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Kent Burnett
25-Feb-2010, 11:50
Wishing to begin using my Sinar P 5x4 again, I am frustrated by the loss of instant film products for proofing prior to film use. Utilizing a digital back isn't going to happen either. Is there any device on the market which might allow proofing via a 35mm style digital camera to be viewed on a small laptop which is then removed to allow exposure of film? Or is there another option I am overlooking?

Thank you in advance,

Kent

erie patsellis
25-Feb-2010, 12:54
Either 3 1/4 x 4 1/4 (relatively cheap) or 4x5 (not cheap) Fuji instant film with the proper back (polaroid or Fuji) is your only non digital choice.

Even a scan back isn't a good choice for proofing, the active area on the Phase One and Betterlight backs are only 7x10 cm (I have both), far smaller than 4x5, the single shot backs tend to be much smaller, from 24x36 to 54mm square.

ic-racer
25-Feb-2010, 13:00
Did I miss something, the Fuji 4x5 instant is still available, right?

Kent Burnett
25-Feb-2010, 14:50
Erie,

Thank you so much for the information. That made my day indeed. I assume my 545 Polaroid sheet holders are useless though? If so, I guess that is the price I need to pay.

Best regards,

Kent

Dave Grenet
25-Feb-2010, 15:22
They are, although they can be used for quickloads while they're still around... For the 3x4 film you need a Polaroid 405 or Fuji equivalent (can't remember what it's called, sorry) and for the 4x5 option you need a Polaroid 550 or Fuji PA-45.

All the best!
Dave

Dr Bellows
25-Feb-2010, 19:11
While not truly a proof, I first make an exposure with a digital camera. I get a good view of composition - saving me from a few photos that looked great on ground glass, but did not make it on the small screen. Setting to the same ASA as the film I am using gives me detailed exposure information using the histogram. My digital camera is also my spot meter.

Frank Petronio
25-Feb-2010, 19:25
The Fuji Instant Film is better than the old Polaroid. There is a 4x5 version that uses the dedicated Fuji back or the similar old Polaroid 550. There is also a 3.25x4.25 version that fits the old Polaroid 405 or a similar dedicated Fuji back -- or your old Hasselblad and Mamiya medium format backs. The Fuji-made backs are a little better build quality than the old Polaroid backs.

The only real problem is that they only offer four type of film and it is confusingly named and labeled so it is easy to get the sizes and speeds confused. Double check yourself before ordering....

There are rumors that some Europeans will someday start making 4x5 instant film in the old Polaroid factory -- and sometimes people will auction off expired 4x5 Polaroid -- so don't throw your 545 out yet... but you might make a doorstop or bookend out of it.

If you need one, I'll sell one of mine real cheap ;-) I guess people still buy them on eBay but I'm not that nasty to do that to someone.

A digital SLR and laptop is a great tool for checking composition and lighting but it misses the point of checking your large format camera set-up itself.

Dirk Rösler
25-Feb-2010, 20:27
The only real problem is that they only offer four type of film and it is confusingly named and labeled so it is easy to get the sizes and speeds confused. Double check yourself before ordering....

Are we getting old? :o The films are named e.g. FP-100B45 or FP-100B - the number is the speed, the B black and white (C for, errr, color!) and 45 means 4x5. If there is no 45 then the size is not 4x5 but smaller. FP stands for "Fuji eats Polaroid for breakfast". There is also a color silk surface instant film, which has the suffix SILK.

This concludes today's LF lesson - tomorrow we'll cover PA-45 and PA-145, another challenging lesson so sleep early.

JosephBurke
25-Feb-2010, 22:37
.........simple enough........me wants a PA-45.....