View Full Version : Focus using Polaroid 545 back on Speed Graphic

R.J. Fox
24-Mar-2005, 17:14
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,

Ed O'Grady
24-Mar-2005, 17:23
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.

steve simmons
24-Mar-2005, 17:26
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


Using the View Camera that I wrote

User's Guide to the View Camera by Jim Stone

Large Format Nature Photography by Jack Dykinga


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


steve simmons

John Flavell
24-Mar-2005, 18:01

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?)

R.J. Fox
24-Mar-2005, 18:47
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.


John Flavell
24-Mar-2005, 21:59
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.

Bobby Black
25-Mar-2005, 10:46
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.


Jim Noel
26-Mar-2005, 10:03
A rotating back on a Crown or Speed Graphic?
I think not. The Super Graphic is another story.