19 April 2012
The New Impossible Project PX680 Cool - Production Date 3/12 - Release Date 4/12
Finally. The official release date of the new Impossible Project PX 680 Color Shade Cool film. In a very clandestine, ninja like way the Impossible Project has kept this film tightly under wraps - even us Pioneer's who were able to pick up a few test packs a month early haven't been allowed to post or discuss this new film publicly. I know there has been a bit of grumbling about that, which I understand if for no other reason than it's hard to sit on good photos for so long, but, in the long run it's a decision I fully support.
Through a private flickr group all of the test photographers have been able to upload their content and discuss the in's and out's of this new film - ultimately giving Impossible the feedback they need to continue to make successful advances. I also think that in the long run it gives them invaluable information that they can provide along with the release of their new film - like tips for shooting or known issues - which is better for their company and customer service. Now you will get the full skinny from the company itself, a reliable source who's taken time to gather the information, which should help you avoid a snap decision on a new product based on a single blog or flickr review - like this one.
My initial thoughts on this film are that it is not for the faint of heart nor the inexperienced. Beautiful, colorful results are entirely possible with this film - watch flickr over the next couple of days and you will see that - however, achieving those results can be a bit difficult. This film is extremely light sensitive out of camera. Temperature before, during and after are imperative to the color and tones of your final development - as opposed to nearly all predecessors I'm hearing that cooler is better than warmer once you've made your exposure - and consistency seems to be more difficult to achieve across an entire pack.
That being said... when you shoot this film right, it is really right. The colors sometimes look just like a pack of old Polaroid 600. The development times are on the longer end, consistent with most of the Impossible color films. I shot packs with two different SX-70's and a box style 600. The top photo on this page is with the 600, the other two are from my SX-70 sonar with an ND filter. In my (limited) experience with this film I received the best results using the ND filter and setting my lighten/darken wheel 2/3 towards dark as a starting point.
Overall I think this is a good film and a step in the right direction. The colors get better and better with ever release, and, once the opacifier improves I think this film will be outstanding. I've personally had some difficulty with this film and getting the results I want, but, I have seen some really beautiful images on flickr already, and, I have a tendency to be overly critical of my own photos.
If I were to make one recommendation about this film it would be this - if you are a novice, meaning you haven't been shooting Impossible's films since the beginning, start with something a little more forgiving. The PX 100 Silver Shade is one of my favorites and I think it's one of the most beautiful films that has been released. If you want color, try out the PX 70 Color Shade. Work your way up to this film. Practice. With a little patience you will fall in love with all of these films and you will develop a unique way to get the best results from each.