Impossible PQ 8×10 Color Shade Review

On March 18. 2013 at 2 pm, Impossible released 100 packs of their PQ 8×10 Color Shade to the pioneers and we had to get some of it to test it for you. They only had 30 packs for whole Europe so we had to be quick buying it. At 13pm Julius and i met at the Impossible Store Vienna opened our laptops and counted the minutes to buy the film. It was like waiting for Apple to announce a new product just in smaller dimensions. The last minutes till the release we were so exited but nothing to Sarah – our lovely store manager. Finally the clock turned 2:00 pm, we pressed refresh, bought and checkout with credit card. About 20 seconds later our order was completed and we could count us to the lucky ones to get the hands on that new large format material produced by Impossible.

Two days later we got the material but resisted till Friday night to open the package and film everything for you when we would take the first shot.

We wanted to take something for instant addicts that shows our addiction to instant photography, Impossible, Polaroid and also to show the colors of the new film so we came up with the idea of a heart that gets infiltrated by color.  So, we got some hearts, needles and colors and off we went!

Finally, Friday night!

We all got together in the studio and set everything up.


The heart was placed sanded glass with white paper on top. We filled the injections with colors and put the needles in the heart


We used a big broncolor softbox from above the heart to make a really good light and a direct light from under the glass to light the background


The Arca-Swiss 8×10 was placed in a angle of 45° in front of the heart so we had to tilt it to get the sharpness where we wanted it. We used a Schneider-Kreuznach 360mm/f9 lens at a 1/100sec with cable sync.

So before we risked to take the new Impossible PQ 8×10 Color Shade without testing we did some shots with the 4×5 on Fuji FP-100c to see if everything works and it did. So we put the 8×10 camera in place to make the first big shot but first, Julius had the honor of unboxing the film and he did a great job with that. First change at this film is,  the darkslide was really simple just impossible and this side up written on it. I loaded the first negative into the Polaroid 81-05 Film Holder. Everything is ready, I put the holder into the camera and took the cable release on test fire and here we go: darkslide out, close my eyes for a sec and start counting to three the same ritual for every 8×10 I take 1 .. 2 .. 3 .. clack, the flashes fired so I am pretty sure there should be something on the photo.

We went back to our Electric Polaroid 8×10 Processor and took the first positive out and something wasn’t right. There where some small spots on top of the pvc layer. After taking a closer look we figured out that it was glue but where did it come from? Maybe some glue that was pushed out on the sides of the film? But no, the other frames looked good so it had to be something else we didn’t know what then, so we cleaned it off as good as possible. I was really afraid the glue would make developing errors, but what should we do. After cleaning the positive as good as possible we loaded it into the processing tray, checked the rollers again if they are clean. The holder with the exposed negative was loaded on top and again the 1 .. 2 .. 3 … rolling sound. Yes, it worked! The film went through the rollers and then we had to wait so it was pizza time. After 10-15 min we took a first peak at the picture and already saw something so we knew it worked. After 50-60 mins we took the picture out of the processor: it looked amazing, the sharpness and colors where great. There where still some uneven spots in the picture but they where gone another 30 mins later. In the end, there is just one failure on this image and that’s the border on top which i forgot to check on when doing the composition. The colors where great and the heart looked great with that sharpness, the whites have a lot of yellow in it but we already saw that on the images in the newsletter. So this night, we left the studio with one great new color 8×10 in our hands and packed everything for our 8×10 workshop at the Instant Shop in Bratislava with Marian.

Impossible PQ 8x10 Color Shade - Instant Addicts Heart
© Marco Christian Krenn


Saturday at Instant Shop Slovakia

I made the workshop with the already available Impossible PQ 8×10 Silver Shade but also packed the new Impossible PQ 8×10 Color Shade, you never know what happens and it was good. We had one girl in the workshop and she was really photogenic and outside the shop was some ivy growing. I had my next motiv in the head. I asked her if i can take a portrait of her and she said yes, so at the end of the workshop I went outside and took the photo with the available light and holding on to my ritual of 1 .. 2 .. 3 and the same with the processor. After 40 mins the picture was still developing but we could already see it worked fine.  We started packing all the stuff, the picture still in the processor and then it happened: I wanted to close the processor and forgot that the picture was still inside and shifted it. The backdrop separated from the front, some people would say it is art but I wanted a perfect picture so i tried to lift it. The water was handwarm so good for silver shade but from personal experience, I would take warmer water for the color protection chemistry. Marian put some boiling water into the developing tank to get the water a little bit hotter, while I peeled of the film and cut the edges. I put the film into the water and with a soft brush, I tried to get most of the chemistry off which is pretty hard with the color film. After two to three minutes the emulsion started to wrinkle the same way as the px70 and pz680 do. I started pushing the emulsion softly of the pvc with my fingers, it feels a little bit oily but worked fine. For the emulsion of the pvc, I put acrylic paper under it and started spreading it on the paper, trying to get all the wrinkles out. You should watch out: The film tends to curl in on the edges, the best way for me was to pull it out of the water with small fast moves and I managed to get rid of most the curled edges. At the picture on the paper, I tried to get rid of some developer that was on top of the image by making my fingers wet and softly going over it with them. After drying the picture, it looked great and you couldn’t even see the shifting at all.

Impossible PQ 8x10 Color Shade - Lift
© Marco Christian Krenn


Sunday back in the studio in Vienna

On sunday, I went back to the studio to meet up with my lovely model Jasmin KittyCat. We made two portraits on the new Impossible 8×10 Color Shade and both turned out pretty great. I also lifted one of the images again and it worked fine.

Impossible PQ 8x10 Color Shade - KittyCat
© Marco Christian Krenn


Impossible PQ 8x10 Color Shade - KittyCat Lift
© Marco Christian Krenn


So our final resume of the film: It’s just amazing!