Using Instax Wide film with a a 4×5 view camera

From the first moment I got the Fujifilm 210 Instax camera, I started searching the web for a way to use this film with my Sinar 4×5 view camera. There is of course the Polaroid 405 or Fuji PA-145 back which can be used with the (still produced) Fuji FP-100C and FP-3000B films (3.25″x4.25″ size), but I don’t own any of those backs and their prices are not cheap.

Using those films at the field to see if you metered correctly before you waste a sheet of Velvia for example, is really helpful (the smaller than 4×5″ size doesn’t help much in framing but I mostly worry about exposure issues when shooting slide film). I can use my digital camera to test exposure but of course its not so accurate. Anyway, using instant film is more than testing your shot, my main purpose is to make some good images on Polaroid film.

So, I took out a sheet from the Fujifilm 210 cartridge and taped it on a 4×5 holder (the whole procedure of course was done in absolute darkness). I loaded the holder and took a shot (the instax wide film is 800 ISO, I rated it at 400 when metered the scene). Then, I placed carefully the exposed sheet back into the cartridge, put it in the Fujifilm 210 and pressed the shutter button. The camera thinks you have installed a new cartridge so it just spits out the first sheet. Waited for a couple of minutes and here’s the result.

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Not bad at all for a first attempt (NOTICE: the blurred part near the down right corner was done by me, its a personal photo which I didn’t want to show publicly). There is a crack line on the right side which was probably caused from me abusing the sheet but the exposure was correct and the image quality and sharpness is much better than the Fujifilm 210. (The sheet was photographed with my iPad, since I was in a hurry to show the results, the uneven exposure which you may notice is actually a shadow while I was taking the snapshot of the photo, I will scan the image tomorrow in order to see it properly).

The whole procedure is not fast and it requires a dark cloth bag and of course a Fujifilm 210 camera, so I don’t think I will use it for proofing, but for making instant images with full manual control (and a good lens) its a procedure worth trying.

One more thing, I don’t really know how much abuse the film and cartridge takes during the steps I described, I could not rule out the possibility of damaging the Fujifilm 210 due to a ruined sheet, bent cartridge or even a small piece of tape forgotten on the photo. I am willing to take that risk since I prefer to have full control of my images and not rely on a fully automatic camera. Also, it will take some effort to have the taped sheet aligned properly to the holder so that you can frame with precision (which of course I didn’t manage to do in my first attempt).

Despite all these difficulties, until I manage to get my hands on a pack film back for my Sinar, I will sure enjoy this new adventure in the world of instant photography !!

(C)2013 Konstantinos Besios. All rights reserved.

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One Response to Using Instax Wide film with a a 4×5 view camera

  1. Pingback: Instax wide film with a view camera | Konstantinos Besios Blog

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