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Thread: Focus using Polaroid 545 back on Speed Graphic

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    10

    Focus using Polaroid 545 back on Speed Graphic

    I'm a newbie to large format and have just bought a Polaroid 545 to use on my 4x5 Speed Graphic (graflok back). My question concerns how to attach and focus with the 545 back.

    1) Does the 545 back go between the camera and the ground glass?

    2) Is it possible to focus on the ground glass without having to remove the 545 back each exposure? Do I need to keep putting the 545 back on and off the camera in order to use the ground glass?

    TIA from a greenhorn,
    R.J.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    30

    Focus using Polaroid 545 back on Speed Graphic

    Yes to question #1
    Question # 2 it is not possible to focus on the gg with the back in place, you need to remove the Polaroid back to use the ground glass.
    Ed

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Posts
    1,904

    Focus using Polaroid 545 back on Speed Graphic

    The Polaroid back goes in just like a film holder. You will have to remove it each time you refocus or recompose.

    Since you are new to lf may I suggest some reading

    Books

    Using the View Camera that I wrote

    User's Guide to the View Camera by Jim Stone

    Large Format Nature Photography by Jack Dykinga

    Articles

    any of the free ones on the View Camera magazine web site

    www.viewcamera.com

    steve simmons

  4. #4

    Focus using Polaroid 545 back on Speed Graphic

    R.J.:

    The operative word is "carefully". Work slow.

    Another great resource, and I have all that are mentioned above, is Ansel Adam's book on Polaroid. He gives meticulous instructions on how to use the Polaroid backs. It's out of print but I've seen it on ebay and in libraries. I found mine at Amazon.

    (WOW, you're THAT Steve Simmons?)
    "I meant what I said, not what you heard"--Jflavell

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    10

    Focus using Polaroid 545 back on Speed Graphic

    Thanks all for the quick response! As a matter of fact I did buy the Ansel Adams "Polaroid Land Photography" book -- I will definitely read this and more. I love the examples in this book and the detailed information on the films.

    R.J.

  6. #6

    Focus using Polaroid 545 back on Speed Graphic

    Just to be clear. I bought Steve's book through the magazine while doing my year-long research on getting into LF. It has been the most helpful.
    "I meant what I said, not what you heard"--Jflavell

  7. #7

    Focus using Polaroid 545 back on Speed Graphic

    Just my two cents...

    I have the same set-up and just want to mention that once you insert the polaroid holder, make sure that the rotating graflok back is still oriented correctly, either horizontally or vertically, whicheveer you chose. Why, you ask? On mine, the rotating part is a bit worn from years of use and because the polaroid back is pretty heavy on one end ( I have the earlier metal version), it has a tendency to pull the back down a bit. I just give it a touch to make sure it is, in fact, in the correct position before taking the shot.

    I don't have this happen when I use my readyload holder, though, becasue it is a lot lighter.

    Hope this helps.

    Bobby

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,642

    Focus using Polaroid 545 back on Speed Graphic

    A rotating back on a Crown or Speed Graphic?
    I think not. The Super Graphic is another story.

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