Cold Weather and Instant Films

 

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Impossible Color 600, Fuji Instax Wide and Fuji 100c Cold Weather Test 2015

Yep, it’s that time of year when shooting instant films poses an extra challenge– how to keep the film warm for processing! Over the years I’ve invented different heater boxes to keep materials warm with varying degrees of success. However this year I’ve decided to run a quick test to see just how adaptable these materials are at lower temperatures.

Testing Procedure:

All three cameras: SX-70 with 600 Color Impossible Film, Polaroid 110B with Fuji FP100C and the Fuji 500AF with Instax Wide were left outside in 32F for 45 minutes. Then I shot one image with each camera and left the film to process outside again in 32F for an hour. Then I brought the images inside and made a note of its development stage and then allowed it to continue to process at 70F for an additional hour- I did not peel the 100C film apart till the end of the testing time. The results are pretty interesting….

Let’s go through them one by one:

Impossible Color 600 (newest version, left square image)

Not much happening here… these films as I have mentioned before are VERY sensitive to temperature changes and working in the cold with this particular material requires a plan for keeping not only the camera warm when loaded but also the film for the full development time which is around 35-45 minutes. Add to that the requirement to shield the image from light till development is finished and it is a tricky juggling act.

Fuji Instax Wide (top right)

Fuji Instax Wide is quite the durable material. This film also continued to process during the warm phase of the testing- not a lot but the black did add additional density and the colors became more saturated. While the color and contrast are off they are not off much and it would be very easy to correct for the cold effects in Photoshop.

Fuji FP 100C (lower right)

Fuji FP 100C really did a great job with regards to contrast and tonal range BUT the color shift is quite obvious— Green! Of course a lot of that shift is from an extended period of development which tends to shift green anyways regardless of the temperature. I almost always leave my FP-100C to self terminate in development (5-10 minutes is normal for me) as I don’t really want to have to stop shooting and watch the peel time depending on temperature. Overall this would be a very easy color correction to do in Photoshop and again the tonality and contrast are the best of the group.

Conclusion

Sample images from above with quick photoshop color correction.

If you are going to shoot in cold weather try to keep your loaded camera warm at all times and keep the developing film warm as well for best quality. The Fuji Instax wide and the FP100C were the most robust in the cold, I suspect if I had pulled the film apart earlier the test the color would be closer.  I also found in the color corrected images above that the FP-100C was much closer to the color and tone of the actual scene whereas the Instax Wide gained a fair amount of contrast and was harder to keep the saturation and contrast balanced. Impossible Color 600 would not be a recommendation unless you have, as I have stated above, some degree of controlling the development temperature, clearly essential for this material.

Viva la Revolution- Steve

 

Does Impossible Project Instant Film Need Light Shielding?

As I have stated in previous articles, all Impossible Project instant films need to be shielded from light during processing/ development. This is especially important for the first few minutes, but the longer you can keep the print out of the light while it develops, the better. The new V2.0 B&W films both SX-70 and 600 are said not to need light shielding but as you can see from the attached sample photos this is not exactly true— the film is getting better but still not 100%. The sacrifice of contrast, density and sharpness when not shielded is crazy and it gets worse the brighter the light is.

The image on the left was shielded where as the image on the right was not… big difference!

With color film you have to shield the image for 30-40 minutes minimum and process at 65-75F for best results!

Making instant film is a very, very complicated process and I am confident that given time these films will become more user friendly and cost effective.

Viva la Revolution- Steve

3 Color Instant Films Compared: Impossible 600 Color, Fuji Instax Wide and Fuji FP-100C

So a quick test looking at Fuji 100C, Fuji Instax Wide and Impossible Color 600 (newest version). All images were shot on a tripod within minutes of each other. Click on the audio button to here my thoughts and the testing procedures…

Viva la Revolution- Steve

FUJI Instax Wide Data Sheet

FUJI FP-100C Data Sheet

LOMO Instant Wide Review

Review of the new LOMO Instant Wide and a comparison to the cult classic Fuji Instax 500AF. This is the first in a multi part series on instant materials and cameras…

Sample Pictures: I chose a difficult mixed lighting situation to show the contrast range of the material and low enough light that the camera would choose F8. My focus with the LOMO is much better than using the default settings because of my focusing scale (see below) and even then it is not as crisp as the Fuji 500AF. All shots were on a tripod for maximum stability.

Note on changing film… I discovered that you can not change the film while on the tripod with the LOMO camera due to the tripod socket placement, on the Fuji 500AF you can change film while the camera is on the tripod.

One correction from the video… I mention that Instax Wide film is approximately $18 for 10 shots, that of course is the price for 20 shots. Also, I purchased both cameras used in this review and all reviews here on FR.

Viva la Revolution- Stephen

 

 

BERGGER Introducing New Black and White Sheet Film

This was a pleasant surprise in my email yesterday from Linhof Studio. While in Paris last winter I had discussed the possibility of seeing Bergger films in more sizes with the owners… so awesome to see it has happened. Now to get some in my hands for testing!!!

Bergger Film 4x5

Viva la Revolution- Stephen

My review BRF 400 35mm here on FR