Large format instant photography

The Fuji Pa-145 back for my 4×5 view camera has arrived and I did my first test shot. This back takes the smaller 8.5 x 10.8 film size (that’s 3 1/4 x 4 1/4 inches). So its smaller than the classic 4×5 size but not by that much. Since Fuji has discontinued the 4×5 instant film, it was always natural to select the smaller size, which I hope will continue to be produced since its the same size as the Fuji Instax Wide camera.

The Fuji PA-145 is the same as the Polaroid 405 back. I managed to find a new one since I wanted to be sure that everything was working perfectly.

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You can see the back, my first test shot and the negative (which I can scan when it dries). My external meter was correct so my first photo was exactly as I had planned. Its a great way to proof exposure before you shoot a slide film to avoid any mistakes. Currently I am doing proofing with a digital camera which works OK, but previewing on a paper is different.

About framing, the smaller size and the fact that the back is not centered on the ground glass frame requires a little bit of effort. What I did on my first shot, was to compare the printed image with my ground glass framing, so now I know which area of the ground glass corresponds to the correct frame for my instant photo. So, this issue was solved easily.

Now, I have read in forums that a people had a hard time mounting the back to their Sinar cameras due to the fat right edge of the back that prevents it from right placement. Its sure is not as easy as a film holder but I managed to slide the back in position. Its tight and the dark slide needs some careful pull to avoid bending it, but it works (even with very tight tolerance).

Since I have fallen in love with instant photography, the back is not going to be used just for proofing but also to make images. The big advantage here is the full manual control of focus and exposure in comparison to a Polaroid or Fuji instant camera. And of course you get to shoot with a good lens. I can’t wait shooting a few b&w images (FP-3000B film) with my view camera !!

(c)2013 Konstantinos Besios. All Rights Reserved.

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One Response to Large format instant photography

  1. I’ve been using a Polaroid 405 in my Speed Graphic and it’s brilliant! I agree, it’s great to have the manual exposure control compared to automatic land cameras, and of course the large format lenses, movements, etc. I appear to be following a very similar path to you 🙂

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