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A film question -- Polaroid 55
Old 04-21-2007, 11:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hey guys,

I know this is a film question, but I figured I'd ask it anyway. I'm wanting to try Polaroid 55 film -- the one that makes both a positive and a negative -- and I know you have to clear the negative in sodium sulfite. The question is, how many negatives can you put through the sulfite? I'm assuming you can reuse it to some degree, right?

Thanks in advance (if anybody replies at all, lol),

Sam
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Re: A film question -- Polaroid 55
Old 04-22-2007, 12:55 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by SamBeasley View Post
... I'm wanting to try Polaroid 55 film -- the one that makes both a positive and a negative -- and I know you have to clear the negative in sodium sulfite. The question is, how many negatives can you put through the sulfite? I'm assuming you can reuse it to some degree, right?
Gosh, it's been almost 15 years since I've shot Type 55, but I can remember making up about a couple of pints of the solution in a 4x5 film development tank and using it all day on a full-day of product shots - musta been 80 or 90 shots, if I remember right.
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Re: A film question -- Polaroid 55
Old 04-22-2007, 01:04 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Wow, 80 to 90? That'd be more than enough for what I need. Thanks Wayne, exactly what I needed to know! I've been more and more interested in my 4x5 camera (the thing's hardly ever been used), and Type 55 seems like some fun stuff to play with.

Sam
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Re: A film question -- Polaroid 55
Old 04-22-2007, 09:13 AM   #4 (permalink)
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To paraphrase Wayne, the answer is "a bunch". If you're going to go out into the field, take a bucket/pail/container that has a sealed lid (tupperware or the like works well). You can also pull the film out without breaking the chemical pack and then run them through the back when you get home.

A note about Polaroid Type 55. You pretty much need to decide ahead of time whether your going to expose for the negative or the positive. There's about 2/3 of a stop difference between the two. My experience was that a good positive required an ASA of 32, but a good negative required an ASA of 50. Find a copy of Ansel Adams' book "Polaroid Land Photography." It's out of print but still easy to find.

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Re: A film question -- Polaroid 55
Old 04-22-2007, 09:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Hey Chip, thanks for the tip about exposing for the negative or positive. I'll be playing around with it a lot I'm sure to see what results I get. And about the book -- found it and ordered it.

Oh, and one more question -- inside the box the film comes in are these little black tubes that say "print coater" on the side. With Type 54 (or any other Polaroid film I've used) this didn't come with it. Is this something you have to put on the print?

Thanks for your help Chip!

Sam
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Re: A film question -- Polaroid 55
Old 04-22-2007, 11:02 AM   #6 (permalink)
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...inside the box the film comes in are these little black tubes that say "print coater" on the side. With Type 54 (or any other Polaroid film I've used) this didn't come with it. Is this something you have to put on the print?
That's a lacquer that'll help keep the prints from fading over a short time.
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Re: A film question -- Polaroid 55
Old 04-22-2007, 12:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Ah, that makes sense. Thanks for that Wayne.
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Re: A film question -- Polaroid 55
Old 04-22-2007, 02:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Many years ago, I had an advertising job that required a short turn-around time. I took the RB67 and type 55 film, a two liter bottle of Coke and an empty plastic container. I shot the church building, timed the process, separated the negative, and dropped it into the coke and dipped it a few times. After the second shot, a man came running out of the building to ask what I was doing. He understood that I was taking pictures, but couldn't understand the need to wash it in coke. I was told that coke makes a good substitute for sodioum sulfite. It worked for me anyway. I used Hypo after getting back to the studio and the negative still looks fine. Rick from Arkansas "Arkie"
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Re: A film question -- Polaroid 55
Old 04-22-2007, 02:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Wow, that's a new one on me! Good trick to know, though. Thanks for the tip, Rick!

Sam
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Re: A film question -- Polaroid 55
Old 04-23-2007, 12:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I just used to use water. It worked fine for me.
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