What polaroid film to use

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I will need to make some test exposures and I need to know which type of polaroid film to use. I shoot 4x5, this will be color, I use a polaroid film holder 550. I know I will need Polaroid film type 5xx, meaning pack film.

Any help is appreciated!


-- Clark King (ckphotographyusa@netscape.net), April 24, 2002


Need a bit more information .... what sort of test shooting are you going to be doing .... do you need to shoot your tests in color or do you jsut need speed matching with yoru final film .... what film will you be using for your final shots? Polaroid color products rae a lot more finicky than the b&w films hence the questions. For example T89/589 is a nice film but the color goes way off at any speed other than 1/125 which makes it s use fairly limied for test purposes.

-- Ted Harris (slberfuchs@aol.com), April 25, 2002.

Sorry for the lack of specifics. I will actually be working on a pet project of mine documenting churches in Texas. So I will most likley be working in the early am. Anyway I'll be shooting BW and so far doing 4 x 5 and some 6x7. The test shots will help me determine exposure. That leads me to a second quesion however, what type of BW film would you prefer to use and why. I figure I'll want to use low speed film to retain as much detail and minimize graininess. I should a red filter to darken the sky and lighten foilage, right?

Any help is greatly appreciated! Clark

-- Clark King (ckphotographyusa@netscape.net), April 28, 2002.

Clark, Can't help with the Polaroid question though there are threads on this already on this forum. To answer your last question:

Only if you want the sky to be dark and the foliage light!

It doesn't make sense to use a filter or do anything else because you think that's "how it's done." What do you want your pictures to look like? A red filter on a clear blue sky will produce a very dark sky. A yellow filter will darken it slightly. With a white church, this makes sense if you want the church to stand out. With a dark church, you may be obscuring the church by darkening the sky. Though if it's a red church, it will come out lighter with a red filter!

A green filter is best for lightening green foliage in relation to other tones. (Filter passes the same color and blocks the opposite.)

I will be photographing buildings in Texas next week as well. I don't use any filters in the red/orange/yellow family with my B&W pictures now because I want my pictures to suggest the blue-sensitive photographic materials of the 19th century --- resulting in white skies on the prints. I either use no filter, or a deep blue to accentuate that white-sky, low contrast effect.

So figure out what you really want to say. If you're not sure, I'd suggest shooting two or three versions of every composition, one with no filter, and one or two with filters. Don't forget filter factor adjustments. Take notes.


-- Sandy Sorlien (sand44@mindspring.com), April 29, 2002.

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