Every once in a while, the Impossible Project will open up some test versions of upcoming types of film to their ‘pioneers’ aka people who bought a ton of IP film even when it didn’t always work. Well, Impossible Project did just that recently, and last week I got four shiny new packs of IP film in the mail to test out.
The big change that the Impossible Project touted for their new IP Film for 600 (2014 beta) was a much faster opacifier. For those who are new to instant film, the opacifier is a chemical that protects a newly ejected image from light, then slowly dissolves away. The opacifier disappearing is what makes an image look like it is ‘developing’ in front of your very eyes. Polaroid’s classic gray opacifier disappeared within a matter of minutes, but the Impossible Project’s blue opacifier took over an hour to disappear. It wasn’t a big deal, but it did take away a bit of the ‘instant’ in instant photography.
So how does the new beta film stack up against the old stuff? I took a few photos and grabbed a stopwatch to compare the results… for science. Here’s what I found.
2013 IP Color Film for 600
8:00 – Image becomes barely discernible
15:00 – Some detail becomes discernible, image still very dark blue
27:00 – Complete image can sort of be seen, but still very dark blue, no colors yet
33:00 – Blue opacifier begins to dissolve in streaks
40:00 – Some opacifier remains, but the image is now almost fully visible
51:00 – Image is mostly developed, small about of blue remains
2014 IP Color Film for 600 Beta
1:00 – Surprise! Opacifier is a light creamy blue instead of the dark blue of the old opacifier
2:30 – Image becomes barely discernible
5:00 – Detail becomes visible, most of the image still very blue, but not dark
7:00 – Overall image begins to darken, still monochromatic and blue
17:00 – Image remains roughly the same as it was at 7 minutes, all details can be seen, but image remains blue and monochromatic. Only change is that small white dots have now appeared
22:00 – Blue begins to fade, small white dots remain
27:00 – Blue is steadily fading, colors begin to be discernible, white dots remain
40:00 – Image is nearly fully developed, but colors will remain changing for the next few hours, white dots remain
So how does the new film stack up? Well, you definitely see an image much faster with the 2014 color film. While complete development takes almost just as long as it did before, the new film allows you to see just enough of the image to know if you got it or not. While not the complete breakthrough or equivalent of Polaroid just yet, being able to tell if your image is in focus or actually exposed at all within five minutes is very helpful.
I’ll be posting a full review of the film as soon as I get a chance to shoot more of it, but in the meantime, bravo Impossible Project on the new opacifier!
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