| Sep 28, 05:46 PM
Welcome back to Dr. Love’s Tips, our ongoing series in which Impossible USA’s Camera Resource Manager Frank Love provides you with valuable insight into the workings of instant film and cameras. This week: Why 8 Photos?
Many people have asked us…”Why only 8 frames instead of the traditional 10?”
The answer here is simple…yet complex. The simple answer is that there just isn’t room to put 10 frames of Impossible Film into a pack. Well then, how did Polaroid fit 10 frames into the same cartridge?
Here is where it gets a little more complex. Polaroid made nearly all their own materials, engineered collectively over 17 years; they were able to produce film that could eject out into direct sunlight moments after being exposed without harming the film, begin processing and stop all on its own…truly amazing. They had also done this with 10 frames of film to a cartridge.
In Impossible’s case, everything was there: cameras, cartridge size, and general functionality. The hard part here is that the old way of making the film was gone, no way back, everything for the film had to be re-engineered from scratch. So Impossible began a journey to create film that could function within these constraints, within this system of cartridges and cameras. There is very very little room for change in this system, but as the materials that go into the film HAD to change, it’s not surprising that the final product did vary a little from Polaroid’s.
The main difference is simply that Impossible film is thicker than Polaroid’s. This is found in the layers of material that are assembled together to allow the new film process to function. Inside a pack of film, because the thickest parts of the frames at the top (trap: the sponge for excess chemistry) and bottom (pod: the chemistry) ends, the film frames sit in a bowed curl as you go further down into the pack. This is true for both Polaroid and Impossible film. The difference though is that the middle of the pack, where it’s just the layers of the film, is thicker in Impossible film, so that when 9 or 10 frames are put into a pack (as they were in initial tests by our factory team), the pressure on the film creates issues with the film ejecting consistently. The result was photos getting badly jammed in the camera.
So in conclusion, the reason for 8 frames was not one for costs or anything like that, but rather the reality of the physics of the film.
I hope this helps answer some questions people have, and as always,
Keep your rollers clean,