Exposing Polaroid Type 55 in Fuji Readyload Holder?

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Has anybody here tried exposing (NOT developing) Polaroid Type 55 in a Fuji Readyload holder? Did it work?

The reason I'm asking is that I'm REALLY getting sick of the Polaroid 545i's incorrect film plane position (the back plane of the holder is about 0.5 mm further from the flange than in my Fidelity holders, and focus in the final exposure is shifted by about that much relative to the ground glass on my cameras) and inability to hold the film flat. It's worse than useless, and I'm just about to the point of giving up on Polaroids altogether unless I can find a better holder.

I've heard that the Fuji is better in both regards, so I'm thinking that might be a solution?



-- Patrick Chase (patrick@sdd.hp.com), December 23, 1999


Not an answer to your question, rather another plea for help/advice:

I have just started in LF, having made about 40 or so exposures on mostly Quickloads. I have begun to notice in my transparancies that the plane of sharpest focus is always in front of where I placed it on the ground glass. I have a new Wista DX for which the ground glass is claimed to be calibrated to the standard Fidelity/Riteway holders.

Is this a well known problem with the 545i holder? I haven't measured it yet and have never seen another reference to it on the net? I am reluctant to buy the Fuji quickload holder because of price and the fact that I still like to proof with polaroids (54 and 72 so for). This would definitely sway my decision.

Thanks for any further comments.

-- Richard Ross (ross@hrl.com), December 23, 1999.


I have a Linhof Technikardan and have been using Polaroid 55 with excellent results. the negative is beautiful. seems to have perfect focus and flat field. by the way, thank you for the link to Polaroid's reciprocity tables (I think it was you). I was surprised that it wasn't published in the film data sheet. the folks at the pro camera store spoke highly of the Fuji holder, but told me the 545i works grand with the QuickLoads, so I passed.

-- Daniel Taylor (aviator@agalis.net), December 23, 1999.

I have two 4x5 cameras: A Canham 45DLC and an Arca Swiss 4x5 F-Line. The focus plane for both of these cameras lines up with the focus planes of my Fuji Quickload holders, 545i holder and the 23 different Fidelity, Lisco, & Riteway film holders. Perhaps you should try another 545i holder?

-- Ellis Vener (evphoto@insync.net), December 23, 1999.

I use my Polaroid 545i holder (bought new) with Type 52 and Fuji Quickloads. The results are razor sharp. Perhaps your holder is defective?

-- V. Nair (chettu99@tyenet.com), December 23, 1999.


I too have to agree with the previous two posters; my 545i back works flawlessly with Polaroids and Quickloads in my Canham DLC.

Regards & Happy Holidays!

-- Pete Caluori (pcaluori@hotmail.com), December 24, 1999.

A few clarifications:

1. I'm not the person who posted the URL for the Polaroid data sheets, but like Daniel I'm eternally grateful to the person who DID do so...

2. The groundglass on both my Linhof Color Kardan and on my Arca Swiss F agree closely with all of my conventional Fidelity and Lisco holders, so I don't think that the cameras are the problem.

3. What originally prompted my post is that I noticed that Type 55 negs and Quickloads shot at even moderate apertures (for example, f/16) with my 545i were somewhat blurry. Further testing revealed that this combination consistently focusses in front of the intended plane of focus.

4. I measured the flange-to-film distances of my Polaroid 545i holder and a known-good Fidelity holder with a runout gauge. The Polaroid holder places the film ~0.5 mm further back than does the Fidelity holder, which is consistent with my previous observation that the plane of sharpest focus is closer to the camera than intended (1/i + 1/o = 1/f and all that...)

I'm currently getting decent results by displacing the back standard forward 0.5 mm after focussing when shooting with the Polaroid holder, but that's a very inconvenient solution (and one which defeats the entire point of using Type 55 negs to check focus...).

It sounds as though my 545i sample may be defective, so I'll take it up with Polaroid. Thanks for all the feedback!



-- Patrick Chase (patrick@sdd.hp.com), December 24, 1999.

Patrick, have you tried disassembling your 545i? I recently purchased my 545i (new & from B&H) and after several non exposures found an old metal clip inside the bottom which prevented the unit from properly grabbing the clip on the film envelope.

Obviously your getting exposures, but maybe one or more of the springs which tension the film envelope is misaligned, etc. Wouldn't hurt to investigate, good luck.


-- Denis Hill (dionysius@home.com), December 25, 1999.

How about the original question? Using Polaroid 4x5 loads in a Fuji readyload holder? I have several 4x5 cameras which won't take Polaroid holders in vertical position. Maybe the Readyload holders would fit, and I could develop the Polaroid in a 545.

-- Bill Mitchell (bmitch@home.com), December 27, 1999.

I too found Patrick's original question very interesting. I decided to experiment and see if it would work. Unfortunately, placing a Polaroid in a Quickload holder (for exposure only) didn't work. I don't own a Readload holder, so don't know if that would work any better.

I don't have film plane alignment problems with the 545i, but find the design of the holder less than great for exposing Quickloads. No light leaks, but very poor edge to edge film plane flatness. If your using the 545 (any version) to shoot Quickloads, try the following. Take a Quickload, push it in the 545 and pull the cover so you can see what it looks like as an exposure is being made (that's right - waste one sheet of film!). You will notice the film curve up towards the edge where all the rollers exist. I've had very noticable distortion problems caused by the curving of the film is some situations.

-- Larry Huppert (Larry.Huppert@mail.com), December 27, 1999.

In my own experience the problem with the Polaroid 545 holder is film flatness, not poor alignment. Does it really matter though? Surely, as long as your darkslides (or Quickload holder) are in alignment, if the polaroid is slightly defocused it will still do its job of indicating correct exposure, lighting etc?

-- Garry Edwards (creativephoto@hotmail.com), January 02, 2000.

An addendum to my original post above :

I measured my 545i holder and ground glass frame when I got home that night and found that the 545i holder did indeed have a slightly deeper film plane (measured with a Fuji Quickload in the holder (who doesn't have a few ruined ones lying about) ) than my ground glass, but it was only about .1-.3mm. This is at least comparable to the variation in film plane flatness as mentioned by many above, due to both the ubiquitous bending up at the roller side and poor flatness in the springs at top and bottom which hold the film down.

I have since returned from a week long trip through the four corners region and came home with razor sharp transparancies with the only difference being : I changed my focus loupe from a 4x Horizon linen tester to a Wista 5x ground glass loupe. I think now that this was the source of my focus variations! The higher quality and opaque barreled loupe was much easier and more precise to use.

Happy new year all!

-- Richard Ross (ross@hrl.com), January 05, 2000.

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