domenica 15 gennaio 2017

Mimosa Photo Papier: a collectible item found in a flea market in Milan

Last summer, before to leave for the vacation, I visited a flea market in the quarter where I live in Milan and I found an interesting framed item. It was a picture with inside two packs of Mimosa barita photographic paper and a typewritten sheet of paper.
Unfortunately, the written was not readable and I kept the curiosity to know why somebody decided to frame the two packs of old photo paper.
Both the packs, made in Kiel, were new and contained 10 sheets of 5X7 inches of Mimosa photo sensitive paper. 
One pack had inside Rapido Bromosa SP12 (Special extra white) contrast grade 2, emulsion number 910808; the other was marked RP SP11 (Special white), contrast grade 2, emulsion number 920802.

 Two packs of Mimosa Rapido Bromosa SP11 and SP12 Made in West Germany framed with a unreadable sheet.

I was in a hurry and I didn't want to carry the picture with me, so I didn't buy it. It costed something like 20 or 30 euros: I thought to come back to the second hand storehouse after the summer, but I forgot to do it, so I have no idea if somebody else bought this item. Probably yes.
I also thought to open the glass, open the packs and use the paper to print some old picture, but obviously I couldn't do this because I don't have the paper.
I imagine the written faded away because the picture was exposed to the daylight, so probably also the sensitive paper could be quite old and unusable.
Italy in the past produced very good photographic papers, so it was strange for me founding a german sensitive paper that probably was not even so easy to buy here in Milan.

My friend Adrian shows the misterious picture of Mimosa photo paper.

domenica 8 gennaio 2017

Why I don't like Polaroid

 Polaroid 600 SuperColors

Recently a friend gave me a nice yellow Polaroid 600 Supercolors, so I bought an Impossible colour film pack and I tried it.
This was not the first time I took pictures with a Polaroid camera, but I never owned a Polaroid 600 before because I never had a good feeling with this kind of instant film camera.
Still now, I can't share the enthusiasm many people have for this kind of photography.
I like the idea of having in my hands a colour or a black and white photo after a few minutes I took the picture, but with the Impossible colour film time dilates out of proportion and you have to wait more than 30 minutes for a colour print photo. More than 10 for a B/W photo. Definitely too much for an " instant" photo.
The photo camera is made of plastic; if you like plastic you will enjoy it, but if you love chemical photography especially for the possibility to use strong metal camera, Polaroids will seem to be what they are: just toys.
Like every toy, Polaroid camera design and colours are very nice, in fact I suspect that people enjoy Polaroid more for the appearance than for the effective results this camera provides.

I shot this picture in the evening after the sunset, when the sky is still bright. It's possible to see the lights on the platforms, but evidently it's already too dark for the Impossible film. Despite its 640 Iso the camera required the help of the incorporated flash light to take this urban panorama. I don't like flash lights and I don't like a camera that pratically always requires the use of the flash light.
Polaroid cameras are very simple, but when something is too simple or too automated it's difficult to obtain a good result.
It's impossible to obtain photos completely clean.
If you don't count them it's impossible to know how many photos have left inside the camera because there has not a counter for this funtion.
The format of the photographs is too small and too square for my taste.
Impossible film quality is poor and not constant. Buying a film pack is always a surprise, also because the film shoud be kept in the fridge before the use and it's impossible to know how the seller retained the film.
The price of the film pack is excessive, the activity of playing should be cheaper for children and adults.

The Polaroid 600 closed in its plastic shell is protected quite well from dust and shocks.

Conclusions: not every vintage photo camera is good just because it is old and shoots on film. Impossible film has this name because it's absurd to think to get good results from it.