View Full Version : Pinhole and Polaroid 4x5 Photography - Getting Started

30-Mar-2009, 14:42
Hi All,

I am a newbie to large format and pinhole photography, I've been shooting medium format on my Bronica happily for the last few years but have recently been interested in a change and getting more experimental (just got into Lomos also). I just bought a lovely wooden 4x5 pinhole camera that didnt come with a film back, so I bought a polaroid 545 land film holder and some Fuji film that turned out didnt fit. I am getting very confused with all the range of films and holders around and was after some advice please.
Basically I would like to be able to see how my pictures are going to come out as I am starting from scratch, which is why I though the Polaroid back option would be best. My question is which route do you think I should go down now? Cost being the main concern.

1.Keep the Polaroid 545 back, in which case what film can I use? The range of Polaroid film that is mentioned in the manual (Polaroid 51-59,64,72 and pro100) seems to be impossible to find apart from boxes selling into the hundreds of pounds!

2.Ditch the 545 back, see what I can get for it and get a Polaroid 405 back instead. Again not sure of the compatability of films with this one or availability.

3.Forget Polaroid backs altogether and get a fidelity or similar "plain" sheet film back and learn from my mistakes, using normal transparency or negative films.

I looked into Quickload and Readyload, but I cant afford either the cost of the holders or the 60 a pack of film.I would really like to start using this camera after seeing many pinhole gallerys so would appreciate any help anyone could give.



30-Mar-2009, 15:08
Get regular film, or a polaroid 550 holder and use fuji instant.

you're better off with film. polaroid discontinued all their film last year

Greg Lockrey
30-Mar-2009, 15:18
Get the 405 since Fujifilm FP-100C Polaroid will fit and you should be able to find in in most of your photoshops. This is what I'm doing with my pinholes and am having a blast!

David Beal
31-Mar-2009, 11:06
Keep in mind that the aperture of a pinhole is miniscule. Values of 180, 260, etc. are not uncommon. That means long, long exposures with a polaroid emulsion.

Get some HP5+ and rate it at 800, which is just a small push from its effective speed of 640 (when developed in DD-X 1+4). Less wait, good results.

And good shooting to you.

31-Mar-2009, 11:25
Or Fuji Neopan 100 Acros. No noticeable loss up to 16 minutes.

MIke Sherck
31-Mar-2009, 13:27
Freestyle is selling a paper which produces a positive image, I believe it's from Efke. Cheap, like $9 for 25 sheets. I'm adding a package to next week's order with the intent of breaking out the 4x5 pinhole camera and having a ball. Freestyle's website says that it may need to be trimmed to fit into a 4x5 holder, but a dark bathroom and a red safe light can handle that easily.



Bill L.
31-Mar-2009, 16:55
The 545 holder will take fuji quickloads, including Acros - so you could get a box of quickloads and try it out that way. If you want instant film, then you are either stuck trying to find polaroid sheet film to fit in the 545 (no longer made, but you can still find some if you're willing to pay the money), or get a polaroid 405 back for the fuji 3x4 pack film, or fuji PA-45 back (or polaroid 550 I think???) for the fuji 4x5 pack film.


Andrew O'Neill
31-Mar-2009, 18:24
Isn't Polaroid done as far as instant film goes? I think you wasted your money with the 545 unless you want to shoot quickloads. I've got a 545 and ONE box of Type 55. Once it's gone, then I've got a paper weight...