Field cameras and Polaroid : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

COMPLETE NEWCOMER QUESTION! I'm thinking of buying a cheap 5x4 field camera secondhand specifically to shoot 5x4 polaroid as final art(creative stuff)sometimes using high flash sync in daylight. Can you recommend some suitable models(simple, light and cheap/easy to find)? ALSO, what polaroid back will I need? (I don't understand the difference between pack and sheet film in practical use!)

-- Jack Malipan (, April 02, 2002

Answers for a light weight DIY kind of camera, Calumet has a real inexpensive model also, the Cadet. As far as Polaroid... The 545 back is a single sheet holder as is the 545 Pro. Personally I don't think the extra money on the Pro is worth it for just a built in timer. Type 55 has a negative in with the print media that you clear with a sodium Sulfite solution. Type 54 is true 100 speed, Type 59 is color which lends itself to transfers which are pretty neat. These are all 4x5 (almost) size whereas the pack film is like a 3.5x4.5" or there abouts. The nice part of pack film is that you have less bulk with 10 shots in the pack vs individual sheets. The pack film is less expensive also but they do crop alot of the 4x5 frame. Hope this helps a little. Cheers

-- Scott Walton (, April 02, 2002.

Try Type 52 if all you want is the print. It yields uncomparable images with terrific mid-tones. Keep your contrast range between III and VI 1/2. The film responds well to 'tinkering' with exposure and development to adjust tonalities.

-- J. Wolfe (, April 02, 2002.


I think the best option would be the Shen-Hao 4x5. This camera is cheap ($625) well made, and will grow with you and you master tour art.

You will also need to buy a lens, I would recomend Ebay for that, a 150mm or 210mm would be good.

The difference between sheet polaroid and pack polaroid is this: Sheet polaroid comes packages in single sheet form, wich you can process inmidiately or later, image size is 4x5. Pack film comes in 10 shot packs, which are processed inmediately (ate least before shooting the next sheet), the Image on packs is also smaller than 4x5 (i think is 3.25x4.25)

Hope to have you aboard soon.

-- Enrique Vila (, April 03, 2002.

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