Bleaching FujiFilm FP-100C Instant Film
Updated: Aug 2
For those of you unaware, FujiFilm’s FP-100C is peel apart film used in Polaroid cameras and other cameras equipped with a Polaroid back. I’ve been shooting the stuff for a few years on a Mamiya RB-67 and Polaroid pack film cameras (seen above). Other than Polaroid and FujiFilm Instax, Fuji’s peel-apart films were the only other dominate option for instant analogue photography. (Unfortunately, this film has been discontinued. It can still be found on the secondary market or some lucky stores, however.)
I just recently found out how to salvage the negatives from FP-100C. For years I’ve just peeled off the exposed prints and disposed of the “other part”. I have been missing out! Not any more, however!
My wife and I took a trip to our friend’s ranch a few weeks ago and she shot a lot of FP-100C while we were there. We saved all of her negatives and stored them in a box once they had all dried. Side note: I’ve found if you stash the negative away in a dark dry place, you can still salvage it. If it’s left out in the open sun to dry, exposure will run its course and the negative will be overexposed/washed out. Anyhow, she took an image of me plinking away with a bb gun on their back porch. It’s a little dark on the print but I’ll be able to pull out some shadow detail once the negative has been scanned (that’s one of the cool things about this).
To salvage the negative it’s quite simple actually. You’ll need:
8×10-ish piece of glass
small paint brush
container to hold bleach
clips to dry the negative
All you have to do is …
1. Peel the paper off around edges of negative.
2. Prop the glass up in the sink and run some cold water over it.
3. Turn water off and immediately place the negative face down (black side up). Press down on it so it seals itself to the glass.
4. Pour a little bit of bleach onto the back of the negative.
5. Without getting bleach underneath the negative, brush off the black backing of the negative. Frequently dip the brush back into the container of bleach.
6. Run cold water over the negative to wash away backing. Be careful not to get water underneath the negative at this time.
7. Pull the negative off of the glass using rubber gloves.
8. Wash the developer goop off of the negative. Be careful to not apply a lot of pressure otherwise you might rub off part of the emulsion.
9. Hang the negative up to dry and you’re all set!
10. Finished and scanned negative from FP-100C – white blotches are from where the black backing was not bleached off.
Here's another example of a finished product: