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Thread: Type 55 longevity???

  1. #1

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    Type 55 longevity???

    I was cleaning out some boxes from a couple of moves ago and came across some good stuff - 23 5 x 7 holders, for one.

    Also 50 sheets of type 55. 40 sheets are still in unopened/sealed boxes, 10 are in opened box. Expiration is in 2006

    Any idea if they'll still be good? I still have a 545 around here someplace so I'll dig it out and see, just curious if anyone has used stuff this old.

  2. #2

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    Re: Type 55 longevity???

    I am currently using some with 12/2008 and 1/2009 expiration dates and, other than the occasional missing corner on the chemistry spread, it works just great! However, 2006 may be pushing the outer limits of usable. You won't know until you actual try it. Good luck!

  3. #3

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    Re: Type 55 longevity???

    I'd be feeling the pods to see if they're solid or still soft like pb. If solid, you're not going to get anything since the goo is toast. Ive heard/read that the film can be processed like regular sheet film but have no 411 on that. Good luck !
    Last edited by Fred L; 28-Dec-2017 at 18:00.
    notch codes ? where we're going, we don't need notch codes.

  4. #4
    adelorenzo's Avatar
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    Re: Type 55 longevity???

    I shot a box of Type 51 from the 1980s a couple of years ago. Some of the pods were dried out but those that weren't gave decent results. If your pods are still viable I'd reckon it's quite good. Also worth a small fortune if you decide to sell it.

  5. #5

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    Re: Type 55 longevity???

    I used a few from that vintage last year and still got the chemicals to spread. I will admit to helping them along (I know, you aren't supposed to, but a brayer does make them spread better and I wasn't expecting much without it). I still have a couple of sheets from '08-ish that I need to use soon. It's worth trying if you have the holder.
    Bethe King
    www.ewfisher.com

  6. #6

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    Re: Type 55 longevity???

    The unopened boxes are still sealed in the original plastic trays so I'd guess maybe OK. The open box, not so sure. I think I'll try a couple from the open box and see.

    I'd probably sell them if it looks like they're OK - I was never such a big fan of the stuff myself. By the way, aren't you supposed to wash/clear the negatives? I seem to recall once having a tank for that, but lord knows where it is now.

    Edit: You weren't kidding about them going for big bucks! I looked on eBay and folks are asking $200 - $300 per 20 sheet box or more for stuff of the same vintage or even older. Of course, asking and getting are often somewhat different.

  7. #7

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    Re: Type 55 longevity???

    I've heard that you can expose the film, rip it out of the packet in the dark, and develop the negative as regular film. Makes sense to me, as Kodak supplied the film for T55 to Polaroid right up to the end of production.
    You don't get a print out of it that way, of course. I don't recall the exact procedure, but someone here must know it.
    If you like the particular characteristics (fine grain, short tonal scale) of the T55 negative, there's your chance.

  8. #8
    multi format
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    Re: Type 55 longevity???

    look for processing times for panatomic x, or DBI
    rumor has it that it was a pan x type emulsion that was used.
    have fun !

  9. #9

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    Re: Type 55 longevity???

    I have used 2009 vintage recently and it's been fine. Prices range in the $150-225/box range for 08-09 stuff. It is/was Pan-x. It has a nice look, great tonality and grain. It can be finicky and the holder design mostly sucks, but it is fun and useful to use for tests and stuff where you need quick feedback.

  10. #10

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    Re: Type 55 longevity???

    Shot a few sheets of the 2006 55. It works. First couple showed that the goop hadn't made it al the way to the end of the photo but by the 3rd try it was looking OK. I hesitated a couple of times - once mod-way and once toward the end on the attached photo. Not sure if the two eailures were due to film or goop or my holder, or ME, but I think the holder is a bit dodgy - it would be a good idea to run a brayer over it I think.

    Anyhow my conclusion is that the film is pretty much OK

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