Polaroid 55 versatility

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by philldresser, Mar 2, 2005.

  1. philldresser

    philldresser Subscriber

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    How versatile is polaroid 55 pos/neg film. I recently purchased a box as a trial and have tested out on a still life indoors but wanted to know how flexible the material is. Can the tonal range of prints or negs be manipulated by development time/temp. Anyone tried this?

    Phill
     
  2. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    I don't think you can do much because it's either developed or not (as far as I've seen). I typically spot meter to ensure highlight detail is not blown, and so far that has worked very well for me.. (I make negs only)
     
  3. Paddy

    Paddy Member

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  4. John Bartley

    John Bartley Member

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    I'm sure that I've read somewhere that the negative portion of 55 film can be separated from the package without being run thru' the rollers and then developed in the soup of your choice. Just use an average time for iso50 film.
    Anyone ever done this?

    cheers
     
  5. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    In my experience if you expose the film at an iso of ~25 you get a great neg and 50 gives you a good print. The way I rate the neg may say more about my preference in negs than true iso of the film.

    In the Panatomic X thread one of the posts refers to the technique of exposing and souping the neg in darkroom.
     
  6. eric

    eric Member

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    This is what I've heard (read) too. I think Jim Brick of pure-silver mentioned this. It is essentially, very similar to old PanX film.

    If you can find the old pure-silver archives (the one from Tundraware), I think you can find it. It won't be on the new list (freelists.org)
     
  7. KenS

    KenS Member

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    John,

    I have done it many times... 'Twas I who posted earlier that it was not only possible but worth the effort.... not that the 'normal' processing technique is not good... or adequate, but that by developing in the tray allows you to provide some +/- development. It works very well in D76, HC110, Microdol-X and the usual pyro developers. It does not do well in hangers since the film is not the same dimensions as 4x5 sheet films and is on a thinner support. When I had multiples to wash, it was my custom to take the scissors and trim a little to fit the hangers, but with the film being on thinner support it has the tendancy to come out of the hangers if the water pressure was a bit "too high".

    Ken
     
  8. schambuk

    schambuk Member

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    I would also be interested in using type 55 film if the processing of the negative could be deferred. I read somewhere that this could be done but have not satisfield myself how, prior to buying a polaroid back for my Bronica SQ system. The data sheet for type 55 film and an on line description of the Polaroid back for the SQ does not make it clear how.

    If anybody has pulled this off I would be grateful for feedback.

    Steve Chambers
     
  9. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    I haven't actually done it, but I have a Polaroid 500 holder (waiting for me to have a camera it fits) and have read about it. Delaying processing of the 4x5 Polaroids is simple -- after exposure, reinsert the cover sleeve to full depth and return the lever on the holder to the "L" for "load" position, then pull firmly on the same tab you'd use to process immediately. With the rollers retracted, the packet will pull out of the retaining clip at the bottom of the holder and pull out, in the same condition it went in except for the presence of a latent image in the negative.

    Now the negative can be processed later, either by reinserting in the Polaroid holder, setting the lever to "P" for "process" and pulling the tab to do it the Polaroid way, or by going into the darkroom, separating the components, and developing the negative in conventional soup in a tray or tube. You can delay processing of any Polaroid packet film this same way, but Type 55 is the only one that can be separated and darkroom processed to produce a printable negative...

    Given the cost of the complete Polaroid, one is driven to wonder if Polaroid could be convinced to supply a "neg only" version of Type 55 -- it'd basically be an ISO 32 (or so) ready-load similar to the Kodak and Fuji products, usable in the Polaroid 500 (with care) and 545 family backs, with film similar in character to the old Panatomic-X. It *should* be cheaper to produce than the current product because it would require both less material cost (no chemical pod or print layer) and wouldn't require the "reverse in place" operation that turns the negative to face the print as you pull the tab -- so it should be less costly to assemble (though the economics of manufacturing would likely dictate that it's cheaper to use an identical negative layer and simply leave out the pod and print). Even if it costs more than Quick Load or Readyload, the unique film and the fact that exposure can be field checked, accurately, using a regular Type 55 would produce a market among those who commonly shoot 55 for the negative.