Do you shoot Polaroids? What for?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by BetterSense, Sep 2, 2010.

  1. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    Do you shoot instant prints? Why? What do you use them for?

    I'm lucky to have a 4x5 film back that holds the FP100C45 film. The trouble is, I'm trying to decide what value it is. I've used it before, but I haven't lately. I'm thinking of selling it but maybe I'm just overlooking the value of instant prints.

    I could use it to confirm exposure, but exposure isn't usually very hard to determine with negative film, and with slide film, the speed correlation between the instant film and the slide film is probably too weak to be of supreme value. This film costs $3 per sheet...or over twice as much as TMAX 400. I could shoot 2 extra negatives for the same price as shooting one instant print, so it wouldn't be saving me money over bracketing.

    I can see how the instant prints could be useful for cataloging purposes or proofs for clients, if I had clients. I guess you could use them as finished objects in their own right, but they are pretty small and not enlargeable or scannable. Taking an instant print really allows a good look at the composition...I often fail to notice background objects or OOF foreground objects until I see them on the instant print. This I suppose has value if it saves you from wasting a hike because you found out the cable release or camera bed was in the image. But you have to carry the bulky film back with you.
     
  2. Paul Kierstead

    Paul Kierstead Member

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    I use it on back of a crown graphic as a general instant camera. I like instant prints, I like the idea of a one-off unique shot, and I like their look. Of course, I occasionally use them for composition/lighting checks (though rarely for exposure, as you note).

    If you buy in bulk on eBay, and don't mind iffy expiration dates, you can get them under $2/shot.
     
  3. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    I haven't for a long time now.
    I did, only to show other people what the final result would be. Or rather, as a low quality version of what the final result would be.
     
  4. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    I'm thinking you might be able to make money by selling polaroid portraits at fairs and festivals. But at $3 per shot input cost, the final price would have to be substantial to get people to buy in.
     
  5. fotch

    fotch Member

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    I use to use on a Crown Graphic as a high end, very versatile Polaroid. The photos I took with Polaroid was when I needed a print ASAP for business.
     
  6. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    I stopped shooting Polaroid about 5 years ago.
     
  7. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    I shoot it simply because its Polaroid (or Impossible...or Fuji). It's quite magical to think about the amazing chemical process that is going on right in your hands to make an image without a darkroom, or even without any kind of computer at all. It's a simplistic idea that is quite complex. It's magic!
     
  8. maciekz

    maciekz Member

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    They do help a lot when using flash lights (more than one), especially if it you pay for the studio, model and so on specifically for that occasion. Or if there is not enough modeling light for previewing the flash setup.

    And they are enlargeable if you are desperate enough, for example lost the real negatives.
     
  9. sandholm

    sandholm Subscriber

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    I still use them with my Hasselblad (so 100) and I love it, i use it both for checking light (strobes) and creating photos. I think its a shame that Polaroid stopped the production and i really really want the impossible project to start up the 8x10 production, I would love to shoot more 8x10 Polaroid, loved it. I also would love if TIP would start production of 100 film, but we still have fuji 100B/C and 3000B (which is really cool).
     
  10. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i used to shoot type 59 polaroids often. i often documented sites that had "restricted access" ...
    certain things were not allowed to be even in the frame for various reasons.
    i would photograph everything with the polaroid first, then expose my film
    and submit the polaroids for review, go back, process the negatives
    and then submit them for review after they were proofed.
    i used to use a little bit of the type 55 film mainly because it was fun :smile:
     
  11. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    I've noticed that the smaller-size polaroid film (FP100C as opposed to FP100C45) is much cheaper. I've thought about switching to it, but then it's worthless for checking composition, so not much good there.
     
  12. DanielStone

    DanielStone Member

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    just got back from Iceland, used the fuji-roids to document people I met and places I went.

    went straight into my daily travel journal.

    great product, so you can make a photograph of someone, and they can see it right then and there. Sometimes I'd shoot a 2nd one if they wanted one(only if they asked however :smile:)

    -Dan
     
  13. matthewm

    matthewm Member

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    I shot 4x5 polaroids to use for image transfers and emulsion lifts. They're really awesome if you get some great subjects. Portraits work well.

    I now shoot a Polaroid Mio with Fuji Instax Mini film for fun.
     
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  15. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    My B&W Polaroids were made as one of a kind images. Matted and framed they were good sellers.
     
  16. patrickjames

    patrickjames Member

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    You can of course turn the discard sheet into a neg with a little bleach. I just started playing around with this so I haven't made up my mind yet, but even at $3 a sheet, it is cheaper than neg film (color anyway). I shoot the smaller size, so I am only into it for $1 per image. I haven't done any b&w yet, but it may be possible to get something enlargeable akin to a 55 neg. I love shooting Fujiroids. There is also something special about it even in this digital age. It still has a wow factor about it.
     
  17. Jan Pietrzak

    Jan Pietrzak Member

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    Hi to all,

    In 1979 I became part of the Polaroid Collection. 50 photographers working with Polaroid materials. Too date the Collection has 3 of my images it was a great time to work with and instant return of your vision. Over the years I have used Polaroid for may own work and for commercial uses. For those that work with Di2%*al materials good luck. In the years that I worked Polaroid was much easier and less to carry around.

    On the art side of the material most of you know about the BIG COLLECTION SALE, an AA for $722,500.00 that was one of the images from the Land collection. My 3 images are part of the rest of that body of work 16,000 to 22,000 images. A big collection of great artwork. It was a fun time and Polaroid was a great material to make ART with.

    Jan Pietrzak

    ps the AA that sold was a big SG print not a Polaroid.
     
  18. Guillaume Zuili

    Guillaume Zuili Member

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    55 and 665 were an important part of my work because of their incredible negative.
    I still have a huge stack of 665 that I keep for one more (and last) polaroid project.
    I need to hurry.
    :smile:
     
  19. amuderick

    amuderick Member

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    Polaroids are social. Polaroids allow you to participate in a scene instead of just observing it. I use instant film (Fuji) in my street and travel photography because it opens doors and makes things happen. It changes you from a creepy dude with a camera into someone who people want to be with. Maybe I sound crazy but it is true. I have had many adventures because of my instant camera.

    Ask Louis Mendes. Just saw him the other week selling 4x5 Fuji color prints for $20. In the 20 minutes we were talking, he sold 3.

    Keep in mind that both the Fuji FP-3000B and FP-100C allow for recovery of the film negative for later scanning and enlargement. You can give away your pictures, keep a copy for yourself, and not need batteries or computers in the field.

    Think social. Think interaction. Think people.
     
  20. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I rarely use them, though I have shot entire projects consisting of hundreds of prints on them in the past.

    I will most often use them when I am using more complicated than normal flash set ups in studio, and I want to make absolutely sure that I did not overlook some element in the composition, that there is not some lighting problem I did not notice, or in other situations just for the subject's/client's curiosity. I also use them when using a mix of artificial and outdoor lighting when shooting large spaces (i.e. a living room). In other words, on the occasions when the picture can be more difficult than normal to visualize when using artificial light and a set-up scene.

    They do little good helping you with precise exposure and color IMHO.

    They look neat for some things. I like the Fuji color products better than the bona fide Polaroid ones, though I liked the Polaroid black and white offerings better than Fuji's. The exception was that I loved using Polaroid's tungsten-balanced color prints, as I shoot with hot lamps as well as flashes.
     
  21. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    Is this true? I thought only the legendary Type 55 allowed that. How do you do it?
     
  22. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    It must be an undocumented feature -- the data sheets for those instant films make no mention of anything except a print. :confused:
     
  23. vdonovan

    vdonovan Subscriber

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    I love making one-of-a-kind images. And, as several folks have mentioned here, it adds a whole new dimension to portrait and travel photography because it helps you interact with your subjects. I did a three week bicycle trip through southern Spain last year with only a polaroid camera and enough Fuji instant to take two shots per day.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 5, 2010
  24. patrickjames

    patrickjames Member

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    You tape it down and use bleach, the laundry kind, to take off the black coating on the back. It only takes a few minutes to do. You of course do not want to get any bleach on the emulsion side.
     
  25. vdonovan

    vdonovan Subscriber

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    And, of course, scanning the negative side gives an interesting faux wet plate look:
    [​IMG]
     
  26. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    That's a fascinating "goof" on the Fuji... I might have to re-considering my abandonment of instant photography!