Converting RB-545i back for Fuji Quickloads
by, 05-03-2008 at 10:59 PM (3552 Views)
Disclaimer: this particular operation was on my rb67-545i back. A 545 holder which doesn't already fit on your rb won't fit any better after this operation! This operation is to make it easier to use Fuji quickloads with your545 back.
I have a Polaroid 545i back for my rb67, with which I have been shooting type 55. Now that 55 is leaving us and I have only a few boxes left, I'll just use my remaining 665 for the rb and run Fuji quickloads through the Polaroid back. Seems like it might get some use that way because I really like the compactness and one-at-a-time shooting convenience of the quickloads... in spite of their expense. Moreover, quickloads are very easy to travel with and process individually.
[Yes I realize that only a 7x7cm area on the 4x5 film will be exposed, and no I don't care There's plenty of great information in that 7x7 cm square, I like squares, and if I want to shoot full 4x5 then I'll just use a 4x5... ]
Now, various sites indicate that running quickloads through a polaroid back should work, although the back allegedly doesn't hold the film as flat as it could. This hasn't been an issue for me; perhaps if I were using f/2 lenses with the rb then I might see it! :rolleyes:
Anyway, to test the back, I inserted a Fuji quickload sheet and found that it was indeed deploying, releasing and re-clipping correctly.
But, unfortunately.... the quickload end-clip was hanging up in the holder each time I tried to withdraw it. At that point, the only way to get the film out intact is to disassamble the whole back. :o Not good!
The solution is a very simple operation as follows:
First disassemble the 545i holder. Next remove the offending clip (it is held into the holder front in a very obvious way). With that gone, the holder looks like the first photo attachment.
Next it is important to file or dremel down the screw ends that protrude up through the front, because these can grab the quickload clip as you pull it out. (N.b. these may have been my culprit in the first place- you can diagnose the issue yourself by looking at any bend marks on your quickload clips). With the metal spring parts bent down and the screw tips dremeled smooth, the front look like the second attached photo.
That's all there is to it. Shoot quickloads and be happy. When you pull out the darkslide cover, just be sure not to pull too far! But it will grab the quickload clip correctly and withdraw as smoothly (with the R button down) as in a proper Fuji holder.
Another tip: if you really don't plan to use the back for polaroid processing again, why not remove the processing rollers etc to decrease the weight of the back.
P.S. If you have a general 545 back and want to shoot quickloads with it, just try it first, and if it doesn't work (clips hang or whatever), consider the simple operation above, which only takes a few minutes.