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Instant film holders revisited

 
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Kurt LaRue



Joined: 06 Feb 2008
Posts: 2
Location: Ohio

PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:28 pm    Post subject: Instant film holders revisited Reply with quote

Hi. I've been researching the threads about instant film holders and I'm still a bit confused.

I own a standard GV II and a Polaroid 545 back, which I use to shoot Type 55 P/N.

After reading all the rave reviews about it, I'm interested in the Fuji Instant 4x5 pack film, FP100c45. I understand that it will not fit in my 545 holder.

My questions are:
1) Do I need to purchase either a Polaroid 550 holder or Fuji PA-45 holder to use with this film? 1a) Is one superior to the other?

2) Will either (or both) of these holders fit behind the GG on my camera, or do I need to make some kind of modification to enable the back to fit?

3) Is the Fuji film really of sufficiently better image quality (than Polaroid) to justify purchasing a back and a supply of the film. 3a) Does the Fuji film yield a true 4" x 5" print?

Thanks in advance for any help with these questions.

Kurt
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willysmb



Joined: 28 Feb 2004
Posts: 116
Location: France _ Europe

PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use a 550 back with FP100c45 Fuji with no problems,
for quality, Fuji is correct but since to be not at the Pola quality.
Here after a Fuji FP100c45 with a KE-12 and Aero-Ektar
http://photosdecampagne.allmyblog.com/images/photosdecampagne/1_20080207_191223.jpg

(Bertrand Delanoe Mayor of Paris, May 07 French Presidential Campaign)
This photo is a test for control Speed/aperture couple before Ektas)
Laurent
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alecj



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 853
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

According to today's newspaper, Polaroid has just announced it will close ALL film-manking facilities, worldwide. That may affect your decision.
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Stephen Furley



Joined: 11 May 2001
Posts: 79
Location: London, England

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There was a report about this on the BBC yesterday:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7236106.stm

Since it says the factories are to close I assume this means they are to discontinue the professional products as well as the consumer ones. It also says that they stopped production of cameras last year; this also seems to apply to film holders, as the only one now listed on their site is the 545i; the 545 pro and the 10x8 holder are no longer listed, though several dealers still seem to have them in stock. There is also no mention of the 405 holder for the smaller pack films. The 550 holder for the 4x5 pack films, was dropped some time ago.

There are two bits of good news for users:

"It says there is enough film in stock to last until 2009, and it hopes to sell licensing rights to another firm to continue supplying enthusiasts who still use their Polaroid cameras."

There are stocks available for at least a few more months, so we do have a chance to stock up now, unlike some of their other products, which vanished almost overnight.

If Polaroid film is no longer available then the market for the Fuji peel-apart films will presumably increase somewhat, which may keep them in production for longer than would otherwise have been the case. Since the fuji materials can only be used in pack holders may become more desirable again.

There are types of Fuji film available, FP-100B is the black and white version, and FP-100C is the colour one; both are The smaller size, 8.5x10.8 cm, for the 405 holder. The colour material only is also available in the larger size packs to fit the 550 holder, as FP-100C45; why they only make the black and white material in the smaller size, I don't know. These materials are different to the Polaroid ones, they have a higher gloss, the paper is slightly less white than the Polaroid, and I think it may be slightly thinner, but the difference is so small that it's difficult to be certain. The black and white material has better blacks than I've managed to get with Polaroid type 54, and the colour material seems to be slightly more saturated.

If Fuji keep these materials in production then the Polaroid pack film holders could become more desirable again.

If Polaroid do manage to sell rights to another manufacturer then the only likely candidate would seem to be Fuji. They have made film for Polaroid in the past, though I don't know if they have made instant film. They are the only other company making peel-apart instant films, so it would not be a major change for hem to make sheet type films in addition to pack type ones. I can't really see them wanting to make the Polaroid films, but they might possibly want to sell FP-100B and/or FP-100C in sheet form; in 4x5 size there are more sheet holders out there than pack ones. I can't see type 55 still being available a year from now; I'm going o buy some while I still can.

For anybody who is still unsure about the differences between the various Polaroid holders I've got a page about them here:

http://web.mac.com/srfurley/iWeb/Site/Polaroid%20holders.html

This is not a proper web site, it's just some space that I use for testing, and to get pictures onto this help board.

The pack films for the 550 holder have a slightly smaller paper size, but a slightly larger image size than the sheet type films for the 500/545/545i/545 pro holders; the white borders are smaller on the pack films. I have put the exact sizes sizes for all except the original roll film format on the web pages linked to above. None of the Polaroid holders has exactly the same image size as a conventional 4x5 film holder, but the 550 pack holder is the closest.
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Kurt LaRue



Joined: 06 Feb 2008
Posts: 2
Location: Ohio

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks to all of you for the (unfortunate) information. I guess the digital monster is out of control and slowly, steadily conquering film. Another victory for convenience over quality!
Maybe I should just give up and take my little Canon Powershot to the Grand Canyon for some snapshots...

Kurt
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Stephen Furley



Joined: 11 May 2001
Posts: 79
Location: London, England

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kurt, if you buy some type 55 now you should be able to keep it in good condition for at least three years; I've just used the last couple of sheets from a box of type 54 that I bought in 2000. They didn't develop fully, the developer had partly dried up, but I used some from the same box about a year ago, and it was still ok then. It has been stored in a cool, dry, basement.

I cannot say that the Fuji film is better, or worse, than the Polaroid material; it has a different look, which you prefer the look of only you can say.

Fuji have not yet announced any intention to withdraw their peel-apart instant films, so they will probably be available for some time yet, especially if the withdrawal of the Polaroid products does result in some increase in sales. Why not give them a try? You could pick up a secondhand 405 holder on Ebay, the prices vary quite a bit, but some go quite cheaply. This would enable you to try out both the FP-100B and FP-100C films in the smaller format, which is much cheaper than 4x5. If you like them then you could buy a 550 holder the same way, they're not as common, but there are a couple on Ebay at the moment. This would enable you to use the FP-100C45 film to get 4x5 colour prints. I wish Fuji would make the FP-100B film in this size; maybe they will, in either sheet or pack form, if there is no Polaroid film available in competition with them. At least you could still make instant prints for some years to come.

There are some good conventional negative films still available; I wouldn't bet on anything being available from Kodak in a few years, but Ilford still have FP4 and HP5 in a good range of sizes. There's also the Adox range, which seems to have now returned to that name, having been known as Efke for some years.

Make the most of what is still available.

Stephen.
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