Polaroid type 55 versus contact printing?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by athanasius80, Oct 7, 2007.

  1. athanasius80

    athanasius80 Member

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    Hey guys,
    I don't want to start a flame war, so please bare with me and read this post through. :smile:

    I'm mentally assembling an outfit for extended travel. I have a 4x5 press camera, convertible lens, and a changing bag. It works, but prior experience with reloading twice a day in a changing bag wasn't so great.

    So what I was thinking was to shoot type 55 and process at the hostel or even back home later. My only concern would be wondering if a type 55 negative printed at 5x7 or 8x10 would have anywhere near the acutance and microcontrast of a 5x7 or 8x10 contact print. Any thoughts?

    BTW, yes I am crazy enough to bring my 8x10 through the youth hostels and bars of Europe, but I don't know if it would come home in one piece.

    THANKS!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 7, 2007
  2. gr82bart

    gr82bart Subscriber

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    I brought Type 55 film with me on a travel outing. Took the film and sulfite powder with me. Took the images in the field, but DID NOT process the film in the field. Waited to get back to the hotel and ran it through the 545i back and into the solution in the hotel. Worked fine.

    I only use Type 55 for my contact prints so I have no clue whether it's 'better or worse' than other films.

    Regards, Art.
     
  3. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Thing is, when Art's in the field, he's got guys following him around with alcohol and Q-tips to clean his rollers.

    You can do this, but bear in mind the price of Type 55 as opposed to, say, a better changing tent. Also, if you shoot for the negative, it's about EI 40, so that's going to limit the opportunities where you can shoot handheld with a press camera, if that's part of your plan.

    Print out the instructions for repairing the holder in the field that you can find on skgrimes.com, in case you have to fix it on the road.

    In my opinion, even with excellent equipment and technique, an enlargement never looks like a contact print, but Type 55 still makes very nice negatives that enlarge beautifully.

    You could also consider Readyload/Quickload, if you want to avoid having to reload filmholders.
     
  4. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Type 55 negatives are really tight, and make excellent enlargments, or very nice little contact prints. I think David has summed up the drawbacks. One more upside, is that you get a print (off stop a little) to see what you've accomplished, and what you have to look forward to printing. Helico Permawash works great for clearing, it comes as a liquid concentrate, if you don't want to bother brewing up powder.
     
  5. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

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    Take the 8x10 if you are so wedded to contact printing.

    If it were me, I shoot T55 and enlarge it to whatever size it looks nice.

    Image content is more important than micro-contrast, etc.
     
  6. gr82bart

    gr82bart Subscriber

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    Aw crap! Did I forget to mention that part? Damn you David, damn you for outing me that way! :tongue:

    Regards, Art.
     
  7. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I wish someone would clean my rollers. At my age they need cleaning. Art, you are to young to need your rollers cleaned.

    If anyone disagrees, maybe they should have their clock cleaned.

    :D

    PE
     
  8. Murray@uptowngallery

    Murray@uptowngallery Member

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    Someone told me if you have 55 with gone-bad developer pods, you can take the exposed film out (make sure the rollers aren't clamped to smash the developer pod) and discard the print/chemistry pod etc., then develop the negative in conventional developer and it's similar to Pan-X.

    Others have already said how nice the negs are - the prints have lousy resolution but the film is a fairly high resolution film.
     
  9. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    My brain could use a little mental floss...

    But besides that, along with the Type 55, you might consider taking some ready-loads -- I think they still work with the 545i. Or perhaps a couple holders for some 400 ASA film for those low light situations, or images with large areas of even tonality which the type 55 can occasionally mess up if the rollers are not 100%.