Type 52 Polaroid
Polaroid Type 52, along with all other Polaroid film, was discontinued in 2008 by the Polaroid corporation. Type 52 was a 4x5 black and white sheet film. There was no negative so the resulting images were truly one-of-a kind. The film's tonal range fell within a rather narrow 3-4 stops but offered exceptional mid-tone separation which, given the right subject matter and exposure, could render spectacular results.
Photographing in the Field
Notoriously finicky, photographing with Type 52 was an exercise in patience. Each film sheet is exposed and processed for ~2 minutes and evaluated. Production runs were inconsistent, so even when you thought you had everything just right, the print might come out spotted or with a corner missing. While the film's ISO was 400 we often found that ISO 800 more adequately served as a basis for determining initial exposure. And with exposure sensitivity down to 1/8 stop, you had to constantly monitor the available light. It was not uncommon to expose 6, 10, even a whole box of 20 sheets to get the desired result.
Post Processing & Display
Once out of the field, a protective archival (and quite stinky) coating is sponged on the print giving it a subtle purplish hue and a glossy finish. Matted, mounted and framed, the displayed prints are perfectly imperfect exhibiting an occasional processing spot or two, minute hairs from the sponge coaters and maybe even a bit of field dust if you're lucky. Archivally coated and presented, prints will last upwards of 100 years.
View the Type 52 Polaroid Gallery.
Surviving bankruptcy, assets auctions, and lots of litigation, Polaroid's long road from analog instant pictures to digital culminated in hiring Lada Gaga as its Creative Director and introducing a new line of products.
Z340 Instant Camera
The Polaroid Z340 is a 14MP digital camera capable of printing full color 3x4" photos. The camera uses Zero Ink® Printing Technology from ZINK Imaging — ZINK inkless printing embeds color into the paper - no ink cartridges needed.
GL10 Mobile Printer
The Grey Label™ GL10 bridges the classic instant print with today digital capture devices, namely cell-phones. Over Wi-fi or Bluetooth, the printer takes digital images producing 3x4" full bleed or classic Polaroid border pictures.