What's the life of refridgerated Polaroid?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Dave Krueger, Feb 9, 2008.

  1. Dave Krueger

    Dave Krueger Member

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    So, given the news that Polaroid may not be making their film much longer, I assume there will be people other than myself looking to stock up.

    Anyone have any idea how long Polaroid lasts in the fridge or freezer?
     
  2. argus

    argus Member

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    No freezer (see PE's post in the other thread) but refrigerating is OK for some time.

    For type 59, expect a color shift when the film is over date.
    See some of my most recent Polaroids here, made with 12 months over date 59 film:
    http://sheetfilm.be/zenphoto/index.php?album=basket

    G
     
  3. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    As I understand it they have stopped manufacture, but say that they have sufficient stock to see them through 2009 by which time they intend to sell the manufacturing rights to the far east. That suggests to me that the stuff has a long shelf life.
     
  4. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    I've had some 665 in the fridge for more than a year and recently used some of that- it was totally fine.
     
  5. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    A couple of years generally. When it gets too old, the pods dry out, and you get color shifts with color materials, and undeveloped corners with all the peel apart films.

    If you're shooting on a smaller format than the film (like 6x6 or 6x7 with the medium format pack film) the undeveloped corners aren't as much of a problem.
     
  6. Dave Krueger

    Dave Krueger Member

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    Ah, I should have mentioned that I only shoot 664 packs so color shift won't be a problem. I can even compensate for EI changes since I don't rely on the Polaroids for exposure information aside from brightness and lighting ratios. I use it for both medium format and 4x5, so edge degradation could be a problem in the latter case.

    While I know they don't expect to run out of stock for a while, I plan to stock up in advance rather than risk waiting too long. I'm not always on top of news like this, so I probably won't even know when it's gone until I stop seeing it listed by suppliers.

    I also use FB-100B Fuji which I presume hasn't mentioned anything about quiting production. If that remains available, I will probably not stock up so much on Polaroid. I assume it would have the same keeping characteristics as Polaroid.

    Anyway, it sounds like it keeps in the fridge for at least a couple years. Does freezing it offer any advantage or is freezing harmful?
     
  7. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    I don't remember the argument but I think hard freezing is a nono. I guess the pods can become gummy or something.

    About the fp100b and c, I wrote a plea to Fuji about that some time back and got some lovely reply that they are pleased to continue to offer them well into the future and then they proceeded to inform me of several other films that weren't even on the US market at the time. Anyway I adore the Fuji stuff (except for image transfers) and just wish I could shoot it past 4x5. And I pray that Fuj will take a close look at type 55 and 665.... C'mon Fuji, in the name of St. Ansel and Dr. Land....
     
  8. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I could deal with pack film for 4x5", but it would be convenient to be able to keep using my 545 holder, and since Fuji already makes packet films that are compatible with the 545 holder, it seems like they're more than halfway there toward a replacement for 4x5" Polaroid sheet films.

    Now if they could do 8x10", maybe they could also develop 8x10" Quickloads--that would be fancy.
     
  9. Renato Tonelli

    Renato Tonelli Subscriber

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    What happens or doesn't happen when you use the Fuji for image transfers or emulsion lifts?
    The unsuitability of Fuji , for these processes, has been mentioned in other forums but without description.
    I use Polaroid fro these processes 90% of the time and it would be great if I could successfully switch to Fuji (although I don't see any 8x10 from Fuji).
     
  10. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    It does not.

    They keep the master rolls in a cooler and slit, chop and assemble using fresh pods. It is mainly the pod that controlles shelf life which is about 6 months beyond the stamped date if refrigerated.

    PE
     
  11. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    But what was the expiration date? That is critical. As I have observed before, it usually is unusable about 6 months beyond the expiration date of refrigerated, and about 2 months if not.

    PE
     
  12. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    The pods contain water and Potassium or Sodium Hydroxide. If frozen, they can freeze too and then will rupture. In that case, the entire pack becomes useless.

    PE
     
  13. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Ron, the exp date on the 665 was May '07 but I recall buying them long before that (I think it was middle of '06) and put them in the fridge immediately. As I recall it was around the time that 665 was being discontinued and I bought a bunch a few months later when prices seemed to be spiking. I suspected that it'd die in the fridge but it didn't... wish I'd bought more!

    Regarding the pods: dumb/nutty question. If one really wanted to store polaroid long term, might one snip off the pods and keep them in the fridge, and freeze the actual film and positive sheet separately? I realize that the processing would be a pain in the arse, but.... desperate times...

    Related question, why doesn't somebody decouple the chicken from the egg and sell us polaroid goop separately. I'd guess the actual film and pos sheets could be made and stored quite inexpensively and compactly. This might be my cabin fever and flu/allergy meds speaking though.
     
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  15. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    8x10" comes this way. You get a pack of neg sheets and a pack of positive sheets with the pods, shoot the neg and join with the positive side in the processor.
     
  16. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    You see from David's post, that it can be done. The object is to have a continuous sheet from the pod down to the end so there is no break for the fluid to leak out of.

    As for the formula for the color material, I can give a guess.

    KOH 1 mole / liter
    Carboxy methyl cellulose 20 - 50 g/l (like Citrucel, the laxative)
    Restrainer about 100 mg - 1 g/l
    Developing agent about 500 mg/l - 1 g/l of Dimezone or the like.

    The B&W material is similar but has a load of silver halide solvent and some other things.

    There are patents that show this though, so you can fill in the blanks by looking them up. Search for Pod and Polaroid.

    I used to know it, but have forgotten the details. And yes, it can be added from a syringe and the processing can be done outside of the camera as long as some sort of 'rails' are used to allow the goo to spread evenly. The rails would be something like a mask of about 5 mils (0.005") around the print area into which goo can spread. You can see the 'rails' if you take the print assembly apart.

    As for the expiration date, I guess you are within the cutoff that I mentioned earlier. This would run about 6 months or less from the expiration date in most cases.

    PE
     
  17. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    FWIW, I made pinhole shots using Type 55 last year that I have had in the fridge that expired ten to 15 years ago. Negatives looked fine.

    Vaughn
     
  18. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Vaughn;

    I'm very glad you got good results. I know many who did not. I would say that at best, it varies from film to film and batch to batch. I've had perfectly good, in-date Polaroid film fall apart during the process step and make a mess of my Polaroid back to the extent that I had to disassemble it to clean it. Polaroid replaced the materials and acknowledged a defect.

    I might add a comment here that since Polaroid knows that the limit on film pack life is the pod, they do not stabilze the emulsion to the extent necessary for normal films and papers. The pod is the weak point and the emulsion stabilzers are very expensive. Therefore, under normal conditions, it would be useless to make the film last 5 years, when the pod only lasts 2 years under optimum conditions. (this is a hypothetical example to illustrate the problem)

    PE
     
  19. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Ron, I must ask an obvious question regarding the Type 55. Would it be better to just develop the film in a regular developer? Am I missing something here. I have some old 55 in the fridge and i don't want to mess it up. Do you just separate everything in the dark and is it messy? Thanks,

    Jim
     
  20. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Jim;

    I have no suggestions. Sorry.

    PE
     
  21. Murray@uptowngallery

    Murray@uptowngallery Member

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    Somewhere I read one can shoot expired Type 55, remove it from the Polaroid filmholder WITHOUT processing, cut the film free and process it like the old Panatomic-X (25 ISO?).

    I'm not sure about the 25 ISO part, but the film is supposed to be pretty high resolution (certainly for it's vintage).
     
  22. amuderick

    amuderick Member

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    Sometimes the film lasts, sometimes it doesn't.

    I have a box of 64T that failed to spread 1 month after the expire date. I also shot a roll of Type 47 which expired before I was born and it worked fine.

    B&W films do not suffer color shifts so are more resilient.

    Laying flat and cool storage will help. Sealing in a heavy-mil-thickness vacuum bag (like those kitchen vacuum sealers) seems to help.

    Again, some batches will last for years. Others, not so much. Hit or miss.
     
  23. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    I once saw a series of photographs made by a woman who froze a couple of boxes of Type 59. She didn't know you weren't supposed to do that. She had ended up with a couple of extra boxes after a workshop and didn't want it to go bad.

    She ended up with images in which the emulsion separated in layers and peeled off unevenly in long, narrow strips. The pictures were simple floral still life shots that were just amazing. Some parts were normal, some parts magenta or cyan, depending on how the layers separated. It was a lucky accident for certain. So, you never know. Too expensive to for me to try intentionally, and with my luck, it probably wouldn't work.

    Peter Gomena
     
  24. Alex Hawley

    Alex Hawley Member

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    Jim, there's been several threads here and on the LF Forum regarding this. I don't remember any of the details but it is a well known technique.
     
  25. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Alex, thanks I'll do a search.

    Jim
     
  26. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    Basically, the Fuji just doesn't transfer an image to your receiving surface. It will do an emulsion lift, but doesn't stick to your receiving surface either (decoupage glue works, though).