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  1. #1
    medform-norm's Avatar
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    weird: Polaroid 690 data sheet discrepancy and film dev problems

    Hi all,

    yesterday we took out two Polaroid cameras for a pre-project test. One was loaded with 690 Film, fresh from a sealed pack. On the pack in large bright letters it said ISO100, so that is how I said my light meter. Now most photos came out looking like they were overdeveloped with a strong cyan cast, which is odd as we followed the specified dev time of 90 seconds for temps between 21-40 degrees Celcius. Today I checked Polaroids website to see if I should shorten dev time in hot weather or make an exposure correction and found to my great surprise that this film is rated at 125ASA and not at 100ASA. Which could account partly for the overdeveloped look. Checked the camera's shutter speeds and these are all perfect. So it must be something with the film/dev combination. Before I completely ruin another pack, can anyone give me a recommendation how to avoid this cyan cast, preferable someone who's shot this specific film in similar circumstances? What I think needs be done is to shorten dev. time to 60 secs or underexpose 1/2 stop, like it says in the specs for the 669 film. Or do both at the same time.

    And while we're on the topic of Polaroid films: anyone ever used the 'new' 125i or the Ultraviolet version with security marks only to be seen under UV-light. What do these marks look like, I wonder.

    TIA for reactions,
    Norm
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  2. #2
    medform-norm's Avatar
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    Pending comments from the knowledgeable, I'll continue the Pola records. Second test today: first shots with high contrast came out fine, shots in the sun came out fine, shots with large shadow areas came out with a blue cast. Now why is that? Tried different dev times for same shot and it doesn't seem an overdevelopment issue. Rather, it's like the yellow just doesn't develop fully, whereas the rest does. Perhaps we should try a light yellow filter for the shadowy shots?
    Or maybe try a different Polaroid pack film altogether? We were planning to do a series in rather varying light conditions, but it seems our choice of subject matter is limited with the behavior of this particular film. All rather aggravating, as we're leaving in two weeks to an area where there will be no access to Polaroid pack films, meaning we'd have to get them FedEx'ed from Holland, meaning parting with largish wads of money.

    Ideas anyone?
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  3. #3

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    Actually, a warming filter, like an 81A or similar light orange filter would work better than a yellow filter. In general, Polaroid films are more cool palette than warm pallette. The Fuji FP100C is slightly warmer, but in general more comparible to Polaroid 690. The easiest way to solve your problem with the bluer shadows is to use an 81A filter.

    http://www.polaroid.com/global/detai...bmLocale=en_US

    The US Polaroid website lists 690 as ISO 100. The boxes I have bought recently in California still indicate ISO 100. Unless they are trying a different batch, or something else changed in your location, I would think the ISO 125 indication was in error. I have shot boxes of 690, and always at ISO 100.

    I have used this in a Polaroid printer, a 250 Automatic, and with a type 405 back, and results are fairly consistent. The rollers should not make too much difference, unless they are not clean, which can lead to uneven development. The supposed advantage of 690 is being able to leave it for minutes prior to separating, though I got my best proofing results with 90 to 120 seconds.

    I don't know if I spoke to you on PDN Forums? There was a photographer going to Africa to do a project, and intending to use Polaroid cameras. If that was not you, that thread might be worth searching, though it was mostly about cameras.

    Anyway, since I use more 690 film than other Polaroid types, perhaps this post answers some questions. If not, then feel free to ask more. You did not mention which camera you are using.

    Ciao!

    Gordon Moat
    A G Studio
    http://www.allgstudio.com

  4. #4
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    Blue in the shadows is exactly what you'd expect from a slide film -- which is, in some ways, what Polaroid is. The light in shadows is predominantly scatter from the sky, which is (surprise) strong in blue. The same filters you'd use to correct Ektachrome daylight film will work with 690. Same is true when shooting with tungsten light -- to get rid of the orange cast, you'd use the same correction filter that you'd use with daylight slide films.

    From your description, it sounds as if the cyan cast in the early exposures might in fact have been due to mild overexposure. Best suggestion is to take along a set of color correction filters, so you can correct on the fly as needed.
    Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.

  5. #5
    medform-norm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Qualls
    BThe same filters you'd use to correct Ektachrome daylight film will work with 690.
    Donald, thanks once more for sharing your vast knowledge. Let's suppose for one moment the heat has lamed my otherwise active mind. What filters would you suggest using?
    TIA,
    Norm
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  6. #6
    medform-norm's Avatar
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    Continued reports:
    Polaroid 690 in the Pola 180 yields more pleasing result if you underexpose the shots by 1/2 stop or, which amounts to more or less the same thing, if you set the EV value taken from the light meter 1/2 stop higher, so 15,5 instead of 15 for example. I don't know why, but this gives better saturation in the colors. Underexposing by a full stop is too much and renders the picture too dark.

    The Pola 180 is getting better step by step, still have to find the cause of a strange lightleak that shows up intermittantly. Will have to check the bellows one more time.

    Update: lightleak found - but it wasn't a lightleak but an inner reflection caused by a spot of paint loss on an inner ring of the lens/shutter assembly. Easily solved. Phew!
    Last edited by medform-norm; 07-20-2006 at 07:05 AM. Click to view previous post history.
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  7. #7

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    Interestingly enough, an 81A filter blocks about 1/2 stop. However, it is probably simpler to just alter the shutter and aperture settings on the Polaroid 180 to compensate, rather than adding a filter. I am using a Polaroid 250 Automatic, which has a separate light meter window for automatic shutter. When I place an 81A just over the taking lens, the metering window is unchanged, hence the 1/2 stop difference. Anyway, best of luck with your project, I hope it turns out well.

    Ciao!

    Gordon Moat
    A G Studio
    <http://www.allgstudio.com>

  8. #8
    medform-norm's Avatar
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    Hi Gordon,
    thanks for the tip. Actually, that sounds like a good idea (and concurs with Donald's view on things). Will have to find one of those filters that fits the lens of the 180. I expect the 81A also helps warming the picture and getting rid of a blue cast. Which wouldn't hurt this 690 film. Will be doing experiments with a Fuji FP100C to see if I like the tonality of that film better.
    Perhaps I am asking a lot of the film, maybe even too much. We plan to shoot images in very bright daylight of housefronts and gates that will be white or light colored a lot of the time. So very high contrast shots, something the Polaroid is not very good at handling, although you could say it gives a 'unique' quality to the resulting image.
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