catching the wave

Polaroid ad from 1967 for special ASA 10,000 film

Toronto. My now elderly NEX-6 boasts a maximum ISO of 25,600 (so noisy only black and white images are okay). Back in 1967, a maximum ASA (ISO) unpushed, was around ASA 400 (Tri-X). This speed was far too slow to capture very brief pulses on an oscilloscope (an antique laboratory device that uses a cathode ray tube (CRT) to display alternating current and pulses as wavy lines with a horizontal axis of duration (time) and vertical axis of voltage).

Polaroid solved this dilemma by offering a super fast film/paper of ASA 10,000 and cameras that connected to the oscilloscopes to record such brief events. Nowadays even cheap digital cameras like my old NEX-6 have sensors with ISO ratings¬†beyond Polaroid’s 10,000 ASA rating shown in this 1967 advertisement in their house organ.

Thanks due to good friend and fellow member George Dunbar for alerting us about this historic Polaroid medium.

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