- Dr. Arno Schmuck from Inoviscoat our dear partner for developing Impossible solutions
Dear Impossible Customers,
As you all know by now I love to inform you about all the positive things we've had the pleasure to present to you over the last weeks, mostly based on amazing pictures. Now, as it is once again the time to very seriously inform you about a negative aspect of our impossible analog adventure, I struggle to find the right words and you are looking at a newsletter that is much too long and will take all your attention to read.
Fact is: Our Impossible mission really feels like an emotional rollercoaster ride. At the moment and only a few days after we celebrated another successful improvement in the color development at the factory, it is now my duty to inform you about another problem we have to face, analyze and fight.
The Attack of the
Only some weeks ago I felt totally convinced that we are as very close to the perfect black and white instant picture as possible. I was sitting in my living room looking at a picture of my daughter I'd just taken with the newest PX 600 Silver Shade - as a proud father as well as a very proud member of The Impossible Project. Suddenly all the challenges and the troubles of the last year were forgotten and it was clear that we really managed to develop something unbelievable that has the potential to fascinate and delight our customers and therefore secure the future of analog instant photography as we have always dared to dream of.
On Monday, alarmed by reports from the instant community at polanoid.net and some customers regarding stability issues, I carefully reviewed all my personal Silver Shade pictures - discovering that my favorite one clearly has been attacked by a phenomenon that we call Killer crystal.
I was shocked by this dramatic discovery and understand the pain that everybody feels when one of your beloved pictures suddenly changes dramatically. Even if I just found 2 pictures out of about 300 that did show this problem I nevertheless booked my flight to the factory the same night in order to discuss the problem, to understand the reasons and most importantly to develop possible solutions. There we spent the whole day very carefully looking at all the test samples that we took from every single production run. Surprisingly NONE of those over 80,000 pictures did even show the slightest sign of the Killer Crystal. How can this be possible?? Did I and all the customers who reported the same just have "bad luck"?
We do not believe in "bad luck" and therefore we immediately started to precisely analyze the problem. Judging from our experience with our own testshots and feedback from customers, we believe that a relatively small number of PX600 Silver Shade film is affected by this phenomenon. Especially one thing became very obvious: The biggest danger for a developed Silver Shade picture is HUMIDITY. As long as the picture has not completely dried after development, the ultrathin picture layer is still vulnerable to all kinds of attacks, including oxidation and the alteration and fading of the image.
Therefore every instant picture has two small "vents" at the backside, hidden by the top frame lamination. These vents are needed so the humidity can escape the picture frame. Usually these vents should be enough to guarantee optimized humidity conditions. At the factory humidity is controlled to a fixed 40% in order to protect the machines.
Image after 60 days
To Protect your Images
As you can not shoot in the controlled conditions of our factory, we have started a series of tests in order to provide you with a guideline of how to store and protect your images the best way possible and how to ensure that they will last forever. We will present all these tips and tricks and all our learnings on the All About page shortly and of course we will constantly update and expand them. As a quickstart please be informed of the following:
It is all about getting HUMIDITY out of your developed picture as fast and efficiently as possible.
We have the following ideas that we are currently testing:
Cut another vent
We carefully cut another central vent in the middle of the upper lamination on the backside of the developed picture. This cut is invisible from the front and if it turns out that it will help to fight the humidity, we will also add another window during future production runs.
Peel the image apart
Opening the image by peeling the positive and the negative apart will allow proper drying and avoids the development of the Killer Crystal.
Turn your image over to the back, use scissors or a knife and stick the blade under the upper white sealed foil. Open it along the edge and repeat the action along the sides. Now open the image by removing the positive (front transparent foil) from the negative (the emulsion underneath). Don't peel too slowly but try to peel gently.
Peeled Image after 44 days
Put Silica Gel into your storage box
Please store your pictures in a bigger box that also contains a fair amount of Silica Gel and therefore has a controlled humidity below 40%. We already ordered high quality Impossible Silica Gel packs that will be included in all future orders of PX 600 Film for free. Click here to add the Silica Gel to your Wishlist.
For the moment, these are the most promising strategies to avoid the Killer Crystal and alterations in your PX 600 Silver Shade images as well as to increase the overall picture stability by improving the drying speed inside the frames. That said, we would be more than thankful if you could help us to not only test these options, but also send us your ideas of how to get the humidity out of the pictures as efficiently as possible.
Last but not least I want to mention a very important fact: The whole team of The Impossible Project, including me as one of the founders, are more than aware of the fact that without your endless support, your understanding and your hopefully ongoing help, this project would not and will not be possible. From the very beginning we tried our very best to inform you about all the risks you will be taking and the challenges you would have to face. Nevertheless we did our very best and really hoped to sell you a product that does have the instant magic and will make you happy from the very start.
Over the last months, we discovered all the potentials but also all the difficulties of our first materials together. Even if we receive much more positive than negative feedback, we are still very sorry and aware of the fact that we do also cause you pain.
Without your help, there would be no Impossible Project and no PX Silver Shade. Without you buying and testing and loving the films, there would not be the chance for us to learn and to invest into the future, constantly improving our materials. I have personally thanked you for this amazing support several times. But now I don't only want to thank you but also pre-inform you about a very important project that we are at the moment developing with all our passion and heart:
If you are one of our essential supporters who purchased our films from the very start, curious enough to dive into the First Flush, strong enough to continue the adventure after the LLP, brave enough to support us also in our fight against the Killer Crystal, you will be rewarded with your personal Pioneer Card. This will qualify you for a lifetime discount on all Impossible products that we will develop in the following decades.
Pioneer cards will only be issued to those of you who did and do support us NOW, while every single shot is an unpredictable adventure. As soon as our products are optimized and all existing problems are fully eliminated, no new Pioneer Cards will be issued.
More information about the Pioneer Card will follow within the very next weeks.
On a closing note, I ended up with a text that is long enough for four separate newsletters. However, I had to tell you all these things in order to keep our honest friendship as well as our business relation intact. I thank you from the bottom of my analog heart and again can only promise to continue doing my very best to make the impossible possible.