4X5 polaroid question....

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I want to start shooting 4x5 pinhole with a 545 polaroid back. I have a couple of questions: 1. any reccomendations for black and white film and a good, saturated color film?

2. when you shoot and peel, what do you do with the 4x5 neg to archive it and eventually print with it? Do you need to soak it?

thanks so much!!!

-- Andrew Couch Paynter (andrew@juicedesign.com), January 22, 2002


Polaroid makes many B&W films with speeds from ISO 50 to ISO 3000. The Polaroid material that producs a negative as well as a print is Polaroid type 55. For the best negative exposure rate it (for metering purposes) at ISO 32 or 25. If you are going to do very long exposures (like over 4 to 5 seconds) you get into severe reciprocity failure problems.

Yes the negative needs to be cleared ofthe processing solution in either a sodium sulfite solution or running water.

-- Ellis Vener Photography (ellis@ellisvener.com), January 22, 2002.

Elis Verner's answer confirms what I thought but could someone elaborate a little bit more on how practically this is supposed to work ? Specifically, I'd like to know how and when the neg has to be processed in the sulfide bath. Does one have to carry some sort of trays or drums when shooting outdoors, or can one process the neg later back at home ? And one more question if I may : what is the dilution required for the sulfide bath ?


-- Pascal Quint (quint.pascal@wanadoo.fr), January 23, 2002.

Andrew, The crud on the type 55 p/n film can get pretty stubborn to remove if you let it sit without doing something. The sulfite solution isn't really anything I'd like sloshing around in the field as it tends to get kind of ouchy if it gets on your skin. You might try getting a tupperware type of container filled with water to keep your negatives in until you get them home. You could remove the packet after exposure without breaking the chemical pod, then run them through your polariod back to develop when you get home. Or you can get a yankee developing tank with a snap on lid---I think Calumet has them---or a clearing bucket that polaroid makes especially for clearing type 55p/n and take your chances. Good luck!

-- John Kasaian (www.kasai9@aol.com), January 23, 2002.

Andrew, Along with T-55 Polaroid also makes T-51HC, High Contrast, I havn't used this at all outside, but it is another option for you. I do shoot lots of T-55 outdoors, and only expose the film and process and clear the negs. when i get home.


-- Bill Jefferson (jefferw@together.net), January 23, 2002.

Polaroid makes a tank sold by Calumet that you can put the negs into for clearing. It is a bit bulky but works. Incidentally, try using Permawash, 3 ounces per gallon instead of sulfite. It mixes far more easily and rinses the crud from the negative. After decruding the negative, back at home or wherever your hat hangs that day you can but do not have to put negatives into standard fix bath--Kodak rapid fix with hardener, re- permawash, wash using a fill,refill, photoflo and dry. those steps reduce the chances of inadvertant scratching. Bob

-- Bob Moulton (bobmargaretm@home.com), January 23, 2002.

With Type 55, 1. It's much easier to take the negatives, undeveloped, back to the darkroom (or your kitchen, whatever) and process them. It saves carrying around the bucket or tupperware container. You don't get anything by processing the negative in the field. It is useful to process the print in the field, and then adjust exposure for ISO difference.

2. I've had good luck ignoring the sulfide solution, soaking in water, and then hosing off the develope 'gunk' with a high pressure hose~~such as the one attached to many kitchen faucets.

3. You need to perform your own tests for ISO for both prints and negatives with Polaroid film ~~ just like 'real film.'

-- Jay wolfe (bigbad810@hotmail.com), January 25, 2002.

Andrew, I shoot type 55 exclusively for B&W LF, and have done so for the last 10 years. I bring the 55 back to the darkroom for processing. In the field I shoot a type 54 to confirm exposure and composition, then shoot the 55(with exposure compensation) and keep the two together for reference. This works very well for me after some initial disasters trying to process 55 in the field. It really is messy in the field and dust is a real big problem. Ed

-- Ed O'Grady (ogrady@eximvaios.com), January 28, 2002.

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