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Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by muaddib, Dec 1, 2010.
What is the purpose of a Polaroid Back on a MF film camera?
So you can get an instant check on your picture. It's what people did before digital cameras with instant review. You can take a polaroid and if its good, put a regular film back in and take the final picture. If it isn't good, change things and take another polaroid.
Is shooting Polaroid really cheap enough to make that a good idea?
To test lighting, primarily. And exposure. Think of it as an analog version of an LCD on a digital (arghhh!! sorry but get over it) camera.
Especially using strobes, the Polaroid provides a check before you burn a roll of film and wait for the processing, etc. Also gives immediate feedback for approval by art directors so they can now leave the studio to get lunch and get out of your hair.
When a studio shoot involves stylists, makeup artists, and sundry other people, yes, it is worth it. Beats reshooting a $5,000 setup.
To allow you to shoot Polaroid film (or now, the Fuji equivalents).
Only certain backs work now, because only certain sizes remain available.
A Polaroid print has its own particular characteristics, so that may be the photographer's final product. More commonly, the prints are used for test shots, and to communicate with people like art directors.
Digital backs can do some things similarly.
Starting to make sense and also I can see why I wouldn't have known any of this
Depending on where you are and how much shipping is, the regular Fuji packfilm is about US$1 - $1.50 per shot. Not cheap, but not a huge amount, either in the grand scheme. For example, name-brand 8 x 10 film runs about US$3 and up per shot before shipping (a quick check of B&H and Freestyle). So, it's all relative.
It allows you to shoot instant prints with your medium format camera.
I LOVE my polaroid back. I use it mainly for portraits, with Fuji FP-100C.
Shooting commercially I shot thousands of polaroid proofs over the years. In the day it was the only way for a client or creative director to get an idea of how the final transparency would look. It was cheap enough, relative to the cost of booking a re-shoot.
It used to be cheap enough, back in the day.
It's STILL cheaper than film processing.
One 10 pack of fuji FP-100c = $9.95 USD / 10 = $0.99 per exposure.
One roll of reala 100 = 4.95. + 10.00 processing = 14.95 + $8.00 contact sheet = $22.00 (on 6x7 that's $2.20 per exposure or $1.37 on 6 x 3.45, and you don't have a print yet!)