Polaroids In Below Freezing Temps?

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Hello, Have noticed odd little lighter spots on Polaroid film in temperatures reaching the teens. Have I not exposed long enough? Are the developing chemicals freezing up? Any solutions? Also is it better to keep LF & MF equipment, primarily lenses and film,in cold to avoid extensive fogging/posssible damage when taking out into field? Thanks much! *

-- Gary Albertson (garyalb@outlawnet.com), December 08, 2000


polaroid does process slower in the cold, I will ussually stick the polaroid inside my jacket while it processes and then still go about 30 seconds over recomended times. This generally gets me pretty good results. As far as equip and film goes, it's good to let them aclimate to the temp your shooting in to avoid the lens fogging up, if your glasses fog up so will your lens, also film should be given a chance to aclimate to the temp as well. Just like when you take your film out of the fridge you let it sit out before shooting, when you go from inside a warm car into the cold out doors you should give it some time. It helps to keep equip and film in the trunk while you travel that way it is closer to outside temps when you get ready to shoot.


-- doug (dmcgoldrick@usa.net), December 08, 2000.

To answer a part of your question that I have dealt with a lot, the chemistry processes unevenly when it is too cold and this is why you get those hot spots. I approach this in a variety of ways, but the most important is to pull the film through the rollers when the chemistry is within Polaroid's temperature range (printed on each packet in chart form that informs you how long to process). Recently I have been doing a lot of processing of Polaroid in the field in very cold conditions so I have taken to carrying two Polaroid backs. I have an older one that does not work all that well (which is why I bought the newer one). I keep the Polaroid film in my coat, and have the better back in there also hanging from a lanyard around my neck. I insert the older back in the camera (cold, but it doesn't matter), put a sheet of warm film in it, expose normally, hit the release and withdraw it without running it through the rollers and thereby starting processing, insert it in the warm back in my jacket, let it warm up again for a brief time, and then process by pulling the lever and withdrawing the film as normal. I let it process in my coat also. I get normal processing every time, but two backs is a bit of a pain and is heavy and expensive. A variation would be to use one back, put it in your coat and let the whole thing warm up (time-consuming) and then pull to process. I'm experimenting with keeping film and back warm with those little lighter-fluid hand warmers too.

-- Rob Tucher (rtphotodoc@juno.com), December 08, 2000.

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