What 4x5 folding camera for use with Type 55 Polaroid film

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Fintan, Jul 17, 2005.

  1. Fintan

    Fintan Member

    Messages:
    1,793
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2004
    Location:
    Ireland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Can you guys offer any suggestions as to any [old] folding camera that can take Type 55 instant film?

    Is it possible?

    Fintan
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    17,946
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Any 4x5" camera with a conventional spring back and a Polaroid holder can take type 55. That's just about all of them, which the exception of some Graflex reflex cameras that don't take standard sized filmholders, and maybe a few others.
     
  3. Fintan

    Fintan Member

    Messages:
    1,793
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2004
    Location:
    Ireland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Great thanks, could anyone make any recomendations for a cheap camera and a holder?
     
  4. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

    Messages:
    4,679
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Location:
    Italia
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    What are you going to do with it? Plus you're in Ireland. Might end up saving money just seeing what you can find near to home.
     
  5. Fintan

    Fintan Member

    Messages:
    1,793
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2004
    Location:
    Ireland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I looked here and dont see anything in working order so I'm looking at that auction site. I'll be doing some portraits with it and trying some of the different polaroid techniques hopefully, so any recomendations appreciated.

    I saw an old eastman folder being used a while ago and saw the prints made. Lovely.
     
  6. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

    Messages:
    4,679
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Location:
    Italia
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Do you really need folding? A cheap monorail would be my choice. Nice long bellows. Unlikely to attract much bidding. If you're not hiking then it won't be much of a hassle.
     
  7. Fintan

    Fintan Member

    Messages:
    1,793
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2004
    Location:
    Ireland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'd prefer folding really but thanks for the suggestion.
     
  8. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    17,946
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    The holder you want is a 545 or 545i.

    For portraits you don't need a lot of camera movements, but you want enough bellows to get in close for the lens you are using, and some front rise and fall can be handy. There are lots of good cameras out there. As long as everything is straight, steady, and the bellows is light tight, you'll do fine. Among old wooden flatbed cameras, it's hard to recommend one over another without knowing the condition of the particular cameras you're considering.

    If you go to lfphoto.info, there are some good articles on the main page about the general types of cameras that are out there.
     
  9. MattCarey

    MattCarey Member

    Messages:
    1,303
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    OK--here is one suggestion:

    Burke and James (B&J) Press camera. A fair amount of movents (supposed to be more than the Graflex press cameras), folds up, cheaper than the Crown graphic, has a rangefinder (can be useful at times but a pain to reset for different lenses).

    I got mine with a polaroid film holder, a better than standard lens (152mm ektar) for ~$170. I probably overpaid.

    Matt
     
  10. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

    Messages:
    4,679
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Location:
    Italia
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The only problem with the B&J press is the bellows are around 11" I think. Without measuring mine.

    Instead how about one of the 5x7 woodies? Get one with a 4x5 back. It'll have more then enough bellows for 4x5. If it comes with both the 4x5 and 5x7 back you'll be able to shoot both formats. Not the best choice for wide angle lenses. Okay for wide 5x7 but not for wide 4x5.

    B&J and Ansco both made them. Neither tends to be expensive.
     
  11. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    9,281
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2002
    Location:
    Bergen, Norw
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Some 5x7" cameras with 4x5" backs have problems with the Polaroid holders - the "lump" at the top interferes with the camera back plate, so that the holder won't seat properly. The flatter the back, the worse. It is a good idea to check whether a Polaroid holder will actually fit on a conversion back before deciding on that solution. I had this problem with a Linhof Technika III 5x7", and that is why I got a 4x5" Linhof Color.
     
  12. Jim_in_Kyiv

    Jim_in_Kyiv Member

    Messages:
    231
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Location:
    Ukraine
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    Having had a Speed Graphic and the B&J Press camera in 4x5, I'd recommend the SG first if you're going to carry it much. The B&J has a metal body - VERY solid, but noticeably heavier.
     
  13. AndrewL

    AndrewL Member

    Messages:
    5
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2004
    Location:
    London, UK.
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Can you guys offer any suggestions as to any [old] folding camera that can take Type 55 instant film?

    Is it possible?

    How 'bout an MPP technical camera? They're basically British versions of Linhof technical cameras but they are a heck of a lot cheaper. They are extremely robust and they can take Polaroids backs. They come up on ebay fairly regularly.

    Good luck.