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Ben R
28-Aug-2007, 11:20
Hi,

I'm thinking of using this film. It seems to have great characteristics for a negative film and would actually work out cheaper for me rather than buying and having film processed. (Doing it myself is not an option for lots of reasons).

Can I ask a few questions I have after trying to research via the posts on this forum?

1) The film seems to be smaller than 4X5", is it significantly smaller? I don't want to be shooting medium format sizes.

2) According to Polaroid the negative is very sensitive. On some pdf's they recommend using a fixer to harden, on others they say not to. Any consensis?

3) The holders seems to be the root of most problems when processing this film, should I be buying new?

4) The times specified on the website don't show above 24 degrees centigrade. Where I will be working is approximately 38 degrees at present outdoors. Are there any times for hotter climates or only colder? For that matter, are there any reciprocity tables?

5) Given the heat, can this film be refrigerated and if so how long should it thaw out before use?

6) How do you expose for this negative? Do you expose for the shadows or the mid tones?

7) Can these negatives be scanned using a regular epson? I understand that preserving the border will not allow fitting into the regular holders but I have no use for the border at all.

8) I'm hoping to have the negs drum scanned for exhibition at 40X30", any problems given that I'm quite happy with my 645 trannies at 20X16"?

Many many thanks,

Vaughn
28-Aug-2007, 11:51
1) The film seems to be smaller than 4X5", is it significantly smaller?

Actual image size is slightly smaller, over-all size is slightly larger. So if you print with all the type 55 edge effects, then it is larger than 4x5 -- if you print inside the borders, than it will be slightly (but not significantly) smaller than 4x5.

2) On some pdf's they recommend using a fixer to harden, on others they say not to.

Optional -- I don't. Once dry, the film is as tough as any other.

3) The holders ...should I be buying new?

A lightly used one will be fine -- check the set of two rollers -- no pits in the metal, no developer gunk dried all over the insides, etc.

4) The times specified on the website don't show above 24 degrees centigrade. Where I will be working is approximately 38 degrees at present outdoors.

If I am outside the recommended temp range, I remove the exposed film without processing it -- I then wait until I can control the temperature before processing. I have worked with type 55 in -0C temperatures with no problem.

5) Given the heat, can this film be refrigerated and if so how long should it thaw out before use? I just used some outdated Type 55 (1988) that has been in the fridgerator for the past 14 years. Give it an hour to warm up from the fridge to be safe. I don't know about freezing Type 55.

6) How do you expose for this negative? Do you expose for the shadows or the mid tones?

Always the shadows...I have used filters and/or selenium toning to increase contrast.

I don't see any problem with scanning Type 55 like any other 4x5 film.

Have fun!

Vaughn

Ben R
28-Aug-2007, 12:13
I've been reading that for the negative you expose at iso 25-32, with filter factor this could be interesting!

PViapiano
28-Aug-2007, 16:39
Do NOT freeze Type 55!!!

David A. Goldfarb
28-Aug-2007, 16:57
I rate the neg at 40, the print at 80, but if the light is flat, you can rate both at 50, like it says on the box, and split the difference.

If it's very warm and you have to process on the spot, just go for the minimum time recommended.

You can use filters, toning, intensification, and reduction on the neg, just like any B&W film (the emulsion is said to be Panatomic-X). You can lengthen development time a bit as well to increase contrast somewhat--not as much as with normal development because with Polaroid you're essentially developing and fixing at the same time.

BrianShaw
28-Aug-2007, 17:11
Do NOT freeze Type 55!!!

Do NOT freeze any Polaroid Instant film!!!

JW Dewdney
28-Aug-2007, 17:14
in my experience - you have to be VERY careful exposing for the shadows with 55... as the highlights can block up really badly...!!

Though you can significantly alter this effect by using a traditional developer from what I understand...

Ben R
29-Aug-2007, 06:10
I was intending to use a red filter on the lens to try and keep the sky from blowing, on the other hand the 2 stop filter factor is not to be ignored when shooting with a film that slow and with that bad reciprocity characteristics. Half hour exposures in early morning light anyone?

David A. Goldfarb
29-Aug-2007, 06:23
The highlights on the print can block up easily, but I don't find that to be the case particularly with the neg. If anything, I find that Type 55 negs are a little on the thin side (and they scan quite well as a result, if you're scanning), and usually print well around grade 3. I rate the neg at EI 40. If you rate it at a lower speed, of course, you'll get more density.

darr
29-Aug-2007, 07:12
Ben,

Here is a page on Polaroid 55 Tips (http://www.cameraartist.com/words/2006/07/how_i_shoot_polaroid_55_pn.html) I made a while ago. There is some good info and links there.

Best,
Darr

IanMazursky
29-Aug-2007, 18:21
Hi Ben,

I drum scan hundreds of type 55 a year on our Howtek 7500.
They are like most b&w negatives except for the fragility of the neg.
If they are not fixed and cleaned properly, they almost always have some damage and small amounts of dried gel or paper attached.
You will get the best results from a drum scan especially with Kami mounting fluid.

If you have any questions about drum scanning type 55 pm me.

best
-ian

Ben R
30-Aug-2007, 05:31
If I clean as per the polaroid instructions using sodium sulphite and then use the Kodak fix/hardener that they recommend, would that be OK?

David A. Goldfarb
30-Aug-2007, 06:06
The gel or paper residue is from inadequate washing.

Since the film is just a conventional emulsion on a thin base, I don't think it's necessarily softer than other modern films. The gel containing the processing chemicals is soft, but that's not the emulsion, and it's supposed to wash away. Sometimes I've found it necessary to alternate between washing and sulfite soak to get it off.

It is probably more likely that some of the people who shoot Type 55 aren't accustomed to handling wet negatives, or handling in the field isn't optimal, so if you're scanning other people's Type 55 negs, they are more likely to have damage or other problems.

Ben R
30-Aug-2007, 06:14
Can I ask a stupid question? I assume that you can open and close the holder with sheets inside. For all the different methods seemingly used to remove the sheet after exposing for processing later, why not just open up the holder (dismantle the sides) and take it out like that?

David A. Goldfarb
30-Aug-2007, 06:46
Unnecessarily complicated, and it isn't designed to work that way, so there's more potential to damage the holder.

The holder holds one 4x5" packet at a time. To release without developing, move the lever to the open position and press the release button. It's that simple, and if it doesn't work, then the holder needs to be repaired. If the catch is bent, you can fix it yourself. There used to be good instructions for this on the SK Grimes website, and they are probably still there.

Ben R
30-Aug-2007, 07:04
I've heard that there is a lot of potential to tear it open doing that?

steve simmons
30-Aug-2007, 07:29
Simple answers

Use a newer 545 or 545i holder. They are better made and the tolerances are much better.

to get a good neg use an EI of about 40. To get a good print use an EI of about 80

it is easy to remove the film w/o processing and then re-insert it later for processing. Do not disassemble the holder to get the film out. This is not necessary and risky. Just push the cover back over the film after exposing, leave the lever in the up (load) position, push the release to release the catch inside the holder and pull the film out. Really, it is not any more complicated than this.

wash the film with a 10% solution of Sodium Sulfite to clear it

it is great for scanning, just build a curve in your scanning software to bring in the image as a full scale image. Don't do a bad scan and then fix it in Photoshop. Would you want to make a bad neg and then try and fix it in the darkroom?

just try it.

steve simmons

Ben R
30-Aug-2007, 12:41
Does anyone have any info about scanning in a epson flatbed (for proofing more than anything), can you trim the border enough to fit it into the holder?

2nd question, again border related, if I don't trim the border, will it fit into standard 4X5 envelopes for storage?

Ben R
31-Aug-2007, 09:15
Just had a look at the flikr polaroid 55 pages. Apart from the generally awful pictures there (some were good, most were very medicore) there is a worryingly high percentage, far over 50%, which show uneven development or streak marks. I'm assuming that they are scanning the print not the neg but is that the norm?

David A. Goldfarb
31-Aug-2007, 09:24
No, the border is sloppy, but inside the border the image should be clean.

Regarding scanning in general (I don't have an Epson), since the base of this film is kind of thin, it does better with a glass carrier than with an open carrier, I find--also true for enlarging. If I want to do a quick scan, though, with an open carrier on my Agfa Duoscan, I usually trim the neg with a scissors to a little larger than where the perforations are.

PViapiano
31-Aug-2007, 09:45
Regarding pulling the packet from the holder...just put the lever on release, push the button, pull gently and use the thumb of your other hand (slightly wetting it first helps a lot) to push the film a bit from the exposure window. Works great with quick/ready loads, too!

Ben R
31-Aug-2007, 09:55
Can you use ready loads such as the Fuji ones in the polaroid holder as well?

P.S. thanks to everyone here for all this help!

*edit*, just found the chart on Robert White, he says that it works but the lack of pressure plate...

Vaughn
31-Aug-2007, 09:56
Just had a look at the flikr polaroid 55 pages.

Look at the images here:

http://elaineling.com/

or find the work of Mark Klett. It is probably best to judge a product by the results that good artists get from working with it, not by the results of those playing with it. That said, one of the good things about Polaroid is that the property of being "Instant" encourages a feeling of play, to experiment and to push borders. Which more people probably would play with it if it wasn't so expensive.

Vaughn

Vaughn
31-Aug-2007, 10:13
Regarding pulling the packet from the holder...just put the lever on release, push the button, pull gently and use the thumb of your other hand (slightly wetting it first helps a lot) to push the film a bit from the exposure window. Works great with quick/ready loads, too!

The wet thumb technique above is excellent (it works great). As I pull the film packet out of the holder, I firmly grasp the film packet so that I am pressing on both the packet and the film inside. This prevents the metal strip at the end of the film packet from snagging and accidentily causing the packet to open as it passes through the rollers of the holder.

Vaughn

PViapiano
1-Sep-2007, 00:41
Can you use ready loads such as the Fuji ones in the polaroid holder as well?

P.S. thanks to everyone here for all this help!

*edit*, just found the chart on Robert White, he says that it works but the lack of pressure plate...

Ben, I've found no problem with either Ready or Quick loads in the Polaroid 545i holder.

Ben R
1-Sep-2007, 13:09
Does anyone have a reciprocity table for 55? From what I read the reciprocity of this film is pretty awful but given its application with LF and its slow speed there should be a lot of info around as to reciprocity up to minute long exposures. I can't seem to find it though..

Another problem I'm having is that I can't find Kodak Rapid Fix with Hardener or Permawash (as an alternative) here in the UK. Anyone have any suggestions?

Vaughn, I found that website inspiring especially given that I will be doing much the same type of shooting. Maybe i'll try contacting her?

Alex Hawley
1-Sep-2007, 20:51
Here's the Type 55 reciprocity table published in "Polaroid Land Photography" by Ansel Adams. It works.

Indicated 8 seconds 2x = 16 seconds
16 seconds 2.5x = 40 seconds
32 seconds 3x = 96 seconds
64 seconds 4x = 256 seconds

Ben R
2-Sep-2007, 02:11
That is a lot more than the polaroid people say, according to the polaroid chart you don't get to a two stop correction until after 100 seconds! Wow, once you get into minute exposures it can start taking a loooong time. Many thanks Alex. Is the book still in publication or available?

Ben R
2-Sep-2007, 02:16
Well that didn't take long, just bought one on amazon for £8 :-)

Ted Harris
2-Sep-2007, 05:17
Ben, one more point. You can search the archives here and you will find lots of information on T55 film. If you are going to process later out of the camera, take care when you remove the film packet. Sometimes they don't come out as they are supposed to (as Steve described). When this happens you need to do a bit of wiggling and pushing to be sure you get it out without destroying the packet. A year or so ago I posted a Polaroid tech sheet on how to do this.

BTW the image you see as my avatar is a T55 shot.

Ben R
2-Sep-2007, 05:23
Ted, it was the first thing I did! Ditto the p.net archives. I try not to annoy with lots of questions that have been answered time and time again. BTW, I can't see an avatar?

RJ has been pm-ing me with huge amount of useful information for my specific needs, he said that due to the bad reciprocity failure and the difference based on light temperature that he uses multi exposures with a 'safe' shutter speed. This does seem to answer the issue other than a worry on my befalf of image registration issues due to cocking the shutter multiple times thereby inducing movement. Any thoughts?

Ben R
3-Sep-2007, 03:36
The saga continues, Polaroid recommend using Kodak Rapid Fixer with Hardened parts A+B but it's not available in the UK. Neither is Permawash neither is Ilfords hardener apparently.

So I do a search and come up with this:

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/polaroid55.html

From this site no less. I can buy Potassium Alum easily and it being in powder form it will be far easier to transport abroad. Anyone have any thoughts on Don Leavitt's method?

Ole Tjugen
3-Sep-2007, 04:25
http://www.polaroid.com/service/filmdatasheets/4_5/55fds.pdf is a bit vague, but the fix+hardener is ONLY for hardening. It's not necessary.

David A. Goldfarb
3-Sep-2007, 04:46
Hardening only benefits the emulsion when wet. The purpose of hardener in fixer is mainly to prevent damage during the wash stage.

If you're really concerned about this, I would say just be careful when washing your negs, or use a washing method that keeps them separate.

Ben R
3-Sep-2007, 05:18
I didn't realise that, so if I'm letting the negs hang seperately in the sodium sulphite solution without touching anything then I won't have anything to worry about?

David A. Goldfarb
3-Sep-2007, 06:37
That would be more than sufficient. I shuffle them in a tray without any problems.

Another reason not to harden negatives is that it makes them harder to tone, if you want to increase contrast. You would have to soak them in plain hypo or a non-hardening fixer again before toning.

Ben R
3-Sep-2007, 14:37
That would be the explanation for AA's suggestion of using fixer after the hardener before applying the toner.

Chris Strobel
3-Sep-2007, 15:16
Hmm...ok, I've always gone from the clearing tray to kodak rapid fixer for 2-3 min. to a 20 min. or so wash thinking this would make them more archival and tougher for handling, scanning, etc.So you're saying as long as you don't scratch em in the wash its not going to matter if I fix em or not when it comes to latter handling, or archivability?I'm somewhat a newbie too with T55, and the $ savings from not having to buy fixer would be welcome.If just clearing the negs, no fix, how long do you need to wash?

Thanks.........Chris

Bill_1856
3-Sep-2007, 19:32
Polaroid seems to be one of the few companies which actually tries to help its profssional customers. Plan on spending some dollars on telephone (not just free email) and call their professional division. You will be able to talk to a real person, and have your questions answered now, or they will get back to you (honest!). Be persistant, but not obnoxious -- they will try to help you if you will let them.
(PS, it seems to me that for the conditions your are describing, you'd be better off with regular film, with lots of bracketing and backups. You mention "cheaper" but then refer to drum scans and huge prints. Is this for real?)

Ben R
4-Sep-2007, 01:40
Bill, here in the UK getting a custom process of a sheet of 4X5 (i.e. not the one size fits all solution of all the pro labs here that I found out about a couple of days ago through some phone calls) costs approz £10-15 per sheet. Learning the developing from scratch would not only cost me a fortune but also put my project back by at least a year and be pretty much impractical for many reasons. I have to build up a body of work before trying to get the funding to make it into exhibitions and hopefully a book. Trying to do so at a tenner a sheet would bankrupt me very quickly!

Ole Tjugen
4-Sep-2007, 02:39
Get this - http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Jobo-CPE2-Colour-Processing-Kit_W0QQitemZ150156128018QQihZ005QQcategoryZ29993QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem - and a 2509n sheet film spiral.

You can buy the spiral new from Nova Darkroom (http://www.novadarkroom.com) for three tenners.

Learning developing from scratch is so easy that a six-year old can do it - I did, at that age.

You will save a LOT of tenners by starting right away.

Ben R
4-Sep-2007, 04:07
There are more reasons for not doing the development myself than just the cost of start up equipment as I mentioned earlier. I'm not going to go into all of them as no doubt I would have to justify each one to the many who put importance into the process. I do not.

Ole Tjugen
4-Sep-2007, 04:28
No offense meant, but when a Jobo 2521 drum with a 2509n spiral costs NEW about the same as one box of Polaroid T55, I just don't understand why anyone could possibly think of shooting Polaroids to save money.

Bill_1856
4-Sep-2007, 05:56
I think that I detect some sort of "pie in the sky" project here. If it is a "real" project, and you don't consider the photographic technical aspect important enough to learn to do it yourself (and I can sympathize with that viewpoint), let me suggest that you hire a professional photographer to do the work for you. It will be far less espensive in the long run than buying equipment and going the Polaroid T55 route.
You can easily earn the extra money by taking a second job which will be less time consuming than barely adequate learning the photographic process.
PS, I just looked up 38 degrees C, and it's just barely above normal body temperature, so there's no need to go to any special means of preserving your film,other than painting your storage box white, and don't leave it in the sun or a hot car.

Ben R
4-Sep-2007, 09:48
I haven't even explained my reasons and I'm already being attacked. Says it all really. I would not have dreamed of developing myself ever, I'm afraid that I'm a pro who to whom only the output matters and I'm yet to find any pro on this planet shooting 4X5 who regards processing their film to be anything more than a chore. And that is when they are good at it!

I would do what I have done my entire pro life which is send the film to the lab so professionals in the field can give me the best possible job while I bother with the shooting but the costs are very very high. Hence the cheapest 'I don't have to bother with the processing' solution which is the polaroid.

To be honest when each sheet of film costs close to a pound and then plus the chemicals and time I would see little savings in cost anyway compared to the 2 pound polaroids, almost no savings at all if I were to use quickloads. That small saving is not enough for me to decide to learn to be the lab as well as the photographer, apologies to photographic purists everywhere! According to Wilhelms premise I've never been a wedding photographer because I didn't do the C-41 processing myself, neither are any E-6 photographers using labs 'real' photographers. Cartier Bresson had all his B&W films lab processed and printed but he was no less of a real photographer neither was his iconic work any less for that fact.

Ted Harris has a great quote which I love (not exact, can't remember where I saw it). While amatuers are interested in the process, professionals are almost only interested in the results.

For all that, I still have plenty other reasons as I mentioned, I doubt my work will be any less as a result. I have not given up on the idea of regular film, far from it, however I do not see that I have the time or inclination to teach myself pro level processing in time to guarantee top level results every time from my work even should I have the patience for it. Hell, you all have your own receipes, times, favorite combinations etc, how long until I had found my perfect combination? How much would it cost getting there? It's a life's work getting to pro level proficiency and I don't have a life time with a day job shooting weddings and two months before I start.

Ben R
4-Sep-2007, 10:15
OK, serious question, Fuji Acros. Can I please have start to finish suggestions for development, the chemicals and the timing. Final use will be drum scanning (only). Lets see how easy this can be.

So far for the polaroids all I have to take abroad is super cheap Sodium Sulphite (fully legal to fly with) and the polaroid sheets. I buy a 2 litre juice jug there and make a hanger arrangement out of a couple of clips and some bent pieces of wire.

I cannot rely on chemical supplies there, they will be extremely basic. I will probably not have the luggage allowance for a entire Jobo set up. I will be living there so will not have a base in the UK to set up for development, it will have to be there. I have a Harrison and plenty film holders.

I'm not joking here, lets hear how easy it will be to process Acros as an alternative (hey, I won't mind the extra speed or the incredible reciprocity and it will cost me £0.65 a loose sheet via Badger Graphic).

Amund BLix Aaeng
4-Sep-2007, 16:56
Load 12 sheets on two Jobo 2509 reels and put in Jobo 2551 tank. Fill with 600ml of water, spin the tank in a water bath for a couple of minutes for a good presoak.

Mix 6ml Pyrocat A+6ml Pyrocat B+600ml water. Spin in 20C water tank for 7-8 minutes.
Use water as stop bath.
4-5 minutes in 600ml fix.
Wash(fill/agitate/dump+some standing time) until the wash water is clear.
1 minute in photo-flo or similar. Hang to dry.

All in less than 30 minutes.

David A. Goldfarb
4-Sep-2007, 17:05
There are various daylight tanks for processing, if you want to process while traveling. I like my discontinued Nikor stainless steel tank, but in current production, you could get an HP CombiPlan, and there's a Jobo that can be used as an inversion tank, which is fine for B&W. You don't need the whole motorized temperature controlled setup.

Polaroid material is considerably bulkier than sheet film, if you have to carry any significant amount of it for use over a long time. A 20 sheet box of 4x5" Polaroid sheet film occupies the same volume as about four 50-sheet boxes of ordinary sheet film. If you were planning on using Quickloads, the volume is more similar to Polaroid.

Don't be intimidated by all the developer info you read on the forums. Sure, you can tweak and fine tune, and create your own individual look, but you can also get perfectly acceptable negs most of the time using the information on the manufacturer's data sheet, and if you're willing to do that with Type 55, there's no reason not to do it with Acros, or whatever your preference.

peter schrager
4-Sep-2007, 19:19
Acros and Rodinal: 1:100 and 13 minutes@75 degrees go for it!!
Best, Peter

MenacingTourist
4-Sep-2007, 20:35
I thought I'd chime in here as a first time T55 user. I shot several sheets last summer and they had been in the refrigerator until tonight. After reading this thread I mixed the chemicals, ran the film through the holder, cleared and washed my negs. Two of them are passable and one might be interesting as an "art" print :)

Some observations:
Sodium Sulfite is messy. If you spill any of the liquid mix there will be a lovely spot of dried powdery mess once it dries. On the upside you can tell where you spilled.
Some of the goop cleared off right away and some was rather stubborn. I can't figure out why but in the end I don't really care.

Can't wait to make some prints!

Alan.

Alonzo Guerrero
5-Sep-2007, 00:23
Hey Ben,

I've have an Epson 2450 that I use to scan my T55 negs with. FWIW, I am not a pro, I only enjoy this stuff. The 2450 comes with a 4x5 holder (you seem to know this already), and what I do is carefully place the negative, emulsion side up, directly on the glass and use the holder to hold the edges. I've tried many variations of holding methods from tape, to glass, to cut-outs...this works very well for me. You might try emulsion side down to see if you get better results, but that is what I do, and my negs scan very nicely.

I hope this helps.

--ag

Ben R
5-Sep-2007, 00:42
What went wrong that it's only passable Alan? prob with the photography or the developing?

To the rest of you, I officially hate you all, I had not wanted to bother at all but now I have strange thoughts running through my head... :-)

Ted Harris
5-Sep-2007, 06:02
To follow on with Peter's comments .... I process Acros in a Jobo ATL2300, 6.2 minutes, 25 rotations per minute, temp at 68F (20C), Rodinal 1:50. However, one film doesn't do all things and I often find that for a lot of my landscapes where there is texture in the wood, TMax scans better. Acros scans fine it is just a teeny bit softer than TMax

MenacingTourist
5-Sep-2007, 06:27
What went wrong that it's only passable Alan? prob with the photography or the developing?

To the rest of you, I officially hate you all, I had not wanted to bother at all but now I have strange thoughts running through my head... :-)

My results were entirely based on my own skills. There were some problems when I was trying to figure out how to pull the film out of the holder without running it through the rollers. Once I figured it out things were fine. There were also a couple of sheets where the emulsion peeled off and one that I suspect never got exposed. Basically the usual mistakes you get with regular film but with a Polaroid twist.

I had shot all of these before I had chemicals. Now when I shoot I'll be able to develop/clear the same session. I'll just keep the negs in water until they get cleared.

Sounds like you're thinking of developing regular film yourself. Trust me, you'll never be sorry for getting a Jobo.

Alan.

Ben R
5-Sep-2007, 06:54
I'm going to disappoint you all but for now I'm going to stick to the polaroid until such time that I find that I've outgrown it. Having spent the morning reading through the archives here I still think that I'm willing to pay the little bit extra for the convenience of the polaroid. I have my first 2 boxes arriving from the states in a week and a half, I'll be sure to let you know how I get on!

Vaughn
5-Sep-2007, 11:39
To the rest of you, I officially hate you all, I had not wanted to bother at all but now I have strange thoughts running through my head... :-)

Polaroid will do that to you...

Good luck with the Type 55. It is nice stuff. Cost/benefit analysis is tricky when one tosses in subjective values. If one does not need the finer controls that developing one's own film, then there is no reason to do so. And scanning and PhotoShop takes care of many of situations where one would want that control in purely analoge workflow (especially for contrast...overall and local).

I would consider a second 545i back for a trip. If a pod bursts in the holder, you would have a back-up until you had time to clean it...same if the holder gets dropped or otherwise damaged (such as the rollers or the gripper at the end of the holder.)

Have fun!

Vaughn

Ben R
5-Sep-2007, 13:03
I had been thinking about a second one, if only so I can leave the sheets and pull when I get home, I can't see myself shooting more than one sheet per time given that I will be shooting at dawn (I LOVE the clarity of dawn light and it will be quiet too) in a country where enough having enough light to focus by until full blown harsh light is barely enough to focus, meter and expose! Certainly not enough time to change locations and reset up. The beauty of shooting in a city is that the same scene will be there the next morning, there is no rush!

Been practising movements and focus today, to be honest for a LF newbie there is enough to have in mind in getting the photo without complicating it with darkroom stuff nevermind all the other factors! :p

Helen Bach
5-Sep-2007, 14:25
I had been thinking about a second one, if only so I can leave the sheets and pull when I get home...

You can take the packets out without processing - leave the lever at 'L' and hold in the film release as you pull the packet out. The instructions should be on the holder.

Best,
Helen

venchka
5-Sep-2007, 16:21
While we are discussing Type 55 film, I have a question regarding the 545 holder. Does the lever stay in the up, "L" (load) position for everything except developing?

David A. Goldfarb
5-Sep-2007, 16:24
While we are discussing Type 55 film, I have a question regarding the 545 holder. Does the lever stay in the up, "L" (load) position for everything except developing?

Yes.

Bill_1856
5-Sep-2007, 22:02
Ben, you asked for advce. My giving you advice not confirming your original idea does not mean that I have attacked you. I wish you luck in whatever your project is (you didn't actually give much information about it).

Vaughn
6-Sep-2007, 00:04
While we are discussing Type 55 film, I have a question regarding the 545 holder. Does the lever stay in the up, "L" (load) position for everything except developing?

As David said, "Yes". Also the holder should be stored in the "L" position...as I understand it, it helps keep the rollers round.

Vaughn

venchka
6-Sep-2007, 07:19
As David said, "Yes". Also the holder should be stored in the "L" position...as I understand it, it helps keep the rollers round.

Vaughn

Thanks! I dug out my holder last night. Polaroids says to store the holder with the lever in the "P" postion.

Ben R
6-Sep-2007, 07:49
People have recommended laying the polaroid flat on the glass for scanning in an Epson, I read that many use a special holder to adjust height for focus, given that the height of the neg will be wrong anyway when lain flat on the glass, will focus not be a problem?

Vaughn
6-Sep-2007, 08:08
Thanks! I dug out my holder last night. Polaroids says to store the holder with the lever in the "P" postion.

Thanks! I should have checked first...I had a holder at my elbow, too! I kind of felt that something was not quite right, but I let it slip by me during those early morning hours.:o

Vaughn

Ben R
6-Sep-2007, 09:34
I think that I detect some sort of "pie in the sky" project here. If it is a "real" project, and you don't consider the photographic technical aspect important enough to learn to do it yourself (and I can sympathize with that viewpoint), let me suggest that you hire a professional photographer to do the work for you. It will be far less espensive in the long run than buying equipment and going the Polaroid T55 route.
You can easily earn the extra money by taking a second job which will be less time consuming than barely adequate learning the photographic process.


Nope, it was the above that I found particularly demeaning. I've been a full time professional photographer for 7 years, I have had numerous exhibitions of my work and not once has anyone questioned my artisic credibility or my professionalism based on not processing my own work. I have a wife and a baby and am trying to buy a house, I photograph for a living, I'm certainly not some beginner student who can take multiple jobs for the pocket money needed to process film.

There seems to be a consensis among certain individuals on this forum that past photographic experience counts for nothing if it was not on LF and that not having processed your own work or being unwilling to do so is a travesty to your art. Methinks that far too many people are caught up in the process and I have little doubt that their art suffers as a result. Art is about envoking a reaction from the viewer. What the hell has how you got there got to do with it? The only important thing is that you have work of a nature and quality to provoke said reaction.

I appreciate your opinion Wilhelm but not your assertions.

Vaughn
6-Sep-2007, 12:09
Art is about envoking a reaction from the viewer. What the hell has how you got there got to do with it? The only important thing is that you have work of a nature and quality to provoke said reaction.

What you say is true. It is equally true that Art is about the personal journey of the artist from idea to finished work...and for some of us the journey is as important as the destination.

Also, the term "professional photographer" includes both the pro fine art photographer and and the commercial photographer. For the former, the process can be part of the art, thus very important. For the latter, it is the final product that is usually of the most importance, and like you said, how one gets there is not as important (other than time and money considerations). So one must be careful generalizing what all professionals feel is the most important aspect of their photography.

Vaughn

Ben R
6-Sep-2007, 13:05
I guess I'm feeling a bit stressed about it at the moment. It's quite hard to try and find out information when having to justify yourself constantly. Seriously, what use would most of the backwards and forwards about this subject benefit the guy searching for info on T55 a year hence?

I understand the pride and careful attention that some people take in the process, I respect it greatly. I just don't think that making a religion of it and crucifying all non believers is helpful to the art making process.

I am a firm believer in top notch quality with digital processing, I actually teach Photoshop for Photographers. I have opinions on the cheapening of the process and opinions on jpg shooters, I haven't mentioned them here though, they are not relevant to my questions as to the use of Polaroid 55. Neither I believe are discussions on whether I should be developing my own film as a statement of my artistic vision. Let's face it, I'm going to burn in hell for drum scanning and processing before printing using Inkjets anyway so why not go the whole hog? :D:D:D

I should qualify my above statement that you quoted, I mentioned that you need the image and the quality of the image to provoke the reaction from the viewer. That you have very strong feelings as to how to achieve that quality is a given. If you will only use one workflow as that is your personal zenith, that I respect. If the quality you produce is indeed incredible, that is a great point in your favour, not only was Ansel's work mindblowing, the work that he put into the final product makes it truly astounding. However and this is big however, the process is still just a means to an end, the final finished wonderful print. The process itself is not the goal. If you get a craftsman to carry out your design then is your finished article less beautiful, less meaningful? Does an architect have to lay the bricks?

This is of course again a total waste of space cluttering up the thread...

Helen Bach
6-Sep-2007, 13:55
Does an architect have to lay the bricks?

Well, if we're going to get all philosophical, here's one of my favourite quotes from Friedensreich Hundertwasser:

"Only when architect, bricklayer and tenant are a unity, or one and the same person, can we speak of architecture. Everything else is not architecture, but a criminal act which has taken on form."

Lock 'em up, that's what I say.

Best,
Helen

Ben R
6-Sep-2007, 14:02
Hey, you haven't been to my hometown. Manchester in the UK is a really ugly city though far better now after the IRA blew half the city center to pieces in the early ninities thereby generating much needed urban renewal and lots of jobs for a stagnant economy! :D

Helen Bach
6-Sep-2007, 14:11
Hey, you haven't been to my hometown. Manchester in the UK is a really ugly city...:D

I was born in Manchester and lived in Worsley for a while.

Best,
Helen

Vaughn
6-Sep-2007, 14:12
Why do you feel you have to justify yourself? Why are you making a religion out of the end product, and crucifying those who see their professional/artistic work as seamless between concept, process and result? All this finger-pointing is what wastes bandwidth. The discussion on the pros and con of the material and other alternatives is exactly what those looking for Type 55 info need to read.

Don't let that stress get you! Loosen up a bit!;)

Vaughn

dwhistance
6-Sep-2007, 14:37
Hi Ben, as this thread has rambled a bit I'll add another OT bit! You mentioned high costs of developing conventional 5x4 B&W film here in the UK. Have you tried "The Darkroom" in Cheltenham? Their price is 2.50 per sheet for Acros Quickload developed in XTOL. They are very happy to push/pull as required (at no extra cost) if you mark the sleeves accordingly. I've had 100% success with them so far but have not tried anything that needs extreme compensation.

Best of luck with the T55. I used it a lot but stopped when I couldn't get it from Silverprint anymore. I've now moved to Acros (again when I can get it here!) or Tmax 100. Neither are the same as T55 but both produce nice prints!

David Whistance

Ben R
6-Sep-2007, 15:00
David, that is incredible! The lack of a lab as you describe was what drove me to polaroid in the first place. I'm so happy you can't imagine! Do they have a website or do you have any contact details for them?

Vaughn, all I was doing was responding to what I felt was attacks on myself when all I wanted to do was learn about T55. I agree that it was a waste of time but your unbaised help and that of many others has been most appreciated I'm very grateful, unfortunately from page 5 onwards there seems to have been a few individuals who decided that they don't think that I should be shooting it based on what they mistakenly think is relevant to my particular circumstances. If I could delete all the irrelevant threads from then on I would do so with pleasure.

dwhistance
6-Sep-2007, 15:09
Ben, website (albeit not very helpful) is as follows: http://www.the-darkroom.co.uk/. Give them a ring, they're very friendly and will talk you through their services. The 2.50/sheet also includes postage both ways (but not registered of course - you can ask for a receipt of posting though which is nearly as good if the parcel goes adrift!).

David

Ben R
6-Sep-2007, 15:18
Bloody hell! including postage? Wow!

With that bombshell I think I'll spend my first few months shooting the polaroid and once I'm confident in the use of the LF camera I'll switch straight over. Of course if I fall in love with the look of the polaroid or with stupidly long shutter speeds due to the reciprocity, who knows, I might carry on!

David you have really brightened up my day (well night actually!)

Ben R
6-Sep-2007, 15:33
Does anone know how many times the sodium sulphate solution can be used or is it a one shot only?

Alex Hawley
6-Sep-2007, 16:19
Does anone know how many times the sodium sulphate solution can be used or is it a one shot only?

About the only advice on this is to use it until it becomes discolored. Its certainly not a one-shot use solution.

Alex Hawley
6-Sep-2007, 17:11
Ben, one more thing to consider in the interest of saving a few pounds while learning Polaroid LF. Get a box or two of Type 54. It gives a pretty nice print, does not require coating, and works just like Type 55 as far as the film holder is concerned. And its a fair amount less expensive than Type 55, at least here in the USA. Save the Type 55 for the money or keeper shots.

I could be quite happy using Type 55 as my only film. Some of my most successful landscape shots have been made with it. I've also come to disdain processing standard 4x5 sheets for some reason. Maybe that's from being spoiled by processing Type 55.

darr
7-Sep-2007, 09:01
I could be quite happy using Type 55 as my only film. Some of my most successful landscape shots have been made with it. I've also come to disdain processing standard 4x5 sheets for some reason. Maybe that's from being spoiled by processing Type 55.

Hi Alex,

I have often thought of this myself. The only thing that has stopped me from feeling totally secure with this idea, is the uncertain future of Polaroid. There seems to be talk flying around at times about the possible demise of it. I shoot ACROS as a backup. I would be perfectly happy with just Type 55. Long live Type 55! :)

--Darr

Alex Hawley
7-Sep-2007, 17:36
Long live Type 55! :) --Darr

I agree Darr. I have to admit, I've always been a Polaroid fan. But now that I'm in my serious and mature mode as a photog (:rolleyes:) , I appreciate it more than I ever did. Polaroid deserves our support just as much as any of the other photo product manufacturers.

Ben R
8-Sep-2007, 16:09
According to Polaroid the exposure compensation for a filter #6 is 2/3 of a stop. I always thought that a #5 was 2.5 stops? Is this something to do with the film or my lack of understanding?

Ben R
9-Sep-2007, 07:18
Hold that, I'm an idiot, misread the polaroid table, they meant 'filter number' not 'filter factor' and it's not good reading for this film, a red filter (25) needs 3.5 stops compensation - OUCH! With a film this slow could be that I'll have to hold my skies a different way...

Ben R
10-Sep-2007, 09:33
Finally got my 'Polaroid land Photography' by AA and the film arrives next week, should shut me up for a bit followed by more questions no doubt!

Thanks to everyone so far for your advice and help here on the thread and via PM.