Backs for instant film - what is available?
I consider getting a TLR (Rolleiflex T) again as I miss it since I sold it last year. I realized that there is a back for instant films, but frankly I did not manage to find out what type of film and whether such film is still available. I am aware that there is only Fuji and the Impossible project when it comes to instant film.
1) So - a general question - for which medium format (preferably 6x6 and larger) are there backs for instant (polaroid) film available - is the film still available?
2) On which cameras (apart from the polaroid SX 70 and the series 600 - these cameras do not appeal to me much) can the films from Impossible Project be used? The sheets are rather large at about 10 x 10 cm with picture area about 8 x 8 cm.
My point is - it would be great to have a medium format camera on which I could put an instant film back from time to time.
That's it. SX70 film can be used on Polaroid cameras that accept SX70 film and the 600 series film can be used on Polaroid cameras that accept it, including the SLR680/690 cameras. These are called integral films and to my knowledge there is no interchangeable film back to use them on other cameras.
Originally Posted by Matus Kalisky
Only the "packfilm" type films (now manufactured by Fuji) can be used on the cameras that offer appropriate backs.
So, the only pack film left are the 3 Fuji films: FP-100C, FP-100B, FP-3000B, with the second one being marked as discontinued. And all these films are for 4x5" cameras. So - in other words, there is no pack film left for medium format
It seems that better solution for the prints on the go is the 'non-analog' one (Polaroid recently introduced new mobile printer - the GL10) ...
the mamiya universal and it's polaroid equivalent, the 600se cover the whole format of the fuji 100 film with the 3 lenses designed for the format, which is bigger than 6x9.
there is wonderful page explaining all and the differences between the two cameras:
The Land list covers Polaroid models and which film type they accept. Anything that accepts 100-series pack film will accept the Fuji FP-100C or FP-3000B. Both these instant pack films from Fuji are easily sourced. The Polaroid folding pack film cameras have an interesting styling and come in a multitude of variations.
Polaroid backs (there are several different models of back available) for the Mamiya RB67 and RZ67 will accept Fuji FP-100C and FP-3000B but will not fill the frame. They project a roughly 7x7 square image with a black bar on either side. I shoot both films on my RB67 Pro S.
There is also a rather unusual Polaroid back for the Mamiya system made by (I think) Arca, that allows two portrait format images to be shot side-by-side on the same piece of instamt film. I've seen examples online and the effect is very good with creative possibilities.
I shoot hybrid, and it's ok.. . :D
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There were several backs that used Polaroid, instant pack films, and today, these backs will accept two (2) different sizes of Fuji pack films.
The smaller 3.25 X 4.25 size pack, and the larger 4 X 5 size pack.
Polaroid 405 series backs were produced, (and sometimes, third-party modified en-masse), for 35mm cameras, MF cameras, and LF cameras.
The majority of these Polaroid backs are for MF cameras, but some Polaroid 405 backs were made for 4 X 5, LF cameras.
Fuji also made a small back, the PA-145, that fits LF cameras, as well as Fuji's MF cameras.
The Polaroid 405/Fuji PA-145 backs accept Fuji FP100c, FP100b, and FP3000b, 3.25 X 4.25, pack film, 10 sheets per pack.
It does appear that only the FP100c and FP3000b are still in production in this smaller size, though shelves are still stocked with the FP100b.
The larger 4 X 5 backs are IIRC, exclusively for LF cameras only. These backs are the Polaroid 550 and the Fuji PA-45.
Pack film still available from Fuji for these larger backs, again with 10 sheets per pack, are FP10045c and FP300045b,
though the black & white version in this larger size has been discontinued.
I have seen 405 backs for Nikon 35mm cameras, Mamiya 645's, RB's and RZ's, MF Fuji's, Mamiya and/or Polaroid-Universal/Press type cameras, and Cambo Passport cameras. There are many others, but I have not seen/handled them personally.
IIRC, Fuji pack films were not officially allowed/imported to North America until after Polaroid's first bankruptcy in 2002.
In my opinion, Fuji pack film, was, and has always been, superior to Polaroid's pack film.
Also, when shopping for a Polaroid back for a medium-format camera, take careful note of how large the image will be. For instance, although I have a Polaroid back for my Mamiya 645 Pro, when I use it the image is only as large as a 645 (i.e., 4.5 x 6 cm) negative, which is nowhere near the size of the instant film.
That might be okay for the purposes of testing exposure, but if you're looking to use pack film with a medium-format camera, you might be quite disappointed. It might be better to just use a Polaroid pack camera.
Thank you for detailed explanations. I think I got it I hoped that there are is smaller format available as pack film than the 3.25 X 4.25. I have browsed (thanks for the links) and realized that the cameras that can make use film of this size are rather bulky (well, they do produce a large image and can often shoot 6x9 on roll film). What I hoped to find was some kind of 3x3 or so film (probably never existed I guess) that could be used with 6x6 cameras without too much overhead.
I also shoot 4x5" so I am not scared easily by the size, but I hoped for more "carry on" type of solution. I guess I will stay with contact printing for the time being
EDIT: I must though admit that Mamiya Universal is a very interesting camera - but it probably dwarfs my Mamiya 6 by a large factor ...
Last edited by Matus Kalisky; 12-06-2011 at 10:23 AM. Click to view previous post history.
a 645 or 6x6 back that used instax mini would be awesome.
anyone want to kickstart fund me into developing a diana F+ back to mamiya, contax 645 and hassey 500 adapter?