View Full Version : Type 55 problem

paul r w freeman
1-Jul-2006, 13:50
I've been shooting and processing T55 for the negs for several years now. I follow the recommendations in the Polaroid tech notes closely... but I keep having the following problem and wonder if anyone can tell me what is going on, and how I can fix it/improve my technique.

The problem is in the shadow areas of the image and manifests itself as a pale brown staining. No amount of clearing seems to get rid of it. Usually its not noticable until the washing stage.

I wonder if my problem is exposure rather than processing, or whether with the brown stain is just a result of the variability in the polaroid processing.

Any ideas?

Ted Harris
1-Jul-2006, 13:59
Are you shooting fresh film? Polaroid sheet films have a far shorter shelf life after their expiration date than other films. Even refrigerated find that T55 starts to behave flaky when it is only a few months out of date ... when it is a year or two it can be real touch and go. You can still use it by processing it in regular developer as Pan X.

paul r w freeman
2-Jul-2006, 01:22
Hmm... I have never looked after the T55 that well, as I didn't realise that it had these problems. Some of the images which are affected were shot on very new film. However, sometimes its been a long time until they were processed. I'll shoot the next lot on fresh film and make sure they are processed rapidly and see if I can nail this.

Here is an example of one shot on fresh film, but left for several months before processing. Check the top right corner in the deep shadow, there is a blocked out effect instead of the expected clear emulsion.


This shot was definitely underexposed (judging by the print). Would lengthening processing time help here?

Ted Harris
2-Jul-2006, 07:21
Paul, I want to be sure I properly undrstand what you are doing. When you say may months passed before processing od you mean before you processed the film in its packet as Polaroid film? If that is the case then what I see in the upper right corner is the sort of development 'error' I have seen many times with out-of-date T55 and/or film where the development pod has been stressed in one way or another (subjeted to temprature extremes, stepped on by the dog, etc.) Is this the case?

Donald Qualls
2-Jul-2006, 15:48
Another issue that arises -- Polaroid 4x5 packet films (like T55) are known for the packets starting to dry out and give uneven or incomplete development as little as a couple weeks after the sealed box is opened. Exposing, removing the film without processing, and then holding the exposed film for a prolonged period of time before putting it back into the holder and processing is asking for this kind of problem.

The only reason I can see to do this is if in-field processing isn't (for on reason or another) practical -- unless this is because it's just too danged cold for Polaroid, I'd suggest it's worth the effort to solve the field clearing puzzle for your T55 and process at the time of exposure, and additionally use it up fairly promptly after breaking the seal on a box. This stuff is, IMO, too expensive to mistreat... :(