20 July 2012

Expired Polaroid Type 57 - Graflex Crown Graphic

You might remember, some time ago, that I mentioned purchasing two boxes of expired Polaroid Type 57. Well... it's taken just about a month, but, I finally have an image to show for it. Above is what I would consider my first successful shot on this 09 expired Polaroid Type 57 4x5 sheet film. By my calculations, this is the eighth attempt with this film - which to me just means I have 32 more good shots left in me.

Initially I thought the problem with this film was bad chemistry. Luckily, during Cleveland's Analog Pulse event, we did a large format walk with none other than Mat Marrash - a great large format photographer and co-host of the Film Photography Project's bi-monthly podcast. When Mat found out I was having trouble with my 57 he became determined to figure out why. What he found was that my film didn't appear to have any issues at all, but, it was in fact my Polaroid 545 back that was broken. Despite his best efforts, and many attempts at taking the back apart and reassembling, I eventually had to pick up another 545 off of Ebay.

All of that brings me to this week, and, up until this point I had probably wasted four sheets of film in learning that my film back was in fact never working. From there it only took one gross over-exposure, one bad pod with uneven chemistry, and then one gross under-exposure to eventually come up with this - Sheet number eight and my first successful (read useable) photo using this film.

It's not the best shot in the world, but I'm pretty happy to find this film in working order. There's definitely some grain and despite it's 3000 iso rating I'd venture to guess that it is actually closer to 2000 speed these days. Still, I'm shooting original large format Polaroid film. For a guy who really didn't even get a start in any analog photography until after the closing of the last polaroid factory... I'd say that's pretty cool.

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