In shock after doing 1st 8x10 Polaroid : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

This is another one of those "large format is so amazing" posts.

I have been working with 4x5 for a while and loving it but I just did my first 8x10 Polaroid (804). My son's six year old friend was over and I convinced him to pose in my home studio. I used my Fuji-C 300 with strobes and a white seamless. All I can say is....



-- Peter Shier (, June 09, 2001


duh :)

Welcome to the club

-- Altaf Shaikh (, June 09, 2001.

Yes, welcome to the Polaroid 8x10 club, Tito.

-- Tito Sobrinho (, June 10, 2001.

May I use the opportunity to ask what do I need to take 8x10 Polaroids? I found there's a color film type 809 (and 809 bulk). I guess I need somekind of a holder/processor. Is the holder and processor one unit? What is the quality of this film? Anyone having real experiencies? Thank's in forward, Jan.

-- Jan Eerala (, June 10, 2001.

Unfortunately, 8x10 Polaroids are not like 4x5 where all you need is a 545 or 545i. For 8x10 you need a processor and accessories.

To begin with, the film is a bit different as the negative and positive are separate. The box comes with two inner boxes: one with negatives and one with positives. The positive is photo paper with a jelly pod.

The current model is 81-12. It also requires an 81-06 film holder. This piece is similar to a normal film holder. You load it with the negative and use it in the camera just like a normal film holder.

The last piece is the 81-09 processing tray that fits into the processor. When you are ready to develop the picture, you insert a positive into the tray and then insert the film holder. You set the processing time on a dial on the processor, press a button, and rollers suck the positive and negative into the machine. The rollers break the pod, spread the jelly, and then shoot the pair stuck together into a tray at the back of the machine. When time is up, a buzzer rings, you remove the pair and separate them just like with 4x5. The processor can also be run manually with a crank and you do your own timing if you need to use it in the field without electricity.

There is also an older model (I don't remember the number) that can do the job.

Now for the bad news: a new processor, tray and holder together will cost you $1000.00 at B&H. IMHO that is totally outrageous as the whole purpose of the machine from Polaroid's point of view is to keep you buying the film at $8.00 a sheet. I realize their manufacturing costs per unit are high due to the low volume but considering how low- tech this box is, I was really in shock when I heard the price.

Calumet has their own house brand for about $700. You can also buy them used on eBay (that's where I found mine). I would suggest shopping around at used LF dealers and watching eBay. I believe there is an older model on there now.

If you do find a used processor and there is no manual, then call Polaroid and they will mail or fax you one. I would not recommend using this beast without reading the manual first.


-- Peter Shier (, June 10, 2001.

Just wait until you get a chance to use the Polaroid 20x24.

-- Dan Smith (, June 10, 2001.

Well, I think I'll wait a little before joining the seems a little exclusive to me, specially as I am located in Finland (neighbour to Sibiria) and ebay operates mostly in USA. But one never I'll make still one question: can you comment the quality or properties of the color film in some way? And thank's again for a great response! Jan

-- Jan Eerala (, June 10, 2001.

Sorry, I haven't used any color 8x10 Polaroid yet. I am sure there are many on the list who can help you out.


-- Peter Shier (, June 10, 2001.


The 809 is the same as T-59 in 4x5, In addition there is T-879 sold in Europe that should be available to you, Also there is T-804, same as PP100 in 4x5, I also shoot these in my system Bill

-- Bill Jefferson (, June 11, 2001.

Do you get a usable negative (like type 55), or just the print?

-- Bill (, June 11, 2001.

With type 804 you do not get a usable negative. Don't know about the others.

-- Peter Shier (, June 11, 2001.

I tried the Polaroid 809 color 8x10 yesterday in a studio portrait session and I was not happy with the results. The color is kind of washed out and the contrast is not great. Maybe someone else can comment on how to get a little more out of this film.

Peter Shier

-- Peter Shier (, June 16, 2001.

...the color is kind of washed out and the contrast is not great... what a beautiful sound! Just what I suspected a little. Peter, is it otherwise OK? Is the development uniform and without scratches and bubbles?

-- Jan Eerala (, June 16, 2001.

Yes the development was uniform and there were no scratches. I only did three shots and only one actually came out properly. One was completely white (don't know why) and one was very overexposed despite using the exact same settings as the good one. I'll let you know more after I finish the box. Mistakes are a bit costly at $8.00 a sheet-:(

-- Peter Shier (, June 16, 2001.

I have been thinking about enlarging some B/W slides on to Polaroid 804. Has anyone tried this? I use a Daylab for MF and 4x5 Pola's, but I don't imagine the optics would be so hot for going from 35mm to 8x10.

Any suggestions?

Also: has anyone used the Calumet manual processor?


-- Jon (, June 25, 2001.

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