Film Review: Impossible Project’s PX-70 Color Protection Film

Justin Molina, PX-70 Color Protection Film, SX70

Justin Molina, PX-70 Color Protection Film, SX70

Last year we saw a revolutionary step forward made in instant photography by none other than The Impossible Project. The company proved they were moving forward when they introduced a new generation of instant film with an innovative color protection formula invented by Impossible Chief chemist Martin Steinmeijer. We had always felt that those working hard at The Impossible Project were on to something awesome with their revival of integral instant film, but it was the creation of this film that solidified our belief that The Impossible Project is something unique.

 

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taken by Francisco Chavira on PX-70 CP film.
Photo on right was taken while driving at 80mph, and it’s still sharp as a tack!

 

Specs

This film is compatible with SX-70 cameras  of all types from the folding SLR’s to the box type, such as the White Rainbow SX-70 camera, and has an ISO of 125, just slightly higher than what SX-70 cameras meter for. Included in each pack is eight 3.1in x 3.1in images within a 3.5in x 4.2in white frame, identical to the original Polaroid frames that so many people are familiar with.

 

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left: taken in shade, no shielding | right: taken at sunset, no shielding.
both by Justin Molina on PX70 CP film

 

Features

Two things make this film stand out from other Impossible films: The opacification layer and the image quality, and together they create a game changing medium to shoot with. The opacification layer completely did away with the need to instantly shield, a process Impossible veterans are all too familiar with. In the past, shielding Impossible’s once light-sensitive film is something that may have intimidated some, but with the new opacification layer people can now shoot this with ease and without the fear of ruining images from direct sunlight.

In case the opacification layer wasn’t enough to convince you to shoot this film, Impossible’s PX-70 CP film also brings about  never before seen sharpness and color saturation, creating images that parallel even Polaroid’s iconic film. Surely, with this film Impossible has made themselves an entity in the world of instant film.

Francisco Chavira, PX70 Color Protection SX-70

by Francisco Chavira, PX70 Color Protection SX-70

Technique

When shooting Impossible’s Color Protection film, we at Snap It See It and even Impossible themselves recommend turning the lighten/darken wheel to 1/3 to dark. However, the PX-70 CP offers plenty of room to experiment. For example Francisco prefers to turn the wheel to 1/3 dark, as suggested. On the other hand Justin prefers to darken it 2/3 or even all the way. It will all depend on your subject and what you want the result to be; you will learn your preference into at least your second pack. This film is very easily startled and annoyed by temperature as well. It is recommended you shoot in temperatures between  55 – 82° F. When this film develops in the cold and or is left in the cold too long it will become blue\green. Unless you are into that look (which if you are we won’t judge, we think it looks pretty cool sometimes too) there are ways of defending yourself against this problem if you live or plan to shoot in extreme weather conditions. If you know  you will be shooting in the cold you make sure to bundle up and get your film this handy cold clip. You don’t have to check your smart phone for the weather report, the cold clip has the thermometer built in. Oh, and one more extra little tip: Make sure as you break between shooting you warm your camera in your coat to keep the film inside warm.

 Shooting in the sun will be the only time you will ever have to really pay attention to any sort of shielding. When you shoot in direct sunlight we recommend shooting and letting develop in your pocket, camera bag or flipped upside down on a table. Do not let develop upside down in direct light; the black back will absorb  the light and heat the image. Forgetting to do so will not be the end of the world, as the image will turn slightly orange when exposed to long amounts of light but will still be usable. We encourage a laid back attitude about this whole shielding thing with the new Color Protection film. Shooting in overcast conditions is even easier. We have shot when cloudy and let develop completely unshielded and our results were perfect. Say you want to take a Polaroid camera to a party and rock it like it was 1999. Well now you can, it gets even easier when indoors. Shoot it and forget about it. Pass it on to your friends and let the image develop before their eyes, like original Polaroid film. Just remind them not to shake it like a Polaroid picture. Adopt  a no violence attitude with instant film.

 

As you can tell, we love  PX70 Color Protection film. It is an amazing leap forward for the instant photography community. We would love to see more and more people give this film a shot and hope that we sparked even a little interest in you. We will tell you up front, some crazy things can and will happen while shooting this film. The film is advancing, but most of you will be shooting with thrift store and garage sale Polaroids. It’s a learning process, matching up this film with the camera you choose to use it in. Expect a slight learning curve and a couple of lost shots. But don’t fret, we have all lost a few images in the process. It is slightly unpredictable, but the more you shoot the more amazing results you will get, as it takes with any type of film you shoot. If you have already given this film a shot please share your thoughts with us in the comments and share any photos you have taken. Don’t forget to hashtag #snapitseeit when sharing your instant photos on Instagram or Twitter.

Happy shooting!

Buy the new PX-70 Color Protection film here

This amazing film is also available for 600 and spectra cameras!

For more on Impossible, visit: the-impossible-project.com

 

Comments

  1. It is great that Impossible are making this film and it is also great that a lot of old Polaroid cameras can be used again. I use this film sparingly as it is expensive, and fpr most instant photography I use the Polaroid pack film or Fujifilm Instax. I personally feel that the Fuji film is superior to Polaroid even though most Fuji cameras are not outstandingly good at the time of writing. You can still get results though, and alternatives are available to using Polaroid/Impossible. It is disheartening to read an article on instant photography where ot sounds as if this is the obly instant film available and Impossible are ‘saving instant photography’. They are only saving vintage Polaroid cameras. Instant photography never went anywhere because even after Polaroid went bankrupt in 2008, Fuji were making pacl film compatible with vintage Polaroid ‘Land’ cameras and Instax was readily available. Instant photography never really saw a death and arguably Fuji’s integral film produces superior results to original Polaroid 600/SX70 film. If they make an SLR instant camera with manual controls, there would be very little reason to invest in old Polaroid equipment and film that is so expensive, the variable results cannot justify purchase.

  2. Hello and thank you so much for your review! I’m new to instant photography and I just want to start taking shot!

    Time ago a person shoot me an impossibile polaroid, but after some months the image completely disappear… and I’m really afraid by this effect. There’s a way to preserve the shots once taken?

  3. Hi!
    Just wondering, did you use any type of filter to shoot these? I had made adjustments to my sx-70 when I used to shoot with polaroid 600 film (neutral density filter) as well as I think replacing the light meter cover with clear plastic..
    Does the light meter cover need to be CLEAR or should it be more opaque? Or even filtered?

    • Hi Sarah,
      I’m not sure how Justin shot these, but when buying the SX70 film and using with an SX70, you shouldn’t need any ND filter. A few people might use a yellow filter, when using b&w film for example, but other than that, I personally move the expsoure wheel at least one notch to the right to darken it a bit, and go from there depending on lighting conditions. Happy shooting, and feel free to share your results with us!

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