The original OneStep came out in 1977 (my family had one), and although the new one looks a lot like it, it does feature a few improvements. The viewer is better and lights can tell you how many pictures you’ve taken. Every pack of film, which costs 16 euro, can produce eight photographs, whether they are black-and-white or colour. The OneStep 2 also uses a new type of film that has been optimised and cannot be used with the original OneStep.
You can buy a OneStep 2 in white or black for 119 euro, although you’ll have to wait for the release date of 16 October according to the website.
To give its viewers a sense of how the Impossible Project makes Polaroid film, How’s It’s Made recently visited the factory and produced this five-minute video that, as BoingBoing pointed out, is reminiscent of the old Sesame Street videos from inside a crayon manufacturing facility. “Conclusion,” Maggie Koerth-Baker writes, “The Impossible Project may not be necessary, but it sure is a lot of fun to watch.” See for yourself.
In 2009 The Impossible Project bought the last remaining factory of Polaroid film in Enschede, as the latter company was getting out of the instant business, and started producing Polaroid compatible film themselves.
Last Monday business news website Z24 wrote that the company with 30 employees doubled its revenue from 4 million euro in 2009 to 8 million this year. Florian Kaps, one of the ten founders (former Polaroid employees), told the site that they had hoped for more, but due to a lack of raw materials they could only produce 500,000 boxes of film.
In the first year The Impossible Project were still busy inventing their film, as the factory sale had apparently not included Polaroid’s secret recipe, and made its money selling old Polaroid stock. In 2010 the project managed to produce their own film, available in both black and white and colour, and selling for about 20 euro per 10 exposures.
If anything the project has proved the viability of the instant film photography market, which Fujifilm and Polaroid have now (re-)entered. Polaroid introduced the 300 camera earlier this year and is expected to introduce their second new instant camera at CES next January.
Although tech blog Techcrunch ran this story this summer, it seems they weren’t really interested in the people behind the site who are — you know it — Dutch. At the risk of being told by friends that I’m playing ‘Zoek de Nederlander’ (“Find the Dutch person”), a friend, Maurice Sikkink told me about one of the many sites he has, including Rollip.
Rollip is a site that lets you turn your ordinary pictures into those slightly discoloured but oh so lovable Polaroid pictures. Maurice tells me that it is almost impossible to properly reproduce these ‘fake’ Polaroids on real film, making the digital version much more desirable. People can sign up for Rollip pro and have their pictures processed with many kinds of filters. I can imagine that for a travel magazine or a 1970s article on someone’s family that a Polaroid-like picture would definitely jazz things up.
Back in the 1970s my parents had a Polaroid land camera and I still have a lot of Polaroid pics of myself, including this one, ironically taken by co-blogger Branko back in 2000. Another Polaroid I have, which I will publish if you insist, is of me and — I kid you not — Mormon poster child singer Donny Osmond.