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  1. #1

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    Polaroid and Fuji Instant film quality?

    I have been using Polaroid type 79 for years and years as a testing film in my studio prior to shooting color transparencies. I have put up with off-color, and poorly processed results because the image still was useful to me in evaluating my exposure and depth-of-field, and composition.

    Recently my regular vendor was out of type 79, and I ordered some Fuji FP-100c in 4x5 pack format. Wow, it developed better, had (for the first time for me) an absolutely neutral color balance, and a better rendering of highlight values, and the prints had a better gloss.

    I know one film is individual sheet 4x5 (type 79), and one is Pack 4x5 (FP-100c), thus different film holders, but I keep my rollers clean on both film backs, the Fuji just overall performs better...and is cheaper per exposure.

    I was wondering if anyone else noticed the differences?

  2. #2
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    Interesting. I have only used the Polaroid products as the Fuji products have been a lot more expensive here.

    PE

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    God yes; Fuji's instant film is miles better than Type 79. I only use Fuji in the medium format now.

    I don't have a 4x5" pack film holder unfortunately... Is FP100c available in Quickload & will it work in a Polaroid 545? (Yeah, I know, I should Google; but I've got to dash out of the house... I'll do my own research when I get back...)
    Another day goes under; a little bourbon will take the strain...

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    Interesting. I have only used the Polaroid products as the Fuji products have been a lot more expensive here.

    PE
    Well comparing the per-exposure cost of a 20 sheet box of Polaroid type 79, with 2 10 sheet packs of Fuji FP-100c from a common vendor such as B&H:

    Polaroid type 79 20 sheet box $83.95

    Fuji FP-100c 4x5 2-10 sheet packs $69.90

    Per sheet cost Polaroid $4.19
    Per sheet cost Fuji $3.49

    A significant savings, I think...and this is official US import stock on both products. While one in pack and the other is sheet..the films are both ISO 100 speed color print films...Polaroid does not make a 4x5 pack film anymore.

  5. #5
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    Ok, I was comparing the MF packs. Fuji was the roughly the same for 1 pack as the Polariod was for 2 packs or about 2x the cost. Since I only used it for setups, I never was really concerned about slight color shifts and whatnot, as I then went on to use a film back.

    PE

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by tim_walls View Post
    God yes; Fuji's instant film is miles better than Type 79. I only use Fuji in the medium format now.

    I don't have a 4x5" pack film holder unfortunately... Is FP100c available in Quickload & will it work in a Polaroid 545? (Yeah, I know, I should Google; but I've got to dash out of the house... I'll do my own research when I get back...)
    No Fuji instant film available in USA in individual sheet format (you call it Quickload). Just the 4x5 pack film format, which actually gives a slightly larger print than the individual sheet format that type 79 comes in.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    Ok, I was comparing the MF packs. Fuji was the roughly the same for 1 pack as the Polariod was for 2 packs or about 2x the cost. Since I only used it for setups, I never was really concerned about slight color shifts and whatnot, as I then went on to use a film back.

    PE
    I too, am not concerned with color-shifts, since I only use instant-film for testing, but I am still impressed with the overall quality improvements exhibited by the Fuji over the current Polaroid material in 4x5 size. I could actually use the Fuji for exquisite 4x5 miniature images, whereas the Polaroid has more variable quality and poor even-ness of development which would prohibit this type of use. And, before anyone mentions it, it is not my 4x5 Polaroid holder at fault, because I have several, they are all clean, and the Polaroid material just does not develop as evenly as the Fuji.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    Ok, I was comparing the MF packs. Fuji was the roughly the same for 1 pack as the Polariod was for 2 packs or about 2x the cost. Since I only used it for setups, I never was really concerned about slight color shifts and whatnot, as I then went on to use a film back.

    PE
    PE, times have changed. Again from the B&H website, but comparable to other online vendors:

    Polaroid 690 Polacolor Pro 3.25 x 4.25 filmpack 10 exposure $10.99

    Fuji FP-100c 3.25 x 4.25 filmpack 10 exposure $8.49

    Both are ISO 100 instant color print films for medium-format film backs.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by PHOTOTONE View Post
    PE, times have changed. Again from the B&H website, but comparable to other online vendors:

    Polaroid 690 Polacolor Pro 3.25 x 4.25 filmpack 10 exposure $10.99

    Fuji FP-100c 3.25 x 4.25 filmpack 10 exposure $8.49

    Both are ISO 100 instant color print films for medium-format film backs.
    I recognize that the Polaroid is about the same price as last year, but the Fuji at that time was about $12 or more. They have certainly come down. I wonder why? The costs of materials have gone up. Maybe due to flagging Polaroid sales have upped production at Fuji causing prices to drop.

    I have both 4x5 and MF holders, so I could go either way depending on camera. Sounds interesting, but I still have the 2 replacement packs from Polaroid to use. Well, only 1.5 now. I don't do much more than use the Polaroid now to verify my camera settings.

    PE

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by PHOTOTONE View Post
    No Fuji instant film available in USA in individual sheet format (you call it Quickload). Just the 4x5 pack film format, which actually gives a slightly larger print than the individual sheet format that type 79 comes in.
    Thanks for that! Looks like I need to find myself a 4x5 packfilm holder then :-). Just when I thought it was safe to stay away from eBay... I've yet to be satisfied with the colour of Polacolor 79; it also seems to require somewhat delicate handling if I don't want emulsion defects in the print - FP100c in the medium format has always seemed less delicate as well as having a more pleasing colour palette. I'm very fond of Polapan 54 though (and never have any similar emulsion problems with it,) so it's not all bad news for Polaroid from me :-).

    I do have a pack of Polacolor 59 which I really ought to get round to having a play with... Intention was to try some emulsion lifts with it, but I never seem to get a round tuit.


    (The other good think about FP100c for medium-format users is that it's available in a silk finish version, which looks fantastic (to my eye.) Doesn't look like silk is available in 4x5 though, more's the pity.)
    Another day goes under; a little bourbon will take the strain...

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