Polaroid back for a '20s plate camera
What do you do if you'd like a fully manual packfilm Polaroid?
This, this is what you do.
What we do instead of buying a Polaroid 600se or Mamiya Universal is take the 6 x 9 plate camera we bought (that was offering its lens for another project) and instead stick the Polaroid back from the Polaroid Studio Express - I imagine any packfilmpolaback will do - that you have lying around collecting dust and that looks genuinely quite mocking with its four eyes trained continuously on you because you can't quite figure out the distance to use it for macro, even after you've used almost a full pack of fuji fp100c on it, and that the pics are almost always too close even if they are in focus, but also when 1 of the four is aimed just a bit too much to the right because you can't use the viewer and it's bloody hard to line up the damn thing and you then just have to consign this one too to the ever growing pile of "almosts" and "near-misses" - it's just that who wants to see a red blob instead of the actual flower, right? I’m not that avant-garde.
We build a bracket based on the camera’s own slide film holders (6mm and 4mm cardboard works great, but varnish it after you’ve glued it all together). We then attach that to the polaroid back's bracket, that done, we just slide it in like so many sheet film holders or ground glasses.
The film plane will be moved back a few cm so we'll need to re-measure our distance indicator (no trouble thanks to the ground glass). Adjust the ground glass so it sits as far back as the new film plane first and the job's a-good'un (or not as you may see by reading on).
Test shots have been uploaded http://thesadstork.deviantart.com/gallery/29850420
Now for some trouble shooting – the first shot went well and we learned that the shutter is a bit slower than maybe it should be. There are no light leaks *thanks god*. The second shot had it’s own phantoms, that never reappeared, so we can ignore that.
Here’s the big un tho’ – Focusing is out, not sure how or why. Up close the ground glass works fine to focus, but infinity is way off (as seen in shot 3) and focusing on the ground glass for the fourth shot, was out about 5m.
if anyone is interested -
unheated laminator pouches make a great sub for ground-glass, better even than the camera's original ground-glass