View Full Version : Resolving power of Type 55

31-Mar-2007, 12:42
Hi everyone,

Not really given it much thought, but this week I took a couple of shots of a church, one on Polaropid type 55 and another on Tmax. Well I am pleasantly suprised. The Polaroid is sharper - is this to be expected? There's not a lot in it, but enlarging to 100% on the screen, details on a gravestone are clearly more defined than on the Tmax neg. I processed in T-max developer for 7 minutes. Maybe the contrast is a bit lower but with a few curves adjustment in PS after scanning then the 55 is superb!
I've heard that Polaroid film is actually Kodak Panatomic-x - is this true? Does anyone know what the lines resolution is of both films?
Anyway, today I one happy bunny! Tomorrow I go to Ely Cathedral for the day to shoot some more Polaroid. Not having a darkroom, I think I will stick with 55. Expensive but it is my one indulgence, LOL.
Kind regards

JW Dewdney
1-Apr-2007, 01:40
My thoughts were that it wasn't pan-x, except possibly, if it was - it was so but with a radical developer. Ususally you don't capture a whole lot of subject brightness range. I always thought it LOOKED super sharp - but didn't bear enlarging too much beyond 2x, after which it sort of fell apart...

Ted Harris
1-Apr-2007, 06:15
No sense in arguing whether or ot it is Pan X since there is no way to know. I find it an extremely sharp film and have ha no trouble enlarging it to 4x and beyond.

Jim Jones
1-Apr-2007, 09:53
With identical setup and appropriate exposure correction there is still one factor to consider: the film holders. Before attributing the difference in sharpness to film characteristics this possibility should be eliminated.

2-Apr-2007, 02:11
Film holder differences..hadn't thought of that. Come to think of it, the polaroid is sharper at the extreme edges. I'm using the 545 Polaroid holder for the 55 and the Kodak ReadyLoad holder for the T-max - could there be a problem in tolerances of the Kodak holder I wonder? Also wonder if cut film holders (e.g Toyo or Fidelity) are better than the ReadyLoad holders at holding film flat?

thanks for the input.



Ted Harris
2-Apr-2007, 05:57
There have been many discussions about film holder flatness, check the archives. There is no doubt that the Polaroid holder will have ever so slightly less film flatness than other holders because there is no pressure plate. The difference, however, is so slight in the opinion of many (or most) as to matter less than other things that contribute to image clarity such as the proper alignment of the back, placement of the gg, etc.

Gene McCluney
3-Apr-2007, 11:24
I have a story about Type 55. about 20 years ago there was a Poster Maker set up in the common space of our local shopping mall. They would make 2x3ft b/w posters of anything, and they even took on-the-spot portraits to make into posters. They had a large processing machine that would print from a 35mm sized negative onto this large roll paper. The printing and processing what done in one large machine. If they were going to shoot a negative to make a poster from, be it a copy negative, or an on-the-spot portrait. They used a Crown Graphic with a Polaroid back and type 55 film. They just used a 35mm area right in the middle of the sheet. After processing the type 55, they would take the scissors and cut the middle out into a 35mm strip, which they would then insert into the printing head of the large machine. The posters looked sharp and clear...and this was from just a 35mm section of the whole type 55 negative.