Polaroid type 55

By Jean-David Beyer for the Large Format Page

You should look into Ansel Adams' book, "Polaroid Land Photography", New York Graphic Society, 1963, if you can get a copy. I assume it is still in print. Good libraries will have it, or get it on inter-library loan.

Meanwhile, ...

1.) Polaroid recommends clearing the film with a bath composed
of 180 grams sodium sulfite in 1 litre of water.
2.) If you then wish to harden them, a bath containing, in 1 litre
28% acetic acid         250 ml
Potassium alum          16 gram
3.) Don Leavitt, in Popular Photography, November 1966 recommended
combining the results of 1 and 2 (not the solutions themselves)
by using in 1 litre

Potassium alum          30 gram
sodium bislufite        60 gram
water to                1 litre

Note that this solution gives off an irritating gas; probably
sulfur dioxide. I keep it in a glass bottle with a metal screw-on
cap. It ultimately dissolves the metal cap, but not in a day or two.
Plastic containers, provided they do not leak, would probably be
better than what I use in many ways. The advantage of this solution
is that "the negatives may be stacked together in a small
container, without dividers, since the negatives harden as they clear
and thus are less susceptible to scratching."
4.)Ansel considered this (normal processing) "quite permanent".
5.) "Whenever archival treatment is desired, use the following
procedure after compliting the sulfite clearing and acid-hardening
        1.) Rinse negatives.
        2.) Fix in a standard fixing bath (F-5 or F-6) for 3-4 minutes.
                Do not use rapid fixers.
        3.) Rinse.
        4.) Treat for 2-3 minutes in a hypo-clearing bath to which a
                small amount of Kodak slelenium toner has been added
                (about 1:20).
        5.) Rinse.
        6.) Wash thuroughly.
        7.) Immerse in fresh solution of wetting agent solution
                (Kodak Photo-Flo, for example) for a minute or so.
        8.) Hang up to dry in a clean area.
        9.) When thuroughly dry, store in chemically safe envelopes
                in a cool, dry area."

6.) Most users find that using an EI of 20-25 for 55 will give the
best negatives, whereas an EI of 64 is best for the print. This may
vary some from batch-to-batch, but not much.

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