neat way to add three stops

Polaroid ad in LIFE (1959) offering ISO (ASA) 3,000 film

Toronto. A half century ago if you wanted a fast film you went with Tri-X ISO (ASA) 400 B&W film. Tri-X was marketed around 1940 as a larger size film with an ASA of 200. In 1954 it was offered in 120 and 35mm format too at 320 (tungsten) and 400 (daylight) which could be pushed to 800 ASA with the right developers.

Polaroid beat the pants off Kodak with its ASA 3,000 B&W film, touting use indoors with no flash during the day and a camera mounted wink light (AKA fill-in flash) at night by indoor lighting with the wink light softening any shadows.

Today’s digital cameras easily offer an ISO of 3,00o and higher. My old Sony NEX-6 goes to an amazing ISO of 25,600! But in the days of film, Polaroid’s ASA 3,000 film was something to be proud about! My thanks to friend and fellow PHSC member George Dunbar for researching this historical ad in the September 28, 1959 issue of LIFE magazine (pp 21-23). Well done George!

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