Do I need a PA-45/Polaroid 550 holder to shoot Fuji Instant 4x5's?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by holmburgers, Dec 8, 2009.

  1. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    I mean... is the film too thick to fit in an ordinary 4x5 film holder? It'd be awesome to not have to shell out an absurd price for a pretty basic piece of plastic. I'm guessing that it won't work, but I just haven't seen this question posed before, so why not?!

    Oh, and also, using the FP-100C45 or FP-100B45 Fuji Instant Peel-Apart films, if I did get a Polaroid 550 back, what about the rollers? Can I bypass them or will it not affect things either way?

    Thanks so much!

    Chris 'holmburgers' H.
     
  2. cabbiinc

    cabbiinc Member

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    How would you process the film if you didn't use the rollers?

    I haven't tried it, but the instant Fuji film is bigger than a regular 4x5 film holder unless you plan to cut the chemical packs off of them.

    Doesn't a Polaroid 550 back have rollers? It's essentially the same as a PA-45. The rollers push the chemicals across the film, so they are indeed essential.
     
  3. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Oh, well that's good to know. :wink: However, I thought you developed by peeling apart the film, not using the rollers. But then again, I don't know a thing, I've never used the film or seen it in person.

    And yes, the Polaroid 550 does have rollers, and my question was assuming that I didn't need the rollers.

    Thanks!
     
  4. cabbiinc

    cabbiinc Member

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    I have a PA-45 for FP-100C/B45 film and a Polaroid 405 for FP-100C/B. They work very much the same. I did screw up my first pack of film as I just didn't know what I was doing yet and had someone show me just how easy it was. Check Youtube for tutorials. The first tab you pull comes out of a different spot than the tab that's attached to the film. I'm not explaining it very well.

    I will say that it's worth it, to me anyways, to have both sizes of backs as I can't source any color 45 film locally. Plus the smaller size is about a third the price.
     
  5. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Hmm, that's a great point actually, because the small size would still be very useful/enjoyable & affordable isn't a dirty word in my vocabulary.

    So that brings up another question, what about the Polaroid 545 holder? Appears to be the same/simliar to the 405 in functionality.(?) And cheaper yet.
     
  6. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

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    Not only are the rollers necessary to develop the film, but the film is inserted as a pack, not individual sheets. This pack is far too thick to fit in a standard film holder intended for sheet film.
     
  7. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    I see....

    I'm certainly learning a lot. Excuse my ignorance and thanks for your replies!

    Any good resources where this is all laid out? There's lots of literature but most relates specifically Polaroids. Any idears?

    thnx
     
  8. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The Fuji film is the same format as Polaroid pack film and operates in the same way. Unfortunately they aren't offering a sheet film format that would fit the 545 type holders that were more popular among fine art and commercial photographers, but the biggest demand for instant film has long been for passport and ID photos, and those cameras use pack film.

    Each exposure has a negative side, a positive receiving sheet, and a set of chemical pods. When you pull the film the rollers, the chemical pods break and a chemical gel that includes everything necessary for processing the negative in one thickened mixture is spread evenly between the sheets, the neg side develops and the image diffuses to the positive sheet. That it works, and in color no less, is incredible.
     
  9. WetMogwai

    WetMogwai Member

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    I bought a 545 Pro and a pack of Fuji FP-100C45. I didn't realize my mistake until I tried to load it. Now, I'm looking for ways to use the $30 pack of film. I've been thinking of exposing it in the darkroom with my enlarger, possibly as a way to copy slide film or to do abstract things with filters, lenses, and prisms. Will a standard kitchen rolling pin do the job, or are the proper rollers charged or have some other necessary property that a wooden rolling pin wouldn't?
     
  10. sangetsu

    sangetsu Member

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    You are pretty much between a rock and a hard place. The film requires steady and constant pressure across it's entire surface in order to develop properly. Even when using the correct film holder, you must pull out each sheet in a smooth and uninterrupted motion for it to work right.

    You should look around thrift shops and such for old passport cameras, I've found 2 of these already with the Polaroid/Fuji backs still attached. The first camera I bought I paid $20 for, the second was $40. The cost for the two cameras and film backs was less than what a single one of these backs sells for on ebay.

    You can keep your 545 pro back, you can use it with Fuji Quickload film.
     
  11. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    How does the "pack" work? 10 sheets in a pack, I know, but you pull out 1 at a time, right? So the 405 holder is like the 550 or Fuji PA-45, except for a smaller coverage area??

    In summation, for FP-100C45 or FP-100B45 I need a Polaroid 550 or a Fuji PA-45 holder. And for FP-100B/C I need a 405.

    Tell me if I'm spot on.

    Cheers, and dare I say.... happy holidays!
     
  12. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

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    Correct. Use the 405 for the smaller film, and use the 550 for the larger film. Both holders fit onto a 4x5 camera, but will produce two different size images.
     
  13. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    awesome, thanks so much. i think i'm set!
     
  14. cabbiinc

    cabbiinc Member

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    The Fuji equivalents are the PA-45 for the larger pack, and PA-145 for the smaller packs. Look on Youtube for tutorials for the pack you wind up buying, although from what I can tell they are all pretty much the same in function.