Saturday, March 6, 2010

Answers to Fuji Pack Instant Film Questions (while we are waiting for New55)

The smaller Fuji instant pack films that are the same size as the 100 series pack films include

  • FP-100B iso 100 Black and White
  • FP-100c iso 100 Color (like Pro-vivid)
  • FP-3000b iso 3000 speed black and white. (like 667)

These all fit instant backs such as the Polaroid 405 back - the one I use on a Speed Graphic.  Also  they work very well with any of the thousands of old Polaroid folding and hard bodied pack film cameras including The Reporter and many many others, and fit in all of the Polaroid backs made by Mamiya, and all of the scope cameras.  Excellent for pinhole conversions.

For more money, about twice as much, the first two films can also be bought in 4X5 that require a different holder known as a PA45.

The larger, more expensive 4X5 pack films

  • FP-100b45 iso 100 black and white instant film 4X5"
  • FP-100c45 iso 100 color instant film 4X5" - with bleach recoverable negative

Is there and FP-3000b45? I thought I did see it listed, but have not found it for sale.  However, in Japan, there are more listed here in this link than any I have seen in the US, including the 400 and 500 speed B&W film.

I really like the FP-100c45 a lot! I have shopped around and found the 4X5 material as low as about $16 a pack when bought in 5 or more. This is a good price considering the convenience and the size of the print you get, with a reclaimable negative. Some retailers charge twice as much but I think the prices are going down as more people discover how excellent Fuji instant pack film is for artistic purposes and more of it comes into the US. I know this sounds like an ad but I am enthusiastic about this material and want others to try it. That might encourage Fuji to take the next step and offer an instant packfilm black and white negative material, which would be most welcome.

This and the FP-100b45 work in the PA-45 Fuji processor and also the Polaroid 550 backs - both fit spring backs too, as they are quite slim, Graflok backs, and have dark slides. Very handy. I have not found a 4X5 that won't take these. The Busch Pressman is a good example of a hand holdable high quality 4X5 camera that can make excellent use of these films.

I have seen listed but not found the 3000 speed film in the 4X5 format.

All the Fuji peel apart instant films except the 3000 speed have negatives on clear bases with bleach removable masks. It is easy to get a decent negative that is pretty sharp from the FP-100c and I do it all the time. In fact it has become one of my favorite films - the reds especially, deep, intense and slightly glowy, but overall sharper and less bluish than Polaroid - still without reddish skin tones.

The Fuji positive color print is generally sharper than Polaroid was. The color negative is unique and has decent sharpness though certainly not on par with standard negative emulsions. But, it is easy to recover and seems ideal for scanning. Scannability is a key feature in some new Kodak films.

Very much recommended. I buy this stuff by the case and use it with my Speed Graphic and an F2.8 Xenotar mounted in a Copal No. 3 shutter, or with an Aero Ektar F2.5. These big lenses seem to like those films as much as I do.

Shoot in analog, Share in digital!

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

I, too, have discovered from googling that the fp100c has a negative hiding under the black backing material. The process of removing the backing is a bit tedious and have ruined a few when the bleach leaked onto the emulsion side.
From a flickr group, I think I remember reading that it's NOT possible to reveal a negative from fp3000b. Something about a non removable white backing or something.
I truly hope you are successful in creating something like the polaroid 55 film for negative scanning. It is fantastic stuff.

Bob Crowley said...

Once you get set up with a nice thick piece of glass, some gaffer's tape, and paper towel and plastic bag, the removal is easy.

Tape it face down sealed all around (when dry)

Cut three layers or so of paper towel to the size and lay them on the black back.

Soak them with bleach - enough to make them wet all over and press into contact.

Place a piece of plastic over that and then a book or something, and go have lunch.

In a half hour, you can lift off the black goo with one swipe very cleanly.

Then carefully clean the back with some windex.

Peel up the tape and get out your loupe! Be amazed at how sharp it can be!

Scan it in and wow.

Anonymous said...

FYI

http://www.japanexposures.com/shop/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=FP-

Bob Crowley said...

I see the 400 and 500 speed films in that listing. Quite a few instant films made by Fujifilm!


Why no Black and White negative material? Please ask them to start producing it if you know them. I would buy plenty of it.

Anonymous said...

FUJI HAS SEEN A BIG JUMP IN INSTANT SALES WITH ALL THE POLAGAGA

Jail Bird said...

Is there a way to get a 4x5 back for the Polaroid 600 SE? I would love to use the Fuji 4x5 film. Please let me know, thanks.

Bob Crowley said...

Yes, there has been at least one adapter, I believe for the 545 back, but the image area of the excellent 600SE is smaller than 4X5, so I would recommend using the smaller Fuji packfilm, and save the money for bleach and paper towels. :)

BTW the large Fuji instant film will not fit the Pola 545 back. It does fit the 550, and the Fuji PA-45 (recommended). How I love that gadget! It goes right on all my 4X5 cameras so nicely.

Jail Bird said...

So you are saying its not worth it and I really do need a 4x5 camera? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Fuji is discontinuing 400 and 500 instant film.

Bob Crowley said...

I don't think you need the 4X5 at all. I would love to have a 600SE. Packfilm and an accurate rangefinder = ecstasy. Three different lenses, several backs including 120 film backs - they are the coolest cameras.

On the other hand, Speed Graphics are cheap and I think a lot of fun, and you can mod them easily, tons of parts etc. if you are handy.

Too bad about 400 and 500. I've never seen them in person.

See what you all have done? Now I want a 600SE and an Industar.

BRUCE ROBBINS said...

Hi,

Am I right in thinking then that if I have a Polaroid 600 SE and use FP 100B I can get a negative using the bleaching process outlined above? If so, can you say what kind of quality the resultant negative is likely to be?

Cheers,
Bruce

Bob Crowley said...

Hi Bruce, the 100B does not produce a usable negative when the backing is removed. We tried many times and reported the results here. Use the search box and it should bring you to what we and others get. The reason for this is that Fuji uses very little silver, on the negative, but plenty for the DTR process, which is like an intensification process itself, as Land and Rogers reported back when they first started selling. Fuji in its technically superior way has taken it to the extreme, and the results of the FP100B45 positive images (also shown here on this blog) are superior in sharpness to the old Polaroid materials, and arguably have a longer scale with better d max and subtle mid tones.

Philip Dykes said...

Bob,

Can you please elaborate on the negative clearing process using the FP-100c45? - I find this fascinating and would appreciate more details in order to test. Regards

Philip

Bob Crowley said...

Philip

Look on the right hand column, and you will see a picture of a negative, under "latest posts". Click on that for a detailed tutorial on that subject.