents. Get another 100 opinions or so, and we might have enough for a cup of coffee. (certainly not Starbucks)




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