Polaroid FP100C processing -- Scrubbing Bubble with Bleach

Discussion in 'Lo-Fi Cameras' started by Trask, Jul 16, 2010.

  1. Trask

    Trask Subscriber

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    Well, perhaps I’ve made a discovery that will help others working with negatives from Fuji FP100C -- I’ve not seen this described elsewhere.

    Like everyone else trying to get negatives from FP100C, I was using bleach to remove the backing on the image, but I personally was finding it a pain to tape the negative to glass and then try to keep the bleach from migrating to the emulsion side.

    Walking through a supermarket and I spotted Scrubbing Bubbles with Bleach. It’s a thick white quasi-jell/foam that will stay in one place when squeezed from its bottle. Using SBB (as I’ll call it) has made everything so much easier.

    First off, no glass, tape or anything. I take an old magazine, tear out a couple of pages, and lay them out slightly overlapping. I place the entire Polaroid negative, tag and all, on the seam where the pages overlap. Shake up the SBB, blurp a big pile of material on the middle of the negative, and use a spoon to push it around and to the edges. If I push a little over the edge onto the page, and I want to make sure it doesn’t somehow get to the emulsion, I draw the page slightly away from the negative, pulling the material away. Be careful not to let too many cavities get created when you spread it around -- it’s kind of like soft toothpaste, so it could have enough structure to trap some air under it. But as you’ll see, that’s not a problem.

    Wait about five minutes or so, then pick up the whole negative with the SBB stuck on it, and rinse it right off. The SBB will actually harden a little, which makes it even easier to rinse off. Once rinsed, you can go ahead and remove the jelly-like material on the emulsion side, either under running water or with a soak. Once the negative is relatively clear, hold it up to a light to see if there are any remaining little bits of black where the SBB didn’t remove the black backing. If so, just hold the wet negative in your hand and squirt some SBB onto it again. The SBB will actually displace the water and adhere to the negative. Use a small spoon to push it where you want it, and wait a few minutes. Here’s the neat part: you can hold the negative up to a light, held even vertically, and the SBB just clings and doesn’t move. See a spot you missed, take your spoon and push the SBB into place. After a few minutes, rinse in water again and you’re done.

    This is so easy and foolproof, you can do five or ten at a time. I’ve seen no deleterious effects from leaving the SBB in place for a longer period. One thing I have seen is that along the seam where the paper tag or pull tab joins the negative, it might be possible over time for the SBB to work its way in and perhaps get to the edge of the emulsion side. I’ve never had it get more than a millimeter or so in, so it hasn’t damaged any image areas.

    I do hope others try this out and report back here on APUG what they think. Now that I know how to do it with SBB, I wouldn’t do it any other way.
     
  2. fiducio

    fiducio Member

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    Im going to have to try this! Seems a thousand times easier!!!
     
  3. amac212

    amac212 Member

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    Brilliant Trask!!
     
  4. Lars Daniel

    Lars Daniel Member

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    Great! Now the interesting part will be to see if I can find anything like it in my part of the world.
     
  5. cbphoto

    cbphoto Member

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    Trying this right for the first time now, but with regular bleach - my Walgreens did not have SBB :sad:

    This only works with FP100C and B, right? I tried it with the 3000, and the neg still appeared to be on a white base rather than clear.
     
  6. Moopheus

    Moopheus Subscriber

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    How long can you wait between shooting the picture and removing the backing? I mean, if you are out in the field away from your lab and don't happen to have your scrubbing bubbles with you, can you just keep the sheet in bag or something, and do it when you get back home?
     
  7. cabbiinc

    cabbiinc Member

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    The procedure described assumes that you've let the negative dry a few hours. I've reclaimed weeks later using plain bleach.
     
  8. Trask

    Trask Subscriber

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    I've used SBB on very old, well-dried negatives. Doesn't seem to make a bit of difference. I offered this "new technology" as an alternative to liquid bleach, which works, of course, but tends to get all over the place including on the emulsion. SBB just stays put like nothing else I've tried. If you're overseas, I bet you can order some online via an online grocery store -- maybe??

    I hope anyone who is successful with SBB will report back here -- good luck!