View Full Version : Polaroid confusion: 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 59, 72, 79

David Carson
2-Jul-2007, 09:41
Ok, I'm wondering about the look of these films, as Polaroid's site (http://polaroid.com/products/product_list.jsp?FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374302028649&bmUID=1183389609426&bmLocale=en_US&sc=Sheetfilm) is very unhelpful, and their datasheets (http://www.polaroid.com/service/filmdatasheets/4_5/index.html) are about data, not the look.

Can anyone give me a subjective rundown? (and with coaterless polaroids, does the coater stuff come with the film or does one have to order that separate?)

2-Jul-2007, 10:29
There are curves in the datasheet that allude to differences in "look". You might want to indicate what kind of look you are after; folks here might have an opinion of what will be the best bets for you to start with.

Coaters come in the box with the film that requires coating.

Edit: At one time Polaroid had two "overview" publications - one on color film, the other on B&W film - that provided datasheets and examples. You might want to call 1-800-Polaroid and ask if they are still available. Perhaps that will help you visualize the differences.

David Carson
2-Jul-2007, 12:02
Yeah, I can't really visualize the curves. I'm just thinking of either a) sample shots, or b) a statement like, "51 is like tri-x" or similar.

David Carson
3-Jul-2007, 09:15
Wow, you guys are quiet! Well, I finally figured out where to find examples...flickr.com. Just type in "polaroid type 51" on their search box and viola!

David A. Goldfarb
3-Jul-2007, 09:38
The 55 neg is said to be Panatomic-X and does look and act a lot like it.

79 is popular for techniques like transfers and lifts, as well as general color proofing. It has a kind of muted, creamy palette.

Those are the ones I've used the most.

If you're an APUG subscriber, here's an 809 image (8x10" version of 79)--


and here's a 55--