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Thread: polaroid 545i coverage problem?

  1. #1
    Cameron MIller
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    May 2007
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    Tucson, Arizona
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    polaroid 545i coverage problem?

    Just getting my 4x5 kit up and running. Got a 545i to shoot instants. I have been having a blast at my first 4x5 images on type 54, but something is amiss. Below are scans of the worst offenders. The developer is not getting evenly spread over the paper. I have read all available PDFs from polaroid and others on proper procedure (including trouble shooting for missing corners), and have shot 54 before on school equipment with absolutely no trouble. Rollers appear unworn, round, and properly aligned and have been thoroughly cleaned. Could this be chemical viscosity? film was shipped ground w/ camera (brown truck in AZ sun.) Back is off ebay w/ 10 day inspection period.






    Bad rollers?
    Bad film?
    Bad photographer?

    I am stumped, thanks in advance for any insight...

  2. #2
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    Re: polaroid 545i coverage problem?

    The problem here is developer gel isn't being spread over the complete film. The cause could be a number of things -- something caught in the back that prevents the rollers from closing sufficiently, a bad pressure spring that pushes the rollers together, partly dried out developer pods in film that's been in an opened box too long (though UPS brown truck shipping shouldn't do this, long-expired film could), or pulling in a direction other than "straight out" when withdrawing the film packet for processing.

    I'd start by disassembling the rollers again and checking that everything is correctly aligned and mating and that there isn't a metal clip, piece of packet paper or something similar caught in the mechanism somewhere. The shoot a few more, being sure to pull straight out from the end of the holder when you process. And you don't need to pull fast, BTW; Polaroid recommends a pull rate that takes about one full second to pull the entire packet past the roller, and nothing is harmed if the metal clip hangs on the way out; by that point, the developer gel is fully spread and you just get a grip and pull a little harder to pull the clip past the processing rollers.

    If you *still* have trouble, see if you can find someone locally with another 545 to verify it isn't the film. I've heard of 545i holders warping, which could cause the rollers not to meet properly and give this kind of misdevelopment...
    If a contact print at arm's length is too small to see, you need a bigger camera. :D

  3. #3

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    Westport Island, Maine
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    Re: polaroid 545i coverage problem?

    I had problems with Type 72, and only 72, not getting developer into the corners. I fixed it by pulling the envelope through the rollers slower. I found that if I pulled too fast, the developer didn't spread evenly. My problems didn't look like yours, but the solution may be similar.

    Good luck!
    Bruce Barlow
    author of "Finely Focused" and "More Finely Focused."
    www.bwbarlow.wordpress.com

  4. #4
    Cameron MIller
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    Re: polaroid 545i coverage problem?

    well, I got ahold of a friend with a 545. My film still had coverage problems in his holder. His film worked like a charm in my 545i. Must be the film, though it is dated May 08. I still wonder if it is just a bad batch, or if it was the shipping method. Do most people ship their film overnight, or trust ground shipments. I remember somone suggesting FedEx (white trucks.) This stuff always gets me because being new I never trust what I am doing so when it goes wrong its tougher to figure it out.

  5. #5
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    Re: polaroid 545i coverage problem?

    Can't speak to 4x5 Polaroid, but I've never had film overnighted -- and had excellent results with the 667 I've gotten from Adorama by their lowest-cost shipping.

    Anyway, nice to know the 545i is okay, since that'd be much more hassle to return/replace than getting hold of Polaroid to get replacement film (which you should be able to do, now that you've verified that your film doesn't work in the other back, but the other film is fine in yours).
    If a contact print at arm's length is too small to see, you need a bigger camera. :D

  6. #6
    Ted Harris's Avatar
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    Re: polaroid 545i coverage problem?

    Call Polaroid. They will ask you to send them two or three sheets of the defective film and will send you coupons to replace the box(es). I shoo ta lot of Polaroid and fin dmaybe one box out of a hundred that needs to be replaced.

  7. #7

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    Re: polaroid 545i coverage problem?

    Replace the rollers. I had the same issue with a 6x9 back and it turns out that there were micro-cracks in the plastic parts holding the rollers. The whole roller assembly is a $13 part for 6x9. I don't know about 4x5.

  8. #8
    Leonard Peterson's Avatar
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    Re: polaroid 545i coverage problem?

    You have to store the film flat. If it sits on the long side too long (many days, not in the time it takes to ship) the developer can pool. Don't freeze the film in an effort to preserve it. Pull it slowly, the length of time it takes it say polaroid film.

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