Which Polaroid holder?

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Hello, Could You say, which type of Polaroid is more usefull and convinient? I plan to use it for cheking focus and exposure in 4x5, and no plan to use Quickloads in 545. It looks like that packfilms 405 are cheaper about 2x then 545, and packfilms are easier to handle. Excuse me for spelling, Best Wishes.

-- Sergey Yarigin (yarigin@mail.desy.de), May 28, 1999


I use a 405 and a 545i. The reason the film for the 405 is cheaper is because it is the smaller 600 series format. If you are going to use a variant of the Polaroid pos/neg film to check focus use the full size 4x5 version (Type 55) in the 545i holder as it is full size and the negative is more easily cleared than the 655 negative.

-- Ellis Vener (evphoto@insync.net), May 28, 1999.

Use whatever variant of the neg film for focus check. The grain of the print makes it pretty much useless for a magnified focus check. I just peel it and (carefully) put mu loupe on the back of the film and hold it up to the light. Watch out for the goo, though

-- C MATTER (cmatter@riag.com), May 28, 1999.

The problem with using the smaller pack film is the opaque anti- halation backing; without processing it in the sodium sulfite (or maybe running water) you won't be able to see through the film

-- Ellis Vener (evphoto@insync.net), May 28, 1999.

I had the same question and went with the 545i holder. Sure, the film is expensive, but you can see nearly the entire shot, so you know if the corner is going soft or the lens hood is in the way, etc.

However, I've always found it difficult to judge exposure from polaroids. I use type 54 for 4x5 and Polapan 672 and Polacolor 679 for MF. Maybe it's because I usually shoot w/ velvia, so the latitude is much narrower and saturation much higher than that of the polaroid. What appears perfectly exposed to me on polaroid 54 ends up slightly underexposed on velvia (rated at 40, focusing distance is far, so it's not a bellows comp. problem). One friend of mine says his velvia chromes on 4x5 always seem to be 1/2 stop under the same chromes shot w/ his EOS, and one LF pro I know tells me that determining the exact exposure via polaroids is pretty futile.

-- James Chow (jchow@isl.melco.co.jp), May 31, 1999.

Thank You very mach for the answers. May be I will go for 545i, if at all (I am not a pro). Best Wishes. Sergey.

-- Sergey Yarigin (yarigin@mail.desy.de), May 31, 1999.

james, It is not that futile. You just have to test and match your "real" films" IE to that of the Polaroid.

-- Ellis Vener (evphoto@insync.net), May 31, 1999.

I agree with others about Polaroid type 655. I only use the neg for focus checking, so clearing the negative isn't important to me. Type 55 is *much* easier to work with, altough with some patience, sharp fingernails, and tolerating a little Polaroid goo, you can remove the black backing off of 655.

I wouldn't say that Polaroid alone allows you to be exact on exposure, but it's very good for validating that your in the right ball park. That combined with other shooting practices will get you to very good exposures (e.g. exposing two or more sheets identically; processing one; and then pushing or pulling the second sheet). Polaroid is also great for tuning your lighting plan for a shot.

Regarding Velvia, I shoot it rarely, but have heard of some people shooting it at Exposure Index 25 or 32. In general, have others found a difference between the exposure characteristics of a sheet film variety vs. the roll film equivalents?

-- Larry Huppert (Larry.Huppert@mail.com), May 31, 1999.

It seems I have to overexpose the polaroid type 54 a tad for velvia to look right for my tastes (I usually rate it at 40)...this will require more testing. Just about everyone I know uses the polaroids just to determine if the exposure is 'in the ball park,' and then brackets a couple of shots.

-- James Chow (jchow@isl.melco.co.jp), June 01, 1999.

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