View Full Version : Polaroid question

10-Jul-2006, 19:07
I hate to ask a question about something as mundane as a Polaroid, but what the heck. I've just had my 4x5 outfit for a few days and I'm starting off by playing with Polaroids. I have a box of Polaroid 79. The problem is that the images come out looking VERY green. Well, sort of a sickly yellow-green. They also have wet splotches all over them.

I looked up the specs online, which say to leave it for 90 seconds before opening, but I wonder if that's not enough. I also may be underexposing, as for the moment I'm using my DSLR as a light meter until I can get something better.

Any ideas?

Donald Qualls
11-Jul-2006, 11:37
Green color could come from fluorescent lighting -- there's no color correction stage as there would be in printing from C-41 negatives; instead, you get the color that's really there, as if you were shooting daylight balanced E-6 film. Underdevelopment will usually produce an orange print, because the cyan dye is the slowest migrating from negative to print; usually the contrast will be a bit flat, too. Underexposure produces a dark print without much change in color balance, and reciprocity failure from very long exposures will cause a color shift to blue or cyan in most peel-apart color films (the cyan layer has the most reciprocity loss, and being underexposed, will show as darker in the print).

Wet splotches -- I'm used to coaterless peel-apart Polaroids being pretty uniformly damp on the print surface when peeled; they need a few minutes to dry to the touch. If they're unevenly wet or unevenly developed, I'd wonder if there's a problem with the rollers needing cleaning or even (very, very bad) being bent.

11-Jul-2006, 14:24
This is a daylight balanced film that was shot under daylight. In fact it was approaching sundown, so the ambient light had a very warm color temperature, but even the blue sky was green.

11-Jul-2006, 14:56
I think it's worthwhile posting a question back to Polaroid to get the straight goods on your problem. Look on their website for a contact link.

I can't think of ANY reason for getting a "green" image when shooting in the sort of lighting environment you're shooting in. Donald is right though... if it were used in flourescent lighting then that's a different story!

What was the expiry date on the box? Was it stored properly?

Strange situation indeed!

Good luck... Polaroid film isn't inexpensive by any stretch of the imagination. So, I hope the problem gets solved soon! :)


11-Jul-2006, 20:50
Type 79 should not be that green assuming that you are not underexposing, or shooting in blue light (like heavy evening shade). Aside from this, I have seen some greenish tint when I've tried to couple a polarizer with the stuff though. When I shoot type 79, I don't filter, just shoot in good light and give accurate exps. I've found the mid day shooting for any polaroid gives the best color renditions. Also, the temps will effect your colors. On the box is a temp correction guideline that shows how long to process the prints based on the temps. I hope that you have fresh film.

The splotches I can't really help with. Just like the others have mentioned, make sure your rollers are clean and are giving an even distribution of the goop.

:) Tammy

11-Jul-2006, 21:33
I've had a similar experience, greenish prints with splotches and streaks, with outdated Polaroid (59). I suspected what Capocheny said--the "consume by" date and storage. I've read Polaroids don't last much beyond the date and likely cause uneaven development if not stored flat. If your films are new, ???.

12-Jul-2006, 21:14
The box expires in May 2007. It suggests refrigeration, but Calumet in Cambridge keeps it on the shelf.

Anyway, I've had my 4x5 for literally 5 days now, and the Polaroids were just to get my feet wet. I've gotten some transparencies that look pretty darn nice for someone who has been shooting a digital rebel for the last few years, so I'm not going to pursue the polaroid problem much. I should probably get a B+W instant film just to check exposure, though.

Thanks, all, for your ideas!