View Full Version : Polaroid 55 clearing problem UPDATE

Kip Duff
12-Aug-2005, 13:49
Thanks so much for your responses to my previous posting (2005-08-04).

I bought another box of T55 and the gel isn't much different- I still have to masage the gel off with fingers- a minute or two for each sheet. The gel is kinda bonded to the emulsion. This is after hour or more in recommended SS solution with occasional agitation. I have not tried water with small amount of dishsoap. I posted to Polaroid and they did not have much to suggest over what you have already described. However, they are giving me a voucher for a free box of 55. They also invited me to send some of my unprocessed 55 film to their labs for analysis: I am going to do this. Based on feedback in forums, I get the impression that this product is having significant drifts in production quality- many people report that the gel comes off relatively easilly and others report the same problems I have. If this is true and Polaroid is not aware, sending samples will help.

Thanks, Kip.

13-Aug-2005, 09:51
I would still recommend soaking in water a lot longer. After only an hour or two in solution it tkes forever to get the goop off, I hve had the exct same results as you with many, many boxes. I soak the negs in water for a while (often overnight) and all the goop falls off by itself. Then I stick them in solution for about ten minutes or so and they're great.

Kip Duff
13-Aug-2005, 13:43
I will try that but I'm worried- some of the shots I took 18 years ago have extremely good detail. I'm enlarging them with my Epson scanner and printing 17 x 21 on Epson 4800 (and there's still room to go bigger). With new work I'm doing, I want to maintain this level of detail. Do you see any fall-off of detail due to long soak times? Thanks, Kip.

14-Aug-2005, 13:35
Absolutely no detail loss at all. Polaroid says they're fine for up to 72 hours in liquid - I've left them longer. My work is all extremely (10+:1) detailed macro shots of insects, and detail is of utmost importance to me and I've never had a problem. The only thing that happens is that after a long number of days the coating falls off the plastic back. Up until then there's no detail loss.

To be honest, I think the longer you soak them the better, since you won't be trying to rub off the goop and possibly introducing scratches or rub marks.

Michael J. Kravit
15-Aug-2005, 19:34
Don't sweat it.

This has been a typical problem over the past few years. I think it started when Polaroid changed the color of their packets from gray to black. Anyway, after clearing I wask my enegatives for 20-30 minutes and the gel all washes away.

Don't worry about any loss of image detail or ill affects from washing.


16-Aug-2005, 07:15
Michael, could you advise again the procedures to clear the gel without scratching the negatives? My last session with 10 films had scratches in 5 of them!

I had soaked them in SS for about 5 minutes followed by washing in running water. I used my fingers to try to clear the gel.

17-Aug-2005, 08:29
Chong: Did you let them slosh arounf loosely when you washed them? The emulsion is very delicate and needs to be kept way from the sharp corners of the others. For washing I keep the paper part on the bottom and use that to hang them over the edge of my washing container. That keeps them from rubbing against each other.

If you soak them in water first for a couple of hours there shouldn't be a need to clear any gel off. If there is I just hold them under running water and give them a quick rub between my fingers, then on to the solution.

17-Aug-2005, 21:48
Thanks. Basically soak them in water for a long time and then in SS before washing off.

I "process" the negtives individually, so that there is no risk of the negatives scraching each other.

17-Aug-2005, 22:12
Chong, how then are they getting scratched?

18-Aug-2005, 20:26
That is why I do not understand.

All I did was soaked each one in SS for 5 minutes then wash it in running water, and then used my finges (I think they are clean!) to wipe the gel off.

And when I looked at the negatives. I saw these scratches! I am now afraid to even touch the gel!

19-Aug-2005, 00:41
It sounds like you're being too rough on them. fter soaking for a few hours mine just need a very gentle wipe. You might take a throw-away shot so that you can experiment with just how much you can get awy with before scratching the negative.

19-Aug-2005, 08:15

I will try the soaking for a night method and see how it turn out.