View Full Version : Are the instant films sharp enough?

22-Mar-2010, 15:12

i'm planning to shoot some instant film with my 4x5 as a project.
I'll probably be using fuji color instant film.

I've used that film before, for test shots in the studio. Back then, itt seemed like the results were never that sharp...

My plan is to scan my pictures and print them (a little) bigger. like A4 or A3 max.

Will the instant film be sharp enough for that or should i use slide film for enlargements?


22-Mar-2010, 16:51
not sharp enough, especially to look like large format work in my opinion. sometimes they look soft when I know the image is in focus as well.

22-Mar-2010, 19:27
I've heard that depending on the camera and instant film holder you are using, the film is held at a different distance to the focal plane than the ground glass or normal cut film holders.

Dirk Rösler
22-Mar-2010, 22:45
I've heard that depending on the camera and instant film holder you are using, the film is held at a different distance to the focal plane than the ground glass or normal cut film holders.

That doesn't make sense.

I agree with vinny, I think the material is just not as fine as normal sheet film. Nothing wrong with that, but for sharpness critical work it would be the wrong choice. Of course some people may argue that the softness is what makes instant so attractive...

Frank Petronio
22-Mar-2010, 22:59
Enlarging Instant film prints is more of an arty technique than a replacement for traditional film. The old Polaroid 55 negatives were super sharp but nothing like that is made anymore.

23-Mar-2010, 09:53
thanks for your answers.

My project is kind of complex and i do need the instant film sheets as originals.
Yet i don't real mind shooting regular slide film too for enlargements.
I was just wondering if i could save some time and money but your comments second what i already though about instant film : it's not that sharp...

Marco Polo
23-Mar-2010, 18:54
Some people are scanning the fuji instant negatives with good results, check out these Flicker threads to learn more:



24-Mar-2010, 06:25
I thought fuji just discontinued their instant 4x5.

al olson
24-Mar-2010, 18:16
This is an exposure using Fuji's 4x5 color film for some table top photography. I don't know if there is enough resolution left on this scan to show the sharpness (I can now see in the preview that there isn't).

I was very impressed with the sharpness. The softness in the upper left corner was my fault and it was corrected before exposing the negative. I should add that the map is sharp and readable from an 11x14 print.

This is subjective, but in my opinion the Fuji color print film is sharper than the Polaroid. Not to consider it in the same league, however, as the Type 55 negative.

Dirk Rösler
24-Mar-2010, 18:34
Yes, the Fuji instants seem superior to the Polaroid equivalent, that is what many people say.

Oh, and they are definitely not discontinued, so let's not get into that.

26-Mar-2010, 04:21
al olson > your imge seems sharper than the results i usualy get from instant film, that's encouraging.
I also payed a lot of interest in the flickr method to collect the negative from fuji instant film.
But i need to do some testing of my own before i plan to use that technique in a project.

As for now, i think i'll carry a loupe into the field to check how sharp my pictures come off, and i'll have a couple of holders with provia just in case.

6-Apr-2010, 10:05

This is a test shot i pulled yesterday to figure out if the fuji fp100c is sharp enough to be scanned and blown up.
My conclusion is that it's far from tack sharp, but good enough for A4 prints.