One of the most interesting books of Polaroid photography I have is 'Instant Light: Tarkovsky Polaroids' (Thames & Hudson Ltd, London. 2004). I have bought two different editions of this over the years, one for myself and one for a friend. This was in Italy and differed not only in the language of the text but in that it also had a dust-jacket, which the English edition does not. This Italian edition predates the English (titled Luce istantanea, published in 2003 by Edizioni della Meridiana). This though is not, as the title of this post implies, the point of this post. Rather it is the hypothesis that not all of the 'Polaroids' in the book are actually 'Polaroids' though they are all integral photographs.
There are a total of sixty-nine images in the book. Nine, in the section 'The Images of Remembrance' with text by Giovanni Chiaramonte (p117-130), are patiently not Polaroids. The remaining sixty photographs (reproduced at at one-to-one scale) constitute the 'Tarkovsky Polaroids' (selected from approximately two-hundred such images in total). Those shown on pages 65, 67, 81, 87, 89, 91, 96, 97, 99, 101, 105, 106, 107 and 109 (fourteen in total) however have the appearance of Kodak integral
Polaroids Photographs. My reasoning for this is derived from the following comparison with Spectra/Image System film, which they most closely resemble:
1) The rounded edges of such images in distinction to the square edges of Spectra/Image System film.
2) The actual image size: 9 x 7.7cm in the case of the 'Tarkovsky Polaroids' and 9 x 8.4cm in the case of a Spectra/Image System Polaroid,
3) The size of the integral photograph entire: 9.5 x 10cm in the case of the fourteen 'Tarkovsky Polaroids' and 10.2 x 10.2cm size of the Spectra/Image System film.
Polaroid itself is referred to in the book as follows:
'Polaroid camera', 'a Polaroid' (referring to camera, film - technique), 'quick Polaroid shots'. (p7)
'photographs that I now see in this book', 'those images' (referring to the 'Polaroids' taken by Tarkovsky and which constitutes the main part of the book). (p8)
'these images' (referring to the 'Polaroids' taken by Tarkovsky and which constitutes the main part of the book). (p9)
'Polaroid photography'. (p126)
'Polaroid photographs'. (p128)
Photography in general is referred to on a number of occasions also (which is hardly surprising) and the nine black and white images are mentioned directly on p119 - 'black and white images', and p120 - 'little images'.
Kodak is not mentioned once.
According to the caption details (pp131-132) the integral photographs presented on the book were taken between 1979 and 1982. As far as I have been able to ascertain, the Kodak integral camera (called 'Kodak Instant' or 'Kodamatic' ) and film were available from 1976 until the mid 1980's, when production ceased as a result of legal action taken by the Polaroid Corporation. In repsect to such dates then, they could be Kodak.
Further investigation is, of course, required. If anyone knows of a now defunct integral Polaroid film that matches the dimensions of the 'Tarkovsky Polaroids', or, indeed, have examined any of the fourteen 'Tarkovsky Polaroids' discussed, please do get in touch. In the case of the latter solicitation, a cursory examination of the back of a photograph would settle matters, for the Kodak integral photograph has a back (shown below) distinctive from Spectra/Image System photograph .
For images from the book: http://film.guardian.co.uk/gall/0,8544,1226197,00.html
For links to the texts: http://www.acs.ucalgary.ca/~tstronds/nostalghia.com/TheTopics/Luce_istantanea
For reference to the date of the introduction of the Kodak integral camera/film: http://paulmessier.com/pm/pdf/timeline.pdf.
Further details pertaining to the kodak integral photographic process can be found at: http://www.rwhirled.com/landlist/nonland.htm