Dried-out Polaroid film: self-develop?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Terry Christian, Dec 18, 2011.

  1. Terry Christian

    Terry Christian Subscriber

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    Back last year when I bought my Crown Graphic from a local photographer, he threw in two boxes of long-expired B&W 4x5 Polaroid film: Polapan Pro100 Type 54xp. 5/1997, and Polapan 400, exp. 11/1995. The pods are certainly dried out, but I'm wondering if the film itself is still viable. If so, could I peel and develop it myself in Rodinal, Caffenol, etc., or would I be completely wasting my time and should toss them?

    Thanks!
     
  2. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    I doubt it. Polaroid required the reagent so the image (B&W or Color) could migrate from the "neg" to the positive. That's how the the Polaroid process worked. The "negative" was a layer of goop on a thick black backing paper... nothing that you could really print with outside of the Polaroid packaging, except maybe to do what was called "Polaroid transfers"... but I think that only worked with the Polaroid color materials. I'd try one or two to see if the pods really are OBE (which I'd bet money they are), then toss them.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 18, 2011
  3. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Terry -- pull one of the film packs apart in full light and see how its assembled. You have nothing to lose. The black part is the "neg" and the shiny white part is the positive. The thin light brown colored material is the mask to make the edges of the positive sharp and to give white borders.
     
  4. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    The only Polaroid negative material you could process by hand would be the film negative in Type 55 Positive/Negative.
    The smaller Type 665 was similar, but I never tried processing it by hand and don't know if it was possible.

    Peter Gomena
     
  5. Peter de Groot

    Peter de Groot Member

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    I would try it out if I were you. I never bothered but I would be interested in the result. However unlike the fuji instant film the black backing on the polaroid will not be washed away with bleach....eeeh while writing this I realise it would be a complete waste of your time. If you are bored with time on your hands go for it!
     
  6. amuderick

    amuderick Member

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    You could process the negative side in regular dev/fix and make a print with it if it is type 665 or 55. If another type, you can attempt to scan the negative but it will be difficult to get a good result.

    As I have found Polaroid film with working pods from as long ago as the early sixties (45 years past expiration when shot), I would recommend trying to shoot it and have some fun. Good luck!
     
  7. Terry Christian

    Terry Christian Subscriber

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    THIS is exactly what I was thinking about doing, in case there's any question. I plan to expose the film as normal, then peel it in a changing bag to strip off the negative, then process the negative in regular B&W chemistry, mostly likely in 1+100 Rodinal stand for starters so I wouldn't have to worry about precise developing time.
     
  8. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    You can't,Terry... you don't have Type 55 film.
     
  9. amuderick

    amuderick Member

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    Develop and fix the negative and see what you get. You can probably scan the 'negative' on a flatbed scanner and invert the image to get 'something'. Good luck
     
  10. Terry Christian

    Terry Christian Subscriber

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    Thanks for all your suggestions, guys. I'll try this sometime soon and post my results -- if any!