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Thread: Polaroid 54 vs. Fuji FP-100 B45 Instant Pack Film

  1. #1
    schafphoto's Avatar
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    Polaroid 54 vs. Fuji FP-100 B45 Instant Pack Film

    This appears to be the last nail in the coffin of the "NO THUMB ZONE." Even if instant film survives, that fat-part of the pull-out type Polaroid film pouches where thumbs were prohibited will pass on as only a memory... I'll miss the NTZ...but on to the new stuff...

    I just bought a pack of Fuji FP-100 B45 black & white 100 ASA, 4x5 instant "pack film" at Samy's in Santa Barbara. I set up my Cambowide (1/60, f22, 65mm) and shot a sheet of Polaroid 54 (Pro 100) from my dwindling stash (out of date, 2008) and then a sheet of the FujiFilm B45. I'm using an ancient Polaroid 550 holder (Fuji's PA-45 Holder is still being made)

    First impressions:

    The Fuji and Polaroid seem to both be within a fraction of a stop of 100ASA maybe 1/10 faster for Fuji (closer than most films from two different manufacturers). (I metered with a 'DigiRoid' – which means I shoot the scene on my Nikon D300 at 100 ISO, and look at the Histogram.) The Fuji seems a little more contrasty, and the Fuji smells completely different when pulled, so it's not identical in chemical makeup, also the gray print backing is a different shade, but seems to be the same thickness. Same recommended processing time/temps though. The midtone exposure around 18% seems the same, and the dark shadow detail seems the same as well. The white on the Fuji seems brighter and that's where I perceived the higher contrast. (This could also be a factor of the 2008 expiration date of my P54.)

    Other bits:

    The image on the Fuji B45 print is slightly larger than the 54 Polaroid because the borders are slightly thinner on the Fuji. The exact image size is 4 21/32 inches Wide X 3 17/32 inches High for the Fuji (vs. exactly 4.5 X 3.5 inches for the Polaroid). Virtually the same height but over 1/8" wider for the Fuji. The box is printed completely in English, not Multi-Lingual so this seems to be the official "Export" packaging, although the foil pack inside is still multi-lingual. That doesn't make a bit of difference to me but you might want to know...

    At $4.00 a sheet I will now only be using it to check the first exposures of the day, and make sure everything is working when I take the camera out of the case. But I won't be using it to check every exposure like I did with 54 Polaroid when it was plentiful.

    I did realize that the "10 pack" film format will save a little space in my case since I don't need to store the Polaroid holder AND a bunch of separate sheets of 54 (which I kept in a separate Tupperware box). The 550 holder holds the 10 pack safe inside and takes virtually the same space in the case than my old 545 Polaroid holder alone ( Polaroid 550 is shorter but thicker). And the film inside the 550 holder is protected from kinking, folding, and getting squeezed in the "No Thumb Zone."

    My 2 cents so far, I'll miss the NTZ, but the Fuji will work for me, but I sure hope the price comes down a bit from $40+ per pack. Anyone want to buy a 545 holder, it makes a great doorstop.
    `
    –Stephen Schafer HABS | HAER | HALS & Architectural Photography | Ventura, California | www.HABSPHOTO.com

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    Re: Polaroid 54 vs. Fuji FP-100 B45 Instant Pack Film

    For us in Norway, where we actually use the Ø, it's extremely funny to read and pronounce Phøtøgrapher ... We pronounce the 'ø' as you pronounce the 'e' in 'her' or the 'i' in 'sir'. Mötörhead is funny too ...

    I like your images.

    sincerely, Bjarte

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    Re: Polaroid 54 vs. Fuji FP-100 B45 Instant Pack Film

    adorama.com, currently 29.95 per pack and free shipping. The first pack I've shot was over a 1/2 stop fast so I've been rating it at 160. Kinda odd but confirmed when I got the transparencies back.

  4. #4
    schafphoto's Avatar
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    Re: Polaroid 54 vs. Fuji FP-100 B45 Instant Pack Film

    Ah, yes so I'm at $3.00 a sheet if I get at at Adorama, thanks for the tip!

    -Schaf
    `
    –Stephen Schafer HABS | HAER | HALS & Architectural Photography | Ventura, California | www.HABSPHOTO.com

  5. #5
    schafphoto's Avatar
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    Re: Polaroid 54 vs. Fuji FP-100 B45 Instant Pack Film

    OK, got mine shipped from Adorama, and I'm beginning to see a marked increase in contrast from the Old 54 (Pro100 Polaroid) to the new Fujiroid. Ironically that seems to correspond to the contrast I'm seeing with Fuji Acros quickloads. As much as i like the smooth/low contrast of the 54, it wasn't really translating to film in that same way so perhaps this is a better "proof" of what the film will do. Still testing...

    -Schaf
    `
    –Stephen Schafer HABS | HAER | HALS & Architectural Photography | Ventura, California | www.HABSPHOTO.com

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    Re: Polaroid 54 vs. Fuji FP-100 B45 Instant Pack Film

    Schaf: if you have a DSLR allready, why don't you use it as a kind of polaroid ?
    It has been done lots of time before and can be pretty accurate if you avoid Auto WB and set the illumination of your screen propperly.
    And digital has no such thing like the extended exposure needed at long shutter speeds.

    When using polaroids you had problems with that too, because at longer exposures your polaroid and fim would react diferently.

    Keeping that in mind a DSLR can be a valuable tool for LF and the cost per "digi-pol" are zero.

    Peter

  7. #7

    Re: Polaroid 54 vs. Fuji FP-100 B45 Instant Pack Film

    i was waiting for this , lol :-)

  8. #8
    schafphoto's Avatar
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    Re: Polaroid 54 vs. Fuji FP-100 B45 Instant Pack Film

    Yes I'm already using digital as a "Digiroid" but that doesn't give me information like the result of the light-falloff or cutoff on the edges of the actual 4x5 image because of the extreme wide-angle lenses used in HABS/HAER photography. And if the shutter were to stick, or the bag bellows to droop into the image path, I wouldn't see that from a Digiroid either. That being said, I'm going to do less proofing and more counting on the digital in the future as the instant thing gets more and more expensive. Probably only for the first shot of the day to make sure the 1/60th on the copal o shutter is matching the 1/60th on the digital.
    On the other hand... There is nothing quite as tactile as a 4x5 instant black and white print to contemplate and examine when composing a shot, and the added value is I can hand it to the client and say "is this what you are looking for" instead of making them stare into my tiny LCD screen.
    Last edited by schafphoto; 2-Jul-2009 at 11:57. Reason: added thought
    `
    –Stephen Schafer HABS | HAER | HALS & Architectural Photography | Ventura, California | www.HABSPHOTO.com

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    Re: Polaroid 54 vs. Fuji FP-100 B45 Instant Pack Film

    I just did a comparative test yesterday.
    7 more sheets of old Polapan to go before my 545 holder is obsolete

    The Fujiroid is significantly more contrasty (1.5-2 grades higher).
    I'll try to snap a digipic of both and post side by side.

  10. #10
    schafphoto's Avatar
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    Re: Polaroid 54 vs. Fuji FP-100 B45 Instant Pack Film

    Your 545 back will still be usable for the Fuji quickloads. I was shooting a little too fast last week on a job, and I shot a sheet of acros 100 and then realized that when I pulled the sheet I was stll using the Polaroid 545i instead of the fuji QL holder. Film looked fine, but the Fuji QL holder creates really clean clear borders on the film, whereas the Pol 545i creates a bowed edge.
    `
    –Stephen Schafer HABS | HAER | HALS & Architectural Photography | Ventura, California | www.HABSPHOTO.com

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