In today’s Instant photography there are two different technologies. The old instant film pioneered by Polaroid and now dominated by Fujifilm Instax, and the new digital printer, usually ink based, the later being pushed by the Polaroid brand (as opposed to Polaroid Originals), with Zink that uses thermal printing technology.
From All About Images, Zink Twice about Polaroid (their pun):
Polaroid and Zink have chosen not to provide any stability information on their products. One can only assume that the expected lifetime for this product must be poor, since if it were not, they would have every reason to publicize it.
Lifetime of prints is an important matter. I’m convinced that the majority of the digital photography archives will be lost to obsolete and failing technology, destructive services, etc. and that printing is one of the limited ways to preserve them. But prints have to be long lasting. Photographic paper like the Fujicolor Crystal Archive is rated for 70 years and this is way longer than Zink.
I already linked about a few hacks around the Instax.
This time it is a flying Instax, on a drone, by Trent Siggard:
PetaPixel has two articles about hacks on top of the Fujifilm Instax instant camera.
An Instax Camera with the Leica M lens: a prototype using the SQ10 as a base, where the M lens mount replaces the lens, to produce square images. The hybrid model of small sensor and Instax printer make this work, as the coverage of an M lens is insufficient for even Instax Mini. Still the image quality is seriously limited by the quality of the sensor and the “printer”.
Combining a Hasselblad 500 and an Instax Mini 9: the Instax mini act as a film back for the Hasselblad.
We were really happy with our first tests. The full frame of the film is exposed and the images are sharper than we’ve ever seen on this type of film. There are still a few ongoing issues with light leaks and with focusing because of the slight difference in focal plane length.
Interesting to see the creativity in that area.
I wrote a few month back about Polaroid coming full circle.
It seems that today, on the 80th anniversary of the original Polaroid company by Edwin Land, the idea is coming to fruition, as Polaroid Originals is born. Dedicated to instant film photography Polaroid Original offers a new instant film camera, the OneStep 2, and its companion film the i-Type. Along this, they offer film for the vintage 600, Spectra and SX70 Polaroid cameras.
The OneStep 2 looks like a modern version of the Polaroid OneStep with a built in rechargeable battery (via USB).
The i-Type film looks like Polarod 600 film pack, but cheaper. Although the OneStep 2 accepts 600 film packs, but the cheaper i-Type can’t be used in vintage Polaroid 600 cameras.
At USD99, the OneStep 2 is reasonably priced. USD15.99 for an 8 exposures film pack is a bit on the expensive side compared to Instax, but cheaper than Impossible Project film. Also, it seems that the price for the vintage formats has been lowered too. Let’s hope that this be successful to allow the R&D to reduce the cost as they scale up the business.
Impossible Project is no more. Vive Polaroid Originals.
At a time where people mostly use digital cameras for family pictures, with phone becoming more and more the prevalent tool to snap family memories, Fujifilm is trying to bring the instant film back to fashion, outside of the niche market by offering the Baby Box as Tokyo Camera Style is telling us back in November. The Baby box is meant to help you document the early days of your child.
The box encourages parents to take a photo of their child every day to document their first year of life. Rather than just a bunch of digital files on their mom’s iPhone, these lucky kids will actually end up with an actual album of actual photographs to look back though for the rest of their lives.
Let’s hope people realize the importance of the physical picture that generations discover in shoe boxes and albums – and don’t require the complicated maintenance that electronic archive need.