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Thread: Paper negatives as polaroids

  1. #1

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    Paper negatives as polaroids

    Having recently started using an 8x10, I have realized the importance of getting the perfect exposure, especially using expensive color transparencies. For more tricky multiple exposure shots or painting with light it can be quite valuable to use polaroids to make sure your getting what you want before exposing the expensive film. However, polaroids seem to be quite expensive and very hard to find in 8x10, and a reducing back does not seem like a very good alternative.

    So my question is, do any of you use paper negatives like polaroids to check the exposure, then compensate for the different film speed? Or does the paper act too differently from the film to be useful in this manner? Obviously this would only be beneficial in studio settings, where you can quickly and easily develop the paper negatives.

    I haven't had time to really try this yet, but I figured I would see what you guys thought first.

    Evan

  2. #2

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    Re: Paper negatives as polaroids

    Quote Originally Posted by argos33 View Post
    Having recently started using an 8x10, I have realized the importance of getting the perfect exposure, especially using expensive color transparencies. For more tricky multiple exposure shots or painting with light it can be quite valuable to use polaroids to make sure your getting what you want before exposing the expensive film. However, polaroids seem to be quite expensive and very hard to find in 8x10, and a reducing back does not seem like a very good alternative.

    So my question is, do any of you use paper negatives like polaroids to check the exposure, then compensate for the different film speed? Or does the paper act too differently from the film to be useful in this manner? Obviously this would only be beneficial in studio settings, where you can quickly and easily develop the paper negatives.

    I haven't had time to really try this yet, but I figured I would see what you guys thought first.

    Evan
    First a reducing back is a great alternative as the price per test shot is very low.

    However, the Polaroid emulsion is a totally different chemistry than the film you will be using. So, why not use a small digtial camera instead? Once you have it calibrated and a set of filters to add to your digital camera to match the 8x10, you have a system than has no maintenance cost!

    You have to be able to make adjustments for reciprocity and belows-draw of course!

    Now you can take account of everything, but reciprocity by having the Grimes company (Adam) make an Eos DSLR atachment which will have the CMOS semsor in the film plane! If your camera happems to be a Sinar P, then Adam has already the solution!

    Asher

  3. #3

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    Re: Paper negatives as polaroids

    When I was working in a still life studio years ago we often used a reducing back on the 8x10 for Polaroid purposes. Before there was 8x10 Polaroid the guys used to load up black and white paper into the film holders and shoot that and then run it to the darkroom and process it right away to have a look. Of course you have to learn to read the paper black and white negative which is what you end up with. In you case there might not be a correlation between what you are looking for and the qualities of the paper negative.

    Why is a reducing back not possible? If you just want to make sure that you are in the ballpark it should be fine.

  4. #4
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Re: Paper negatives as polaroids

    However, though Polaroid emulsion is a totally different chemistry than the film you will be using, many Polaroid films were designed as proofing films for chromes. Professionals relied on them for many many years, myself included. From the Polaroid site:

    664 Film
    664 film is a medium-speed and medium-contrast coaterless, black & white print film. This film is intended for exposures of 1/10 second or faster, has a wide tonal range and matches speed of ISO 100 chrome films. It is used in proofing, and test shots of shorter than 1/15 second or with strobe.


    You can work it out with a DSLR, but the design of digital metering is significantly different than film too, it is based on highlight preservation in a different way than we do film exposure, but it can be figured out. It is not as simple though as just transferring settings. The DSLR readings are tailored to the sensor's sensitivity range of about 6 stops with the majority of that dynamic range being under the standard exposure (1 1/2 stops over, 4 1/2 stops under-hence the highlight preservation). This is not at all like the sensitivity of modern transparencies, which run around 4 stops range, 2 stops over average exposure. But these are constants which can be adjusted for and predicted. Rather than fool with this, in my commercial work which is where I need proofing, I largely just switched to digital. It is a superior workflow.

    In any event Polaroid is slowly going away and anyone who needs film proofing will need to learn to do it with digital in the future.
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    at age 68
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep"

  5. #5

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    Re: Paper negatives as Polaroids

    IS the 8x10 Polaroid color film still available? I have the holder and the processor! I would do some testing with a reducing back (4X5) and do a few 8X10 to verify composition and lighting. If the Polaroids looked decent- the transparency looked great! It was not practical for color testing but great for exposure and lighting ratios. The Polaroids showed less shadow detail than the transparencies because the are reflection prints as opposed to transparencies which are trans-illuminated. Bracketing on the actual film is advised.

    Ed

  6. #6

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    Re: Paper negatives as polaroids

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Gittings View Post
    many Polaroid films were designed as proofing films for chromes. Professionals relied on them for many many years, myself included.

    In any event Polaroid is slowly going away and anyone who needs film proofing will need to learn to do it with digital in the future.
    Uh, Kirk....I still use type 79 to proof my studio strobe lighting for my product photography on Kodak EPP. If we keep using it, in enough quantities, then Polaroid will keep making it.

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