I'm posting this here because I'm asking about B&W and color, and there doesnt seem to be a more appropriate place for it.
With Polaroid biting the dust, lets talk about Fuji's Instant films. To be honest, I didnt even know they made them. Perhaps my despair at Polaroid discontinuing 669 shortly after I bought a Polaroid 180 camera prevented me from noticing Fuji's offerings.
So what is good/bad about Fuji's products? they are cheap, thats for sure! Are they good? Why? Anyone have examples they can post or direct me towards?
Fuji FP100C colour film beats any Polaroid film I've used into a cocked hat in terms of faithful colour reproduction, the emulsion seems a lot more hard-wearing as well (I never get 'spots' on Fuji prints, whereas I do in Polaroid - both in a Polaroid pack film holder.)
As far as I'm concerned, Fuji's is just all-round better to be honest. I particularly like the matt finish version.
The downsides: Not good for emulsion lifts, and they don't make anything larger than 4x5, and the 4x5 they do make is only available in pack film. (If Fuji made single-sheet instant material, I wouldn't be mourning the loss of Polaroid at all... I still hope that they now start.)
I know vey little about Fuji's instant films. For instance, what cameras do they work in?
FP100C (ISO100 colour), FP100B (ISO100 B&W) and FP3000B (ISO3000 B&W) are available in 3.25x4.25" packs, suitable for medium-format Polaroid backs. (I use it in the Polaroid back for my Mamiya RB67.)
Originally Posted by JBrunner
FP100C & FP3000B are available in 4x5" packs for a 4x5" Polaroid pack film holder (something I sadly don't possess, so I've never tried them in this size - I guess I'll have to buy one soon unless they start making them in sheet form.)
I think Tim's comments are pretty much on the mark. Now if Fuji could just make FP100C in 4x5" and 8x10" sheet formats that would be ideal, at least for proofing.
I did try a couple of transfers with the FP100C once and got something, but it just wasn't as easy as with 669/59/809. With the demise of Polaroid, there's a bit more incentive to experiment with it. Maybe it would transfer better with more heat, for example.
The Fuji instants rock. Honestly I have gotten fp100b prints that I then used as a "goal" for my other normal prints. The contrast scale is usually exactly what I am after, though your exposure has to be bang on to get a good print, which is of course why it is so good for proofing. In terms of exposure latitude, it is like a narrow latitude slide film.
The 3000b is particularly amusing, it is grainless and quite nice for pinhole explorations. I have written Fuji attempting to encourage them to make their stuff even larger than 4x5 but that hasn't yet succeeded. Frankly I would love to do fp100b prints at 5x7 or 8x10.
My impression is that the Fuji stuff generally has better shelf life. I am not saying that the prints fade more slowly, I am saying that a box of Fuji instant film generally seems to last longer on the shelf than the Polaroid stuff. I have used outdated Fuji material that wasn't refrigerated and it was just fine.
For emulsion transfer and image transfer, the Fuji stuff presents some new capabilities but also limitations. For proofing, I think there is little doubt that the Fuji materials are far superior.
If you shoot the Fuji stuff in 4x5, consider getting a new PA45 holder, it is nice. The only drawback is that the 4x5 material is a pack film and so you need to develop each sheet on the spot before advancing to the next. There is no way to withdraw a sheet without developing it, like you might treat the individually-packed polaroid sheets.... unless you are enterprising and have a changing bag! But anyway my guess is that Fuji can make pack films at much lower cost than the individually-wrapped sheet films.
Where do you get the Fuji instant film. I have never seen it and didn't even know it existed. Is it available in the US?
It's widely available at most professional photo dealers that would sell the comparable Polaroid materials. I usually get it at B&H.
I just ordered some 100c for my dust-gathering Polaroid 180, from Calumet. B&W is back ordered they said. This is going to be fun.
More questions. Does the B&W produce a negative? is it any good? What are the exposure characteristics of these films? Are the 100s true 100s? I understand the color is more tolerant of long exposures than Polaroid. True? How long?
Interesting thing I found the other day - on MegaPerls they actually *have* FP-100C in 4x5 format (FP-100C45) - so, it appears to be a Japan-only product (as well as FP-100B45 and an FP-500B45, which doesn't seem to be available in regular pack size). I wonder if that had to do with their licensing agreement with Polaroid - otherwise that seems a waste not to sell in the rest of the world.
Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb