Pack Film Comeback – Everything You Need to Know About the Supersense Kickstarter

Pack Film Comeback – Everything You Need to Know About the Supersense Kickstarter

4485 2410 James Tocchio

A new Kickstarter from a familiar face in the instant film community hopes to resurrect the magic of peel-apart pack film. Supersense is an Austrian company led by Florian Kaps, the former founder of Impossible Project. It was Kaps who purchased Polaroid’s final production facility and used it to launch Impossible’s line of instant film. In 2014 Kaps founded Supersense, an analog-forward company that is home to a print shop and a photo and video studio. When in 2016 Fuji announced that it was ceasing production of the world’s last remaining pack film, Kaps saw another opportunity to save a dying film format. 

After two years of research and development, Kaps and Supersense are turning to Kickstarter to fund their One Instant, what they call a “next generation” Type 100 peel-apart instant film. One Instant isn’t a pack film in the classical sense, but a new film concept replacing the complex folding system of original pack film with a more basic one-shot paper cartridge. 

The single-shot cartridge is made entirely by hand and is supplied in a sealed, pre-loaded, lightproof paper housing. Since the destruction of the industrial equipment that manufactured the complex original 10-shot pack film cartridge, Supersense opted for a simpler, one-shot system. Expecting their pack film to develop into a series of emulsions, the first being offered is a P7 color film made from original Polaroid material supplied by 20 x 24 Studio in Ashland, Massachusetts. The debut run will produce approximately 50,000 single-shot cartridges with plans for future editions with a variation of film stocks, colors and styles. 

P7 is an ISO 125 emulsion balanced for daylight photography that develops with a glossy finish in about 90 seconds at room temperature. While the film will carry a retail price tag of 29 euros for 3 cartridges, Kickstarter supporters will receive 6 cartridges for 44 euros (early bird) or 6 cartridges for 55 euros. The Kickstarter will last from December 5 until January 3 with an expected delivery of May 2019. Meeting its funding goal of 177,000 euros will meet the costs of setting up manufacturing and the actual production of the One Instant.

Instant pack film debuted in 1963 and is often considered the highest-quality instant film ever made. Unlike with the more ubiquitous instant film produced by Polaroid and Fuji, where development happens after the image is ejected from the camera, pack film is protected during development with the final image only visible after the protective cover has been peeled off.

As more consumer-friendly instant formats entered the market, pack film slowly lost its popularity. Fuji converted its pack film machines to support its Instax film production in 2016 and its famous FP-100 film was the final pack film to bite the dust.

Kaps understands the market demands that killed off pack film. “Honestly, I understand that it does not make any sense for Fuji or Polaroid to think about possible ways to build a future for “essentially important” niche market products that will never ever earn them millions,” he says in a press release.

“We are perfectly ready to call our mission and our beloved product crazy,” he continues. “And yes, we are even more motivated by being told by the ‘experts’ and industry leaders that this will be impossible.”

To learn more about One Instant and Supersense, visit their Kickstarter and website. 


PRESS RELEASE

ONE INSTANT

Analog Packfilm Re-invented

After more than 2 years of R&D, Florian Kaps and his Supersense team are ready to start production of a next generation Type 100 peel-apart instant film – if the Kickstarter Campaign launching December 5 proves successful

Vienna, Austria. Keeping analog technologies alive is the specialty of Austrian entrepreneur Florian “Doc” Kaps – best known for his success in keeping the very last Polaroid film production facility in Enschede, The Netherlands, up and running, resulting in the comeback of instant film to the market.

When in spring 2016 Fuji announced termination of the world’s last instant packfilm production, Kaps started a mission to also save this iconic film material. After more than 2 years of intense R&D, he today launches a Kickstarter Campaign, introducing ONE INSTANT: a next generation Type 100 peel-apart instant film. Designed for both, the experienced peel-apart film lovers and the modern next-generation analog photographers.

ONE INSTANT is NOT a CLASSIC PACKFILM but a next-generation instant film based on a new and radical concept. Produced by Supersense with a small team at a new instant film manufactory in Vienna, with a small production set-up that does not require millions of investment. Made possible by replacing the highly complex folding system of the original packfilm with a stripped-down, one-shot paper cartridge. Developed in close collaboration with Uwe Mimoun from Reanimated Film and John Reuter from the 20×24 Studio.

In the same spirit that has made Kaps undertake several analog missions he explains: „Honestly, I understand that it does not make any sense for Fuji or Polaroid to think about possible ways to build a future for “essentially important” niche market products that will never ever earn them millions. But as these big companies are getting bigger and bigger, gaining more and more control in this world, we are loosing more and more wonderful products and technologies on a daily basis. We are perfectly ready to call our mission and our beloved product crazy. And yes, we are even more motivated by being told by the “experts” and industry leaders that this will be impossible.“

Each component and content of a ONE INSTANT cartridge is made by hand, using the most high quality components. A new kind of peel-apart instant film to capture most precious moments with a unique kind of photograph. The Kickstarter 6-Pack Edition, containing 2 hand-printed boxes of 3 single-shot cartridges each, will be available for pre-order starting from 44.- Euro.

The investment needed to set up this new instant film manufactory in the heart of Vienna from scratch and start professional production is 177,000 EUR, which Kaps aims to crowd-fund in today’s launched Kickstarter campaign, running until January 3, 2019. All details can be found on www.kickstarter.com

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ONE INSTANT

ONE INSTANT is a SINGLE SHOT peel-apart instant film, supplied in a sealed, pre-loaded, lightproof paper cartridge. It is because of the all new production process that one cartridge can only contain one shot. Replacing the mind-blowing complexity of the former 10-picture cartridge, which no longer can be manufactured due to the destruction of the original industrial equipment.

The first edition of the all new ONE INSTANT packfilm series will be a P7 COLOR FILM; made of original Polaroid P7 material supplied from the 20×24 Studio in Ashland, MA; with a production run of approximately 50,000 single shot cartridges. Future editions will bring different film stocks, colors and styles.

PLEASE NOTE: The currently available ONE INSTANT sample photos have been made with experimental, first-stage prototypes that do not typify the final quality of ONE INSTANT material once professionally produced at the new production facility.

ONE INSTANT SPECIFICATIONS

Film Speed: ISO 125 / DIN 22

Development time and temperature: 90 seconds at 70°F (21°C) and above

Balanced for average daylight (5500 °K)

Finish: Glossy

Retail Price: 29,- EUR / 3 cartridges

Kickstarter Price: starting from 44,- EUR / 6 cartridges (early bird) to 55,- EUR / 6 cartridges (regular)

Availability: May 2019

Pre-Order: until January 3, 2019, on kickstarter.com

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James Tocchio

James Tocchio is a writer and photographer, and the founder of Casual Photophile. He’s spent years researching, collecting, and shooting classic and collectible cameras. In addition to his work here, he’s also the founder of the online camera shop Fstopcameras.com.

All stories by:James Tocchio
1 comment
  • Though I wish them all the success in the world, recognize that the original production machinery has been lost creating huge technical hurdles, and admit that you have to start somewhere, I’m a bit doubtful that I’ll bite on this KS project. I guess I’m just a bit leery about the long term enthusiasm for a solution of this nature that is so distinctly cludgy, convoluted, and costly compared to the “current” method. A “$10 per pull experience” cost goes well beyond the threshold for most users given it was about 1/10 of that not too long ago.

    The Polaroid Packfilm cameras are wonderful machines that I still enjoy putting to good use. However, my usual “go to” methods for retrofitting them into use by “darkloading” reclaimed cartridges with either Instax Wide film or 3 1/4 x 4 1/4 sheet film are much more within reach financially, while only slightly more inconvenient.

    Though I wish them the best, and hope they might figure a way to make some sort of multi-sheet pack that would result in far less waste and less material cost, I do wonder if other enterprising folks might be able to maneuver to retrofit an Instax Wide accepting back onto the Polaroid Cameras, or as a last effort, to create something similar to the pull-tabbed film packs commonly used on many cameras through about the 1950’s where multiple sheets of film are pulled into a catch area for later developing.

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James Tocchio

James Tocchio is a writer and photographer, and the founder of Casual Photophile. He’s spent years researching, collecting, and shooting classic and collectible cameras. In addition to his work here, he’s also the founder of the online camera shop Fstopcameras.com.

All stories by:James Tocchio