Put a real filter on it with Impossible Instant Lab, designed to turn pictures taken with your iPhone into Polaroid-style photographs. If you use your phone as a camera, but love holding memories in your hand, this is your new awesome party trick. As a Grand St. special, we're bundling the Instant Lab with one pack of either color or B&W film for a $20 savings.
Why We Love It
With the proliferation of filtering apps, it’s hard to imagine what photographs looked like before Hipstamatic. The Impossible Instant Lab holds a seat at the table for physical pictures and is the world’s first tool to fuse digital and analog instant photography. If that’s not impressive enough, take a gander at the Impossible Project Kickstarter campaign: Over 2,500 backers pledged $559k (!) in 2012 to the Instant Lab. After much anticipation, we’re excited to be featuring this crowdpleaser and cousin to another hit Impossible Project product on Grand St.
Digital photography extends undeniable convenience, but still yearns for tangibility. The Impossible Instant Lab gives us back the photograph without asking we stop using our phones as cameras. It uses light from the iPhone display, unique processing, and chemicals to create a physical photo that is ready in moments to share or preserve. It’s incredibly easy to work, features controls of a traditional Polaroid camera, and is rechargeable via the included USB cable. To use, first download the free Impossible Project app. Launch the app, select an image, and place the phone face-down in the tray on top of the Lab. Open the Lab shutter, and after the flash on your iPhone camera signals the exposure is finished, close the shutter. Push the button on front and instantly your digital image is developed as a photo. Conjuring Helmut Newton is truly that simple.
Loading the film of the Impossible Instant Lab is the same as loading a Polaroid 600. Take it from us, the Impossible Project is the greatest source of all things Polaroid. This company specializes in keeping the Polaroid tradition alive – if anyone was going to turn an iPhone into an instant developing camera, it was the Impossible Project. The Instant Lab uses Impossible Project’s own color and black-and-white film, and is compatible with iPhone 4/4s and 5/5s models, as well as 4th and 5th generation iPod Touch.
The Impossible Project app is available for free in the App Store, and while a required feature of the Instant Lab, it’s also a very cool one. This is where the magic happens before you develop your picture – you can crop, touch up, and choose how your picture is positioned in the frame (it allows for easy correction of keystone if you take your photo at an angle). The app is polished, well-designed, and has great community features. Follow friends a la photo-sharing social media; a cleverly-reversed upload function lets you “scan” your printed Polaroid picture back to your phone to post it to followers. The app also allows users to purchase Impossible Project refurbished Polaroid cameras and extra film online.
Why We Love It
When the Grand St. gang was invited to the Impossible Project’s NYC showroom and office, we had a demonstration of the Instant Lab. Boy, was that exciting – Impossible Lab had already completed its crazy-successful Kickstarter campaign and we have been waiting with bated breath for that first Instant Lab shipment ever since. Now it’s here, and we can’t wait to show off our new party trick. Instead of standing in a corner, tagging our friends, and coming up with a witty caption, we can now develop pictures like a boss.
We love that the Impossible Instant Lab is a happy place for our phones and film to coexist. This product provides all the convenience (and let’s admit it, vanity) of digital photography with the permanence of a Polaroid. We can retake, crop, or change lighting as many times as needed to get that perfect shot, without wasting any film. It’s so simple to use, and we love that the Impossible Project used the original Polaroid 600 design as a foundation. The Impossible Instant Lab app is an equally well-designed accompaniment to this product. We especially dig the feature that allows us to rescan developed pictures and upload online to show everyone what a real filter looks like, which may turn our Instagram accounts a jealous shade of Valencia.