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View Full Version : X-rayed Polaroid 55 *groan*



Ben R
17-Sep-2007, 15:01
My 2 boxes of polaroid 55 just arrived from the states but although I had asked no less than 6 times, it wasn't brought in hand luggage so it's had the full attention of the regular x-ray machines in JFK outwards to the UK. I don't have a densitometer and having never used the film before have no idea what the base should look like. Is it worth doing anything but throwing it in the rubbish bin (and my 80 with it:mad: )?

David R Munson
17-Sep-2007, 15:04
Well, have you tried any yet? Shoot a sheet at EI 25-32, clear the negative, and see how it looks. If it's badly fogged, you'll see it, and if the neg looks good, on with business as usual.

Ben R
17-Sep-2007, 15:09
The problem is that I wouldn't know whether it's slightly fogged or not if the fogging is even across the frame. Can't say I really want to go to the bother of LF for anything but an optimal neg, effects are one thing but I really am looking for optimal.

tim atherton
17-Sep-2007, 15:14
The problem is that I wouldn't know whether it's slightly fogged or not if the fogging is even across the frame. Can't say I really want to go to the bother of LF for anything but an optimal neg, effects are one thing but I really am looking for optimal.

really - if you run some tests and it looks fine, then nothing else matters - it's fine...

Ben R
17-Sep-2007, 15:51
You're assuming I know what fine looks like...

tim atherton
17-Sep-2007, 15:52
well... it either looks fine or it doesn't (I am though presuming you have used b&w film before)?

Robert Ley
17-Sep-2007, 15:55
Ben,
Sacrifice one sheet. Run it through the holder without exposure. The negative should be clear after you have processed it as you normally would. Judge whether you should trash the film by how the negative looks.
Cheers and good luck!
Robert

Frank Petronio
17-Sep-2007, 16:32
It should be fine, it is really slow film. And even if there is a touch of fog, what is the big problem with that? You have tonal range to burn with that stuff, and half the time there is some sort of processing defect anyway (which only adds to the charm). Unless they microwaved it, you should be able to print through or around anything.

Just my two pence.

Alex Hawley
17-Sep-2007, 16:46
Ben,
Sacrifice one sheet. Run it through the holder without exposure. The negative should be clear after you have processed it as you normally would. Judge whether you should trash the film by how the negative looks.
Cheers and good luck!
Robert

Do that, plus shoot one or two or three for the print and see if the prints are fogged. This can crosscheck your results with the negative. Plus its good practice before you start in earnest.

Gene McCluney
17-Sep-2007, 16:50
Various films have different levels of base density, naturally, without the effects of fog. It would be impossible to compare Type 55 with a conventional film, as every conventional film is slightly different. An overall low level of fog will not be very detrimental to you using the film, as others have stated, you have tonal range to spare with Type 55. Probably if it is fogged a bit, all you will have to do is make prints with a contrastier paper, or if you scan, bump up the contrast a bit.

Your choices appear to be: Use it or trash it. I know what I would do. I would use it, unless it was just awful. I would be more concerned with the developer pods being dried out, if this is older film.

cyrus
17-Sep-2007, 16:52
I have left film in luggage accidentally on several occasions - and I have to assume that the luggage was x-rayed - but each time there was no problem (iso 400 bw at the fastest)

Gene McCluney
17-Sep-2007, 16:53
How do you know it was sent thru the checked luggage scanners? Did someone put it in their luggage for you? If you ordered this thru the postal mail, or other shipping service such as UPS, Fed-Ex, DHL, etc, it would not have gone thru an X-ray machine like the ones used for checked luggage.

Gene McCluney
17-Sep-2007, 16:55
If you want an "optimal" negative, you need to shoot with regular b/w sheet film, as the processing inconsistencies with Polaroid materials make getting a perfect image more of a trial-and-error business, but many people find the processing variations part of the unique charm of the material.

David A. Goldfarb
17-Sep-2007, 19:54
The examples of X-ray fog that I've seen have always been bands or streaks of density on the film, not a uniform increase in base fog. If you don't see something obvious, then it's really not a problem.

walter23
17-Sep-2007, 19:54
You're assuming I know what fine looks like...

Just try it. Make sure you time it right, and pull smoothly and evenly through the rollers. Beats throwing out the film.

My very first result was fine except for a bit of splotchiness (I was shooting in -30 C and tried to warm up the film with my fingers while it developed - bad idea). You'll probably be able to figure out whether it's an x-ray fogging situation or something you're doing wrong just by trying it a few times.

Terence McDonagh
17-Sep-2007, 20:03
I agree with David. When it's happened to me, it has been thick exposed bands across the film, not fogging. It's been VERY obvious.

Ben R
18-Sep-2007, 01:59
Gosh, sorry I didn't reply before now I was too busy trying it! :D

As Gene says I wouldn't know what the base is supposed to look like but the neg is sitting in a bucket of water waiting for me to go and buy some sodium sulphite. There is what looks like a slight fog mark in one corner but it equally could be some chemistry that hasn't cleared so I'm waiting until I can tell for sure. I'll report back and thanks to everyone.

I used to run a lab and the fogging from these machines seemed always to be from metal that was next to it. The most common occurence would be disposable cameras with 800 speed film that always fogged horribly and always the same way, a thick line where I assume the film was closest to the battery. It was even the same thickness as an AA. I once had an iso 400 film ruined in hand luggage (admittedly it went through 4 times!) when it was sitting underneath a packet of AA's.

p.s. it was my brother who brought it back, sigh....