View Full Version : My Polaroid Adventure!

11-Nov-2018, 16:49
Greetings to All -- I wanted to follow-up on my earlier question about Polaroid. I am pleased to report that the 30 packages (well, actually 29 packages) of Fuji FP-3000B dated 11/2014 is still good! With great confidence I loaded up the first pack only to discover that my 75 year old arthritic fingers are not as strong or agile as they once were. On that first pack I actually tore the black protective wrap several times before I finally managed to pull it out. Undeterred, I metered my planned shot (a photo of books on my book shelf), fired the shutter, replaced dark slide and then could not pull the white tab at all. I'll spare everyone the gory details (yes, I did actually manage a small cut in the process) but the rest of the pack was ruined in the battle that ensued.

I was down but definitely not out. I was still not certain that the film was any good because I had not succeeded in pulling any out and none of the chemical packs had broken. I took a knife and cut into one and found a gel that looked "normal" to me (of course I had no idea what normal actually looked like!). I opened box #2 and the battle continued for 6 more sheets -- but I did come to realize that the little white tab was not the film sheet at all. I know that probably sounds silly but this fact had escaped me. My fingers were getting used to the process by now -- or numb, maybe. Finally, in shot number 7 of pack 2 I made my first successful print -- a stunning photo of The Three Musketeers, Middlemarch and The Magic Mountain!! Success!

I'm so proud of myself and who was I going to share this with?!! Then I knew! -- Martha, Photographer Extraordinaire <grin>

11-Nov-2018, 17:13
Are you sure you have the pack loaded correctly. The white tab and the photograph come out of two different slots.184438

11-Nov-2018, 17:32
I did have them loaded correctly but it took me a while to realize where the print came out. I mostly kept tearing things and having to open just a bit to find the tab, and etc. But I did finally get it right and followed with several additional photos to finish out the pack and prove that I really could do it! But, a very nice drawing -- I could have used this!

Tin Can
11-Nov-2018, 17:37
And load the pack without any threading. Open and just lay it in, then close and pull black tap straight out.

Watch this. https://youtu.be/FCawE-RcjOA

12-Nov-2018, 11:50
Thanks, Randy! I'm not sure I understand what you mean when you say "load the pack without any threading."

Actually I did watch that video. But, if you look at it carefully when it came time to pull the white tab he does this in a hurry and that part is not at all clear in the video. I had to go over that segment many times before I realized what he was doing. This CAT labs video is definitely the best one on YouTube that I was able to find on this.

Tin Can
12-Nov-2018, 12:11
Ya the video is too fast where it counts.

You will waste some learning how to use it.

That's why you keep it all.

Take everything to Roberts Camera and find a person that can show you the way.


12-Nov-2018, 20:03
Hi Randy -- They know me really well down at Roberts! I believe in doing business with locals whenever possible and all my digital camera's were purchased there and I have picked up a number of items in my assortment of Bronica medium format which I loved before I arrived at LF! I am actually doing a pretty good job loading the Fujifilm FP 3000B. I love the tiny photos that result and the quality is pretty nice too -- its been a very long time since I had anything to do with Polaroid. BUT Soon I am going to have to deal with the next big hurdle -- developing LF 4 x 5 sheet film! I have Jobo reels and canister but I also picked up something called BTZS -- a bunch of tubes, short and long, and a tray -- a grad student was cleaning out space in an office he had inherited a couple years back. He was throwing this away so I took it. Anyway, I guess I am far off topic here. I need to figure out how to develop film, any thoughts on that?

Tin Can
12-Nov-2018, 20:18
Hi Martha,

Lots of ways to process film. Not a fan of tubes but many here are. I use trays for a few sheets and tanks with hangers for more.

I have bought a bit from Roberts online. I am 250 miles away in Southern Il. Formerly of Chicago and Minnesota. Retired now.

I keep things simple with chems. I prefer non stink chem and safety first.

Almost have my last Darkroom ready. Converted spare bedroom.

Cold the next few days...


13-Nov-2018, 02:00
I've had problems with some packs with failure of the white tab. I lost a pack of type 55 but learned how they are assembled. If you loose one tab you can carefully just open the holder and manually remove the top positive sheet with its associated negative so that the next one in sequence is ready.

What I found was that there was a resistance when pulling the tab and found that at the end of the negatives where they are attached to an extension of paper that is stapled, this was the barrier, it was not tearing off here. So, I carefully separated each piece by this staple. You need to do this in the dark or in a changing bag. You have to unclip the top of the pack, use an old one to practice in the daylight.

I recently bought a pack of Polacolor and exerienced the same stuck white tab. This time I found that the negatives were slightly stuck to each other. What I think happened was that it was fozen at one time as after I unstuck the sheets, similar process as above in the dark, the prints have tiny marks on them which look like where ice crystals may have formed.


13-Nov-2018, 18:02
Wonderful observation, Richydicky. This sounds exactly like the trouble that I am having. I'll have to try what you suggested. Thank-you!

13-Nov-2018, 19:56
Yes there is a staple at the red circle.

14-Nov-2018, 15:53
I semi-detached these beginning at the staple moving outward. This is on a pack that I will sacrifice, if necessary. It was hard to do in the dark so I will need to develop a strategy to do this going forward if this works -- and I am believe that it will because it sounds like this is a problem I am having.

Meanwhile, My Polaroid Adventure continues! These packs of Fujifilm were an unexpected gift! I have just begun learning LF and was planning to use Harman Direct Positive paper to provide fast feedback. Now I have both choices. Now that the weather has grown cold (first snow predicted tonight for Indianapolis) I am thinking about how I plan to learn the camera movements. I am considering constructing some type of "installation" or "still life" in my house that will allow me to practice rise, fall, tilts, shifts -- back, front, etc. I would like to set something up that will let me practice these -- something that will show the impact of these movements on my subject matter. I am thinking that it would be wonderful to be able to "hit the ground running" in the spring when I would expect to be shooting landscapes.

I have several books that I am referencing that show the camera movements -- these include View Camera Technique by Stroebel and Way Beyond Monochrome by Lambrecht and Woodhouse. I have a Cambo Camera to try this out on and I have an Intrepid Camera on the way. (I think the later will be easier for an old lady to lug around come spring!) Any thoughts on my "Installation" -- preferably stuff that I would have in the house?

Tin Can
14-Nov-2018, 16:17
Use anything handy. Most of us have all kinds of 'stuff'. I am setting up that sort of thing now. I also do LF selfies.

You can even shoot pics of your cameras, but only post a few as some here consider that narcissistic.

Both your books are the best extant. I have them.

Don't read too much...:)

15-Nov-2018, 21:56
I want to report back that the pulling apart of the film and the negatives as described above, seems to have done the trick. I have run 2 more packs of film through the camera and lost only one photo from both of these, so I think my problem with the Polaroid is resolved. Now I am searching for things to craft an "exhibit" for working on camera movements. I am looking for stuff to show parallel lines and stuff that shows perspective. I would have no problem if the weather were nicer but I am searching for inside the house stuff. Is there a better spot in the Forum for this discussion as it is no longer about Polaroid? I'm still pretty new here!

Tin Can
16-Nov-2018, 07:22
I found shift and rise to be very interesting in studio.

Then as you intuit, it gets more interesting.