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The end of the 20-inch-by-24-inch Polaroid
Old 06-20-2016   #1
ironhorse
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The end of the 20-inch-by-24-inch Polaroid

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/21/ar...=top-news&_r=0
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Old 06-20-2016   #2
ColSebastianMoran
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The big Polaroid portraits I've seen have been very very nice. Two friends have Elsa Doorman portraits.

Part of the demise is that we can now make excellent 20x24 prints from today's digital sensors.

Would the big Polaroids be that much better than from a 24MPx body with good lens and technique? 36MPx? Or MF digital? Maybe I'm wrong, but I think not, or the money would be there to make more of the film.
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Old 06-20-2016   #3
Jan Pedersen
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8x10 is the largest format i have used and i would claim that no small camera will ever compete with a well made contact copy same size.
A Polaroid is a direct positive so in theory should be even better. I don't think any small format or medium format camera will ever compete with a 20x24 direct positive.
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Old 06-20-2016   #4
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Imo the quality was not that good and feel it was mostly a gimmick.
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Old 06-20-2016   #5
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If I were Mr. Close I would not "Go Digital" but just use Ilford special run ULF 20x24 HP5 and contact print.

If there is one thing the photography world needs less of it is phenomenal artists like Close succumbing needlessly to digital imaging.
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Old 06-20-2016   #6
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I remember RFF member Frank Petronio made a few very nice images with that camera.

BTW pictures of the camera itself are pretty impressive. What a beast.
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Old 06-20-2016   #7
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There really is nothing like ULF...
Nothing...!
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Old 06-20-2016   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emile de Leon View Post
There really is nothing like ULF...
Nothing...!
Yes....and no....
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Old 06-20-2016   #9
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Originally Posted by KM-25 View Post
Yes....and no....
Yeah - lots of variables. Shooting conditions, what sizes we are talking about, lens coverage and availability, portability, film selection, paper/process ... etc. ULF introduces challenges that must be overcome or at least well planned for at all stages, but when they are, the results can be staggering.

With that said, a boring picture made well, is still boring.
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Old 06-20-2016   #10
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Polaroids are magical. The big 20x24 is the stuff of legend. I'd love to rent a session and make a few prints with it, but I'm not wealthy enough for that. Wish I could go for the 8x10 stuff even, but it's just not in my income bracket.

I'll be content with my Impossible Project work.

G
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Old 06-20-2016   #11
sevo
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Originally Posted by ColSebastianMoran View Post
Would the big Polaroids be that much better than from a 24MPx body with good lens and technique? 36MPx? Or MF digital?
It is ENTIRELY different in looks, in ways that no digital camera can imitate. In that portraits taken with that camera are firmly macro, with a enlargement ratio greater than 1:1. As long as nobody makes a digital sensor of 20x24" size (and even 4x5" sensors have already vanished), the closest digital substitute are these scanners DIY converted to ULF cameras - but these are restricted to the size of a reasonably light weight scanner, so they aren't anywhere as big.
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Old 06-20-2016   #12
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Originally Posted by sevo View Post
It is ENTIRELY different in looks, in ways that no digital camera can imitate. . . .
True. Frances and I have a 20x24 Polaroid portrait of ourselves taken in '95 and it's pure magic. NOTHING else looks like it.

Cheers,

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Old 06-20-2016   #13
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Imo the quality was not that good . . .
Compared with WHAT, for God's sake? Have you ever seen an original?

Cheers,

R.
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Old 06-21-2016   #14
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Originally Posted by Jan Pedersen View Post
8x10 is the largest format i have used and i would claim that no small camera will ever compete with a well made contact copy same size. . .
Dear Jan,

I used to agree but then I tried 3x enlargements off Linhof "6x7" (56x72mm), which are within a millimetre or two of whole-plate and are indistinguishable from a whole-plate contact print. The biggest camera I have is 12x15 inch so I am not unfamiliar with ULF.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 06-21-2016   #15
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Years ago I had the opportunity to assist a portrait session of Enzo Biagi, a famous italian journalist. I do not remember who the photographer was, only know she was a woman.

The camera itself, the session, the procedure was something so special the my limited english cannot adequately describe.

And the final result was impressive.

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Old 06-21-2016   #16
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Having just followed the link, I have to say that the article was drivel.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 06-21-2016   #17
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Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
I'd love to rent a session and make a few prints with it, but I'm not wealthy enough for that. Wish I could go for the 8x10 stuff even, but it's just not in my income bracket.
The quoted rental charge of $1750 for the day and $125 per polaroid seems quite reasonable if you view the exercise as a kind of once-in-a-lifetime opportunity (clearly Polaroid won't be making any more of the cameras or the chemistry). Daily charge and, say, 10 polaroids, all for less than half the cost of a poxy digital Leica. All a question of photographic priorities, I'd say.
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Old 06-21-2016   #18
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I think it's sad that a format this interesting is dying. It's not whether a digital file can emulate this or not, it's about WHAT the actual format is and how unique it is for that reason.
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Old 06-21-2016   #19
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If Polaroid had kept making the old roll films, I never would have put my 110B out to pasture.

Though the article may be drivel, Roger, at least I hope it helps Mr. Rueter to use up the rest of the film stock.

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Old 06-21-2016   #20
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I'm not knowledgeable on ULF but could the camera still be used with photo paper as a negative and then contact printed? At least for B&W?
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Old 06-21-2016   #21
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An old teacher of mine, Dawoud Bey, has used this camera extensively. His work is worth checking out if you like portraits and this camera.
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Old 06-21-2016   #22
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. . . Though the article may be drivel, Roger, at least I hope it helps Mr. Rueter to use up the rest of the film stock.
Very true. It's just so sad that they felt the need to compare it with digital. I don't think that anyone who knew anything much about photography would have done that.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 06-21-2016   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
Dear Jan,

I used to agree but then I tried 3x enlargements off Linhof "6x7" (56x72mm), which are within a millimetre or two of whole-plate and are indistinguishable from a whole-plate contact print. The biggest camera I have is 12x15 inch so I am not unfamiliar with ULF.

Cheers,

R.
Pretty random place for this, but I have to say, Roger - your 3x rule is darkroom gold.
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Old 06-21-2016   #24
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The quoted rental charge of $1750 for the day and $125 per polaroid seems quite reasonable if you view the exercise as a kind of once-in-a-lifetime opportunity (clearly Polaroid won't be making any more of the cameras or the chemistry). Daily charge and, say, 10 polaroids, all for less than half the cost of a poxy digital Leica. All a question of photographic priorities, I'd say.
I agree, it's a matter of photographic priorities. My poxy digital Leicas will last me for many years and many thousands of photographs, as will my even more poxy film Leicas or ultimately poxy Hasselblad SWC. I won't spend a few thousand dollars to have one shooting session with the 20x24 because I know it usually takes me at least a couple of sessions with ANY camera to learn it sufficiently well that I can get what I want out of it.

I think the right thing for me to do is to find an occasion where some other, experience user is renting the 20x24 and engage with them to shoot a photo or two for me. I wouldn't mind spending $600 for a couple of original prints. I better get on it to do it sometime soon. ;-)

G
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Old 06-21-2016   #25
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It's sad, perhaps the Impossible folks will pick it up.

I've seen great work with many different formats but have to say, there is often something magical as you move up in format size.

Sad, but I bet it's not the Fat Lady singing.

B2 (;->
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Old 06-21-2016   #26
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It's just so sad that they felt the need to compare it with digital. I don't think that anyone who knew anything much about photography would have done that.
100% agreed.
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