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Thread: Portrait film question....Polaroid?

  1. #1

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    Oct 2003
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    Portrait film question....Polaroid?

    I am going to shoot portraits of my students accenting what they feel are their most positive points. Three shots per student to create a triptic(SP). I will be using natural light and pretty shallow DOF.

    My problem is I don't know what film to use for natural light portraits. I am looking at the immediacy of polaroid but can't figure out which to use. Do the different types of film require different holders? I have a 545 holder

    Any pointers would be great.

    Oh Yeah-all shots will be done on a 4x5 With 210 lens getting as close to the subject as I can to isolate features.

  2. #2

    Portrait film question....Polaroid?

    All 4x5 sheets require the same holder - your 545 is all you need. As getting a negative does not seem to be a requirement, I suggest type 54, cheaper than the famed type 55. B&W ISO 100, fine grain, no need to coat or anything. You get your pictures in 60-75 seconds. Clean, dependable stuff.

  3. #3

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    Portrait film question....Polaroid?

    You might want to consider getting a #405 Pack Film Holder. The 3 1/4" X 4 1/4" packs are substantially less expensive than the 4" X 5" materials. Buying a used holder would probably be safe, since replacement toller assemblies are available and relatively cheap.

  4. #4
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    Portrait film question....Polaroid?

    Hi Mark,

    Since you already have a Polaroid 545 film holder, It seems more practical to use the type of Polaroid films that work with that type of holder, rather than investing in a smaller holder. Also, you are going to be using natural light for the portraits. Therefore, it would be wiser to choose one of the faster speed Polaroid B&W films.

    If I were doing the project, I would choose either Type 72 Polapan (ISO 400), or Type 52 (ISO 400). Based on the prices listed on the B&H website, Type 72 is about $2.20/sheet, and Type 52 is about $2.35/sheet. These films are packaged in 20 sheet boxes. It may be possible to purchase them for a little bit less, since you are going to need a relatively large quantity, and you will be using them for educational purposes. I would select from these two types of films, based on price and availability.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Mar 2004
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    Portrait film question....Polaroid?

    I agree with Eugene. I prefer 72 over 52. Type 72 is a little grainier than 52, but I like the "look" of 72 (portraits or otherwise) and it does not require coating. Regards,

  6. #6

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    Portrait film question....Polaroid?

    I have found Type 72 to be slightly LESS grainy than Type 52... And I like the "look" of 72 better. That said, if you're in open shade you'll like having the speed of Type 72 (400) better than slower films, especially for portraits.

    I make a lot of Type 72 portraits -- they're really fun! Have a great time!

    Bruce
    Bruce Barlow
    author of "Finely Focused" and "Exercises in Photographic Composition"
    www.brucewbarlow.com

  7. #7

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    Portrait film question....Polaroid?

    Another vote for Type 54 here. Wonderful stuff!

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