Fujifilm Instant 4x5, Fuji Film Holder vs Polaroid 545i, and Press Cameras

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by Fragomeni, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. Fragomeni

    Fragomeni TPF Noob!

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    I just posted this on APUG but I figured I should post it on here as well in hopes of finding a quick and clear answer. Anyway, I've found some discussions that begin to touch on this but I cant find any directly relevant answers to these specific questions.

    As many of you know Fujifilm offers an instant black & white 4x5 film (Fujifilm FP-100B) that can be used in their Fujifilm pack film holders and which can supposedly be used in some Polaroid film holders. Is the film in the FP-100B pack individual like the old Polaroid instant 4x5 and can the film be used with a Polaroid 545i holder?

    I have heard good things (and some not so good) about the Fujifilm instant films and my intention is to use this film with a Speed Graphic press camera that I've recently acquired. The camera has a the simple spring back and I do not want to alter the camera. If possible I'd like to use the Fujifilm instant 4x5 film in either a Polaroid 545i film holder or a Fujifilm pack film holder. I have heard that the Fujifilm pack film holder is too thick to fit into the spring back of a press camera. Can someone who has had personal experience in the matter please confirm of refute this claim?

    Any help on how I can use the instant 4x5 film in a Speed Graphic (Pre-Anniversary) press camera would be very much appreciated.

    Thank you!
     
  2. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    Fuji instant 4x5 is pack film. The 545i and its close relatives can only take individual sheets of film, not pack film, so the current Fuji 4x5 instant film cannot be used in those holders. You need the Polaroid 550 which will fit behind many but not all spring backs (it is about 28 mm thick) and it also has Graflok grooves. You can also use a Fuji PA-45 holder, but I have no experience of that.

    Fuji also make slightly smaller pack film that fits the Polaroid 405 or Fuji PA-145 holders. The larger 4x5 film has a code that ends with '45' eg FP100C45, while the smaller film is simply FP100C.

    The Fuji 4x5 B&W ISO 100 film, FP100B45, has been discontinued, but the faster B&W films are still in production.

    The FP100B45 was/is quite good. I prefer some of the old Polaroid B&W films. however. We use a lot of the FP100C45 for proofing, and it is excellent film. A colleague of mine uses the 550 back in an 8x10 Deardorff with a reducing back and in a Graphic View. In both cases the holder fits in the spring back. I use my 550 in a Sinar P2, an Ebony, a Chamonix and a Polaroid 110B fitted with a Speed Graphic back with no problems.

    Best,
    Helen
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2010
  3. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    The Fuji and Polaroid pack backs will not fit in "classic" spring backs, which includes all non-Grafloc back on Graphic press cameras. The Grafloc, aka "Universal", back will accept the pack backs in both their "spring back" mode (slip the back under the ground glass like a regular film holder) or their Grafloc mode (remove ground glass and use the slide locks). As a rule, any spring back made prior to roughly 1970 will not accept the pack backs.

    It wasn't until Polaroid started making their first such back, the 405 back for 100/660 series packs, that camera manufacturers has any reason to put enough travel in the springs to allow the backs to fit. Some manufacturers offered retro-fit kits to modify their cameras, Calumet did for their monorail 4x5 view cameras but Graflex never did.

    There is a way to use the pack backs with the old Graphic press models that have spring backs. It does require removing the ground glass with a screwdriver but is a classic mod that Graflex offered long before this issue arose. They used to sell, and you can make, stiff flat plates that replaced the springs on the ground glass panel and would hold any Grafloc film holder in place. You are forced to rely on the rangefinder and viewfinder as there is no longer any ground glass. The mod is not permanent as you can always unscrew the non-spring plates and reinstall the ground glass with springs. This mod was popular for a small group who converted mainly the 2-1/2 x 3-1/2 models to "permanent" roll film cameras for wedding and press work, but could be done to any model with a spring back regardless of format.
     
  4. ld26464

    ld26464 TPF Noob!

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    I just checked. My 550 back does fit into my Speed Graphic. It is a tight fit though.
     

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