Now because I obviously have heaps of time and absolutely no work to do I figured I would poke around and see what the rumor mill has to say about this whole polapremium business. What I have to say is that people initially seem to be about as skeptical as I am at first. That is not to say that there aren’t a few metric tonnes of hope floating about out there. Near as I can decipher from random rumors, and peeps in the know dropping hints, is that Polaroid and Unsaleable.com have teamed up to release a last run of instant films. Rumor is saying that a release of a type 600 and possibly a replacement film for the SX70’s (that is not to say that they are releasing time zero again, my guess would be that they are releasing a type 600 that either has a built in ND filter or is a slower film closer to time zero’s ISO 150). It does seem however that the focus is going to be on the continuation of the integral films (non peel apart films) with little to no mention of pack films.
The British Journal of Photography recently published that Unsaleable.com (who is indirectly the registered owner of polapremium.com btw) was able to convince Polaroid to “produce an outstanding amount of breathtaking film, before closing down their factories” “Many of these films are completely new products, never produced before” – spokesperson for polapremium.com
This is all super awesome except I am concerned that this is going to be nothing more then a short term run of Polaroid films that will quickly run out and within a year we will be left where we are right now. I also worry that the price is going to be an unbelievable ridiculous and arbitrary amount that would also make the long-term use of these films impractical for most, which is not unlike unsaleable to do.
What I hope to see is a return of square film formats like the type 87 or 84 because all my pack film cameras (with the exception of my land camera of course) shoot square leaving a black edge on the photo. I would like the Polaroid to be the finished product but that stupid black edge is so ugly. It gets to the point that I don’t shoot Polaroid with my Mamiya or Holga anymore (other than for the very few precious remaining boxes of type 84/87 I have left in my fridge).
One other possible bit of good news, that I am hoping is true, is that Polaroid may have licensed out production of type 664 and 667 films to Fuji. The 664 I don’t really care about but in my humble opinion the 667 is a far superior Black & White then the Fuji FP 3000B. In fact the 667 is the only medium format Polaroid brand pack film that I am sad to see go. I would also love to see the large format 8X10 etc.. come back but here I know that I am dreaming! :)
In my humble opinion what Polaroid should have done is stopped shipping date sensitive product to every Wal-Mart, London Drugs, and small town photo store in the world, and instead moved to an entire mail/internet ordering system. Condensed the entire instant film section of the company down to their two remaining factories and have two shipping departments and a kick ass website/online presence. Instead of having a large bloated company with sales offices all over the bloody world doing god knows what, streamline the whole thing down to the bear necessities. It is not like the bulk of us die-hard Polaroid users haven’t been internet ordering our precious film for the last couple of years as it is. I don’t claim to know how it all works but I will be shooting film/Polaroid till it becomes too expensive to do so. The difficulty is I am super cheap, and this sorta work makes me absolutely no money, so I fear that day is too quickly approaching.