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  1. #1
    bobwysiwyg's Avatar
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    Who Uses Instant Film Packs?

    As someone who has just recently begun shooting 4x5 and very much a learner, how many use such packs? I can see the value, that is a preview, but seems a bit like instant gratification, something I've come to dislike about the digicam.

    One the other hand, while still learning, it seems more logical. However a Fuji holder looks like it retails for $200 which seems like a lot for something that might be used temporarily.

    Anyone care to chime in with thoughts or opinions?
    WYSIWYG - At least that's my goal.

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  2. #2
    Greg Davis's Avatar
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    I use it as a teaching aid in my Large Format classes. The students are able to see me apply the Scheimpflug principle or perspective control and get results they can see on film immediately. I can also use it during their practical exams so I can see if they are learning and applying it properly.
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  3. #3
    DanielStone's Avatar
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    i still use the last of my type 54 and type 55 . Now the pa-45 holder from fuji with their color and b/w films. I think that the QC from fuji is better than that from Polaroid, at least in the last 2 years or so. Sometimes its nice when doing a shot where you still 2nd guess yourself and your calculations on that transparency where you don't want to risk it. I find it easier to pack a single pack of color and a pack of b/w when i backpack, and sometimes when you're 2nd guessing yourself(hey, photogs do this, at least this one does sometimes )

    I still know many a professional who is still shooting 4x5 who uses it. I have assisted for an automotive shooter who uses his PA-45 religiously. Whatever the shoot size (1 car or 10), he always has a case or 2 of the film at hand. Hey, it gets me some cool pics to post on the fridge

    He's starting to shoot more digital on jobs now, but he still prefers 4x5 transparencies.

    But in answer to your question, YES; there are still many people who like to see what they have working for them if they have any reservations about the shot.

    -dan


  4. #4

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    I use it, and I love it. You'd have to be crazy to pay the $200 new retail price for a new instant film back, you can get one on ebay for less than half that cost. I got mine in a used camera shop here in Japan for about $40.

    I don't use an instant back for instant gratification, but for insurance. If you are shooting 4x5, then you know how much work it takes to set up and compose a shot. A shot on instant film lets me know if my exposure settings are correct, rather than having to wait until after I develop my film.

    Fuji's basic instant films are very cheap and easy to use, and they give great results.

  5. #5
    bobwysiwyg's Avatar
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    Thank you for the replies and input. I guess it might make sense to at least have the capability of using the packs. My wife and I travel a bit by car, some distance, and I take the 4x5. It's my first, a Cambo, seems quite versatile, but not very portable, so I see a folder in my future if I can learn and get comfortable with 4x5. It would make sense to be able to pre-verify exposure, etc. since these may be one-time opportunities that I can't easily go back and reshoot should I screw up.

    Here is my problem. I've done a number of searches and found many references to 4x5 instant film pack backs and films. It seems Fuji is about the only option film-wise and it comes in 2 different size/formats for black and white??

    I've seen references to various pack backs also, several older Polaroid backs that might be compatible with Fuji film packs and of course Fuji backs. I don't know if it's a matter of too much coffee, or not enough, but my head is swimming.

    Can someone deliniate the various combinations of backs and film packs that are suitable for my needs?
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  6. #6
    keithwms's Avatar
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    I use instant film quite a bit and sometimes use the fuji fp100c as final output. You can transfer the image or lift the emulsion- quite fun.

    I'd say just get a fuji pa45 back and use the 4x5 fuji pack films. Try fp100b45, 3000b45, and 100c45.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  7. #7
    Ian Leake's Avatar
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    I don't but I would if I could get a back in the UK. I've been told they won't be available here until September :-(

  8. #8
    bobwysiwyg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by keithwms View Post
    I use instant film quite a bit and sometimes use the fuji fp100c as final output. You can transfer the image or lift the emulsion- quite fun.

    I'd say just get a fuji pa45 back and use the 4x5 fuji pack films. Try fp100b45, 3000b45, and 100c45.
    Thanks, Keith. I did a quick search and there don't seem to be too many used Fuji holders available at the moment and $200+ new is a bit more than I can afford. I will keep checking.

    I also saw references to Polaroid 550 backs being compatible with the Fuji film packs. Is this true? If it is, it at least broadens the field of search.
    WYSIWYG - At least that's my goal.

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  9. #9

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    for exposure (not composition) checks, I use 'standard' FP100C (not '45') in a Polaroid 405 back. I'd like to have a go with the 4x5 instant film, but the 550 backs still seem to be not that cheap... I'd love to find a $40 550 !!

    (Fuji FP100C45 fits the Polaroid 550 or Fuji PA-45 back; Fuji FP100C fits the Polaroid 405 back)

  10. #10
    bobwysiwyg's Avatar
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    Oh , oh, the confusion is setting in again. So a Polaroid 405 back works with pack film also (though perhaps a smaller format?)? Newbie needs pretty specific direction here. :rolleyes:
    WYSIWYG - At least that's my goal.

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