Help with Polaroid film : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Hi All, this summer I got a Polaroid 4X5 Mod 545 film holder, and then I went out and bought a box of Type 59 Professional Color Sheet Film which is just a little expensive I might add. Anyway, I started taking photos with this combination only to find that I my pictures had just a little bit of too much blue in them. To make a long story short, Polariod states this film is balanced for daylight at 1/125 of a second. This is a problem, as many of my favorite lenses are in shutters that are only capable of 1/60 or 1/30 of a second. Polaroid does list a number of filters to correct the color balance at slow speed. Filters like: CC30R and CC10Y or CC40R or CC60R. Well the cost of these filters is prohibitive on my buget. To top that off, when I asked the guy who sold me the film what this film was used for, he indicated that the only purpose it had was for checking the flash/lighting of shots, and once the photographer found out how the lighting was, then they tossed the photo. I'd like to keep the images.

Does anyone have any experience in using this film in daylight at slow speeds? Is there another way to get good color from this film without the expensive filters? I notice the speed drops off pretty fast slower than 1/125; is this a problem with the color? I'd like to experiment with using it, and then scaning the images. Thanks.

-- david clark (, August 22, 2000


I have always had a cyan cast with type 59, and never went too far into filtration.

I have been using type 79 for all my color Polaroid, and find it is much truer color, does not pick up the cyan cast, and does not seem to be so sensitive to variations in processing time or temperature.

It also seems to be a hair sharper to me after it has dried down hard.

Be careful when handling the print after you peel it. It is very delicate until it is completely dry.

-- Tony Brent (, August 22, 2000.

I tried this film with some interiors, intending to send the prints to persons interested in the interiors. It was pretty useless for that purpose, at least without filtration, because even in a brightly sunlit room I couldn't use a shutter speed as fast as 1/125. In fact I'm not sure I've ever used a shutter speed that fast with any large format photograph in my life. I suppose if you had strobes or other artificial light, or planned on using the film enough to invest in the filters, it would be o.k. but for an occasional user who wanted to photograph the rooms in natural light, it was an expensive mistake.

-- Brian Ellis (, August 22, 2000.

Try just using an 81A or 81B filter, that should clean up the color very quickly. And next time try Type 79, it is an advancement over Type 59.

-- Ellis Vener (, August 23, 2000.

I just started using this film (Type 59) and learned about it in a class. It is designed to come out looking "normal" under daylight or 5000 degree Kelvin light (under strobe lights or noontime sunlight). The colors come out normal looking in "normal daylight". The film's reciprocity fails very easily. A slow shutter speed under (I believe) 1/10 requires correction with filters as suggested from Polaroid. As you may know, Polaroid doesn't really pay close attention to film consistency so that depending on the batch, the filters needed to correct for the cyan shift will change. Their recommendations are meant to be a guide to start from. You have to play with ading more or less filtration until you have the colors you want. So yes, it can become very expensive to use.

The films' reciprocity also fails at faster shutter speeds and the film turns red. So to answer your question, the only way to use this film without filters is to shoot it under the prescribed shutter speeds which need no filtration and/or use strobes to light you shots.

I think your idea is excellent as far as using the film as a finished product and scanning it. I actually like the color shifts and use it in my image making.

As far as filter costs, try going to photo stores and looking for old unused/used(but in excellent condition) gelatin filters (Kodak Wratten). A lot of stores have them laying around and sell them for fairly reasonalbe prices.

-- yoichi kawamura (, August 29, 2000.

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