View Full Version : Processing Polaroid Type 55 with conventional developers?

Scott Davis
14-May-2014, 10:50
Has anyone here processed Polaroid Type 55 by NOT using the instant film chemistry but rather pulled the negative out of the packet and developed it in (insert your developer of choice here)? I'd be running mine in Pyrocat HD, but any results would be appreciated. I have two boxes of the stuff left, and I don't know if the chemical pods are any good in it, or if they'll process without leaving gaps/smears/etc. so I want to try and use it without using the chemical pods. Any/all advice is appreciated.

Brian C. Miller
14-May-2014, 12:39
I found this in an old thread:

... Remember that regular fixer will peel the emulsion right off. If you want a hard neg you first use sodium sulfate (2 min.) then reg fix w/ hardener (1min) then put into clean sodium sulfate (2 min.) wash as normal richardwarren@rcn.com

I did not know that there was a problem with regular fixer and the emulsion! So it needs two separate sodium sulfate baths, A and B. Bath A -> fixer -> Bath B.

I have a couple of old loose sheets at home I could try. Hmmm...

Scott Davis
14-May-2014, 13:07
I wonder if, since the issue is with going straight into a hardening fixer, would using TF-4 instead be a good idea? I quit using Rapid Fixer a long time ago (and even when I did, I used it without the hardener for paper because I was toning).

David Schaller
14-May-2014, 19:09
I'm also interested in this issue. I shot one sheet from my remaining stock and had smearing/blooming at the top of the image.

15-May-2014, 13:54
Hello, I did some tests developing about ten Pola 55 with dried pod and, for ricreate in some way the look of this film, I tried to use a monobath. After some tries I found that this film fix very very fast and I obtained what appear to my eye a pretty good negative exposing for EI 20-25 and developing with the following formula:

HC-110 8ml
Household ammonia (<5%) 40ml
Ilford Rapid fixer 1+4 2ml
water to 200ml

The process is complete after about 3-4 minutes at 24C (I checked with a deep green safety lamp and after this time the film was completely fixed).
Because the fixer quantity is so small, the develop was followed by a bath of Ilford Rapid Fixer 1+4 for 30" and then 10' in HCA for clearing antihalo and I didn't notice any harm to the emulsion.
I didn't printed negatives yet and contrast seems a bit low but similiar to the negatives developed with original pod chemistry using the same EI of 25

For boosting contrast I did some test using sodium hydroxide as alkali replacing the 40ml of ammonia of the formula with 4g of sodium hydroxide and using the same amount of fixer (2ml) using the concentrate and not the 1+4 solution, but probably due the high pH, the fix goes bad (the solution had a strong ammonia smell) and there was a faint dichroic fog on developed films; these negatives were stronger and with a bluish color more similar to the original P/N55 negatives

I hope to have a "printing feedback" the next week when I will have some spare time for a print session.
This is my experience and I will be glad if someone would share experiences with this fantastic film.

16-May-2014, 05:47
thanks for this thread, scott.
i have a few boxes of 55, and i was going
to process it "like panatomic x" since
that is what it is always claimed to be (like)
i never would have thought you had to bathe the film in ammonia
or sodium sulfate-fix-sulfate ..
good to know