OK....This isn't really a question any more, but a note on my experience. Maybe another beginner can benefot from it, and you pros can fall out of your chairs laughing.
I am an amateur photographer. I've been doing 4x5 since about September 1999 wh en I got my Toyo 45A. I am self taught - from internet and books. I do not liv e in NYC or LA where you can spit and hit another LF photographer to whom you ca n questions. I have to drive half-way across the state to find a store that sel ls 4x5 film. I had never personally SEEN a 4x5 camera until mine arrived via UP S.
Anyway, when getting ready to purchase the camera, I was collecting accessories. I got a used 545 Polaroid back, because everything I read talked about how imp ortant it was for proofing, etc. (I digress here for a minute). When I began s hooting, I found that I could shoot several sheets of Tri-X or TMax for what a s heet of polaroid cost. And after shooting a polaroid, if you want enlargements or copies, you STILL needed to shoot film. I figure if I have an exposure quest ion, I can bracket. I can see where polaroids are useful if you have some compl ex flash set-up, and that's the only way you can see the effect, or if you're a pro on a shoot, and want to be VERY sure every is working, or a client wants an idea of what things look like, but I concluded that I, personally, had little us e for it.
Anyway, I recently bought a lot of film, paper, and mounting supplies from a man who had taken a 4x5 photography class (in CA where thay have such things) and a pparently did not plan on staying with it. The box arrived yesterday, and the f irst thing I opened was the box of polaroid film. I pulled the holder out of st orage. I am going by the instructions on the holder, which says something like, "...withdraw the envelope from the film." After my problems, I went to the Pol aroid web site this morning and downloaded the manual for the 545i, whose instru ctions say, "...withdraw the envelope from the film UNTIL IT STOPS." (my emphas is). I destroyed two film packs before getting one to work. For the third, I l eft the envelope hanging out of the holder, whereas for the first two, I removed it completely from the holder, with great force, or with the application of the "Release" lever. When I switched to "Process" and removed the film, the black plasticy sheet that apparently contains the dye that is supposed to transfer to the photo is left hanging from the holder while the remainder of the pack is in my other hand. No photos developed.
Of course, with the first exposure, I left the aperture open, I am very embarass ed to say. I realize that this is a common rookie mistake, but in the 7 months I'd been shooting LF, I had never done that.
Am I right here? The envelope is NOT to be removed completely away from the hol der?
I do have a question: I his books, Ansel Adams mentions his book "Polaroid Land Photography." Amazon shows it out of print. Does anyone have a good book on P olaroid photography that they can suggest- perhaps one that discusses the techn ical aspects - how it works - interesting things you can do with it, etc.?