OK, yes, it's another post about me playing with an expired film again. This is more than expired -- it's no longer produced. My friend Geoff Foster gave me a cassette and the processor cartridge of Polacolor 35mm film. It is a 35mm transparency film that was produced by Polaroid up until maybe 5 or 6 years ago. Before the days of Powerpoint, it was great to have a film that could be quickly processed to make slides for presentations, etc. Polaroid produced several high-contrast films for that purpose (I have shot a roll of Polablue film) for graphs and text, but Polacolor was intended for full-color rendition of a subject. At an ISO of 40 -- not a fast film and kind of grainy. As you'll see it has its own look.
According to the Land List:
* Film speed: ASA 40
* Sold in 12 and 36 exposure rolls.
NOTES: Polachrome is the technological successor to the Polavision instant movie system introduced in the late 1970's. [See the notes regarding Polavision Type 608 film for some details about how this film works.] By the way, one significant difference between Polachrome and Polavision film is the way the 'negative' is handled. [All Polaroid instant positive films involve a photographic negative somewhere, even if you don't normally see it.] With Polachrome, the negative is part of that black coating you can see on the film during loading. This black coating gets stripped away at the end of the development process, leaving just the positive transparency. The black coating (assuming it strips off the way it's supposed to) ends up back in the processing cartridge, which is then discarded. The old Polavision film, however, had both film and processing materials within the same self-contained package, so there was no way to 'discard' the negative after development. Therefore, Polavision film was designed so that the negative layer would simply remain on the film, but turn transparent after a short period of time. Apparently, this process wasn't quite perfect, and resulted in somewhat reduced contrast compared with the newer Polachrome film.
I tried the film out today -- put the roll into my Minolta X-700 to give that camera some use for a change. I didn't know if the film had lost any sensitivity, but I shot it at and ISO of 40 just the same. This evening, I ran the film through the Polaroid Autoprocessor -- a box with cranks that winds the film along with its processing cartridge, and after about 2 minutes, the film was ready to take out and examine.
Unfortunately, the black backing (the negative) did not come off in the processor, so I ended up soaking the film in fixer for 5 minutes and then washing in water, and ran the film between my rubber-gloved fingers to pull the stuff away. It worked, but the emulsion is pretty soft, and I ended up scratching the transparency film. In any case, it was interesting to play with the film and the fact that I got anything at all was a complete surprise!
Here are some results: