The first subject in this series exploring esoteric instant films is the beautiful and nearly extinct Polaroid Type 665. Unlike popular instant positive films like Polaroid’s classic 600 series or Fujifilm Instaax, Type 665 is a black and white Positive-Negative film, meaning that each exposure yields both a beautiful polaroid print and a totally usable negative to be either enlarged in a darkroom or scanned digitally.
Until the film’s discontinuation in 2006, 665 was used primarily for commercial and fashion photowork. However, 665 was also notably used by Boston artist and Tufts/SMFA faculty Bill Burke in his work documenting the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia throughout the 80s’ and 90s’. Burke would give the polaroid positive to his subjects while keeping the negatives in a pail of sodium sulfite to harden.
I recently came into a large batch of unused 665 stock that expired in 2006. Unfortunately, the film was not stored properly. Because of this, the sheets of film in each pack have chemically fused together, ensuring only one or two consistent exposures per pack of eight.
I managed to yield two pictures out the test pack I shot. Although it can be unreliable and pretty frustrating, I found that shooting with this curious film was fun as hell. See my results below!