In my previous blog post, I touched briefly on Impossible’s viewfinder article on Patrick Clarke regarding his use of a Mamiya RB67 with Impossible Project film. The article did a great job of explaining how it works and for photography-minded individuals nothing further is needed. However, for people just getting into instant film or photography in general, a pictorial on the subject would clear up any potential guesswork that has be done.
This method (not what’s pictured above ;-)) works with Impossible’s SX-70 & 600 series film. When I first read about this, I was stoked because I knew I had the gear to try this out. It’s a pretty backwards way of taking a photo, BUT the fact that you’re able to do it, is really cool. Clarke touched on the RB67’s qualities in the article “… amazed at how technically perfect the camera and its lenses were. I could control the depth of field, the shutter speed and aperture exactly like I wanted. My exposures were dead on, and the images were sharp as I could want” .. I couldn’t agree more. The fact that you can utilize these qualities with Impossible film is awesome.
Now the how to’s ..
First, from this point forward, **anything inside asterisks MUST BE DONE in complete darkness (in a dark room, light-tight bag, dark closet etc.)** Dealing with undeveloped film, because it’s so sensitive to light, has to be kept in the dark until it’s developed. This particular method, extracting film from a cartridge for use in another camera, needs a certain level of care in order to keep the image undeveloped until you’re ready.
If you don’t have access to a darkroom or a really dark closet, you will need to insert a dark slide into the cartridge to protect the film from light before removing it.
There’s a great video on Impossible’s website that teaches you how to swap film packs between cameras that talks about these first steps if you’re interested.
At this point, you need to put the Polaroid back & the freshly removed film cartridge in a changing bag (a light tight bag used to extract film) or your darkroom ;-). In total darkness you will need to …
Go take a picture of something!
Once you have shot your image, remove the Polaroid back and put it back in the changing bag with the Impossible film cartridge & a SX-70/600 series camera (or go to a darkroom if you’re so lucky ;-)). Remove the exposed image from the Polaroid back and …
At this point, I normally slide an empty PX70 box inside the changing bag to store & remove the exposed image.
EXAMPLE: Note the reversed image when shooting this way …
That’s about it! Now this method will work with any NPC back that uses FP-100C film. The only question will be how much ‘real estate’ is being exposed on the negative.
Thanks for reading and thanks to this blog post for the inspiration!