How to get the most out of Impossible Film


How to get the most of Impossible film


To get the most of Impossible film, there are a few things you need to pay attention to:

  • correct storage of the film packs
  • use the film within 12 months after the production date or before the ‘best before’ date
  • clean camera rollers
  • adjusting the lighten/darken slider
  • shooting and developing of the picture at the right temperature
  • shielding from light
  • correct storage of developed photos
  • recycling your empty film pack



  • Correct storage of the Impossible film packs

The proper storage of Impossible film will allow you to make sure that it remains stable and to get the best results from it.

Ideally, Impossible film packs should be stored in their own unopened packaging in a cool and dry environment. We recommend to store Impossible films flat, in a fridge at a constant temperature between 4 to 18°C / 41°F - 65°F (do not freeze!)

However, the film will not perform to specifications at cooler temperatures, so it must be allowed to return to room temperature before use (for at least an hour).


Read more about how to store Impossible film packs


  • Use the film within 12 months after the production date or before the ‘best before’ date

 Chemical changes occur as film ages. These changes can eventually affect how well the film performs. The expiration date marks the point in this process after which it is unlikely that the film will produce images that meet Impossible’s standards of quality. 

Use Impossible film within 12 months of the production date or before the ‘Best before’ date stamped on the packaging. 


Read more about the date stamped on the packaging


  • Clean camera rollers

 In order to spread the chemistry between the negative and positive part of the photo, the picture goes through the rollers. If they are dirty, the chemistry won’t be spread correctly. 

Make sure that the rollers of your camera are clean. They are accessible by opening the film compartment. You can easily clean them with a soft cloth and some water. We recommend that you to check the rollers of your camera after each pack of film you use.


  • Adjusting the lighten/darken slider


 Impossible’s current generation of films tend to be 'fast’ (sensitive to light). We recommend that you adjust the exposure wheel or slide on your Polaroid camera 1/3 to the dark setting when shooting in bright light conditions.

 If you are shooting using your camera’s built-in flash, make sure that the lighten/darken wheel or slider of your camera is adjusted to the middle position. The built-in flash on Polaroid cameras are usually only effective in a range of 1 to 2.5 meters (3.3 – 8.2 ft).


  • Correct distance for the use of the flash




 Read more about shooting with the flash.


  • Shooting and developing of the picture at the right temperature

 Impossible films work best in temperatures between 13 and 28° C (55 – 82° F). Temperatures significantly outside that range can affect Impossible instant film in terms of development time and color. Below 13° C (55° F) pictures tend to turn light and colorless. When shooting at temperatures of over 28°C (82°F) color photos will have a tendency to develop with a yellowish/ reddish tint.

When shooting at lower temperatures let your images develop in the inside pocket of your jacket or close to your body. We also recommend you carry your camera close to your body to keep the film pack and pictures at operational temperature.

When shooting at higher temperatures, cool the films in the fridge before taking them outside. You can minimize the heat by letting the photo process in cooler surroundings, like an air-conditioned room or an insulated bag or beneath a cold beverage can.



  • Shielding your image from light



 Impossible films are sensitive to light after leaving your camera. Immediately shield the photo from light as it gets ejected from the camera, the first 10 seconds are crucial, otherwise they will be overexposed. 

There is a simple way to perfectly protect your photos from light: the Impossible Film Shield. Whether you have a standard 'box type’ 600 or SX-70 camera, an Image/Spectra camera or a folding SX-70 or SLR 680, you can buy an Impossible Film Shield to match. Once fitted to your camera, the Film Shield uncurls over the top of each photo as it ejects from the camera, shielding it from light.

As an alternative to a Film Shield, you can also use the film dark-slide (the black cover that ejects first when you insert a new film pack into your camera) to cover the photos immediately after they eject from your camera. 

Leave the photo face- down, shielded from direct light for the entire development process (10 minutes for Impossible B&W films, up to 40 minutes for Impossible Color films.)


  • Correct storage of developed photos

 After shooting outside, keep your Impossible photos in your bag, out of direct sun and at a medium temperature. 

The vast majority of image problems are caused by incorrect processing, improper storage of film, defective film or camera or dirty film rollers. If your pictures show some defects, you will be able to identify the cause of the problem by following our guide.


Read more about how to identify an image problem.


  • Recycling empty film pack

 Unfortunately we cannot reuse or recycle the empty film cartridges and batteries, and we had to stop our Battery Recycling Program due to safety issues.

However, we encourage you to recycle the film cartridge and the battery by dismantling the cartridge into its 3 components (metal spring, plastic cassette and battery).


Be careful while handling the metal spring.


Read more about recycling empty pack.

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