How To Load Integral Film In A Polaroid Back

 

PX600 UV+ Grapic View 4x5

Francisco Chavira PX600 UV+ Grapic View 4×5

 

We here at Snap It | See It have been chatting on social networks about this video tutorial for a while now. We think it will be a new game changing way of shooting Polaroid Integral Film and Impossible Project films. We have heard of a legendary back called the CB70 floating around the internet and ebay, but its elusiveness always beats us. It is exactly that, Legendary. These backs were made to shoot Integral film in various 4×5 cameras and several Mamiya and Polaroid systems. We have seen results from these backs and man are they impressive. Finding the back is the hard part and on top of that their rarity means they can be pricey. We found an easier way that will work with your current gear.

 

PX680 Color Protection Graphic View 4x5

PX680 Color Protection Graphic View 4×5

Fast forward to up to about two weeks ago. I read on a forum about someone shooting Integral film and manually loaded his film into a 4×5 holder, then having to guess the composition and hoping he guessed right and lets hope he did because if he didn’t well there is $3 flying right past you. I thought, hell no I am not trying that, only to find out I composed wrong. Just like that, it came to me. What if we somehow we could find a way to insert the entire pack of film into a holder and shoot it like  pack film and only have to compensate in the composition. With a lot of chance it happens to be, that the size of an integral pack of film is very close to the size of pack film. With a little clipping here and there you will be ready to shoot with little guess work and a lot of confidence.

PX680 Old Generation Graphic View 4x5

PX680 Old Generation Graphic View 4×5

What is the point of all this excitement and invested time to only get an instant image. Three main reasons. Manual exposure, control over depth of field/aperture and detail/tonality.

Manual Exposure

We are all familiar with the easiness of shooting Polaroid cameras. Which isn’t a problem when you are shooting in great light or just want a snapshot. But what about when you are trying to achieve an underexposed moody look, want to shoot strobes, or back-lit ect? All of that would be very hard to achieve with an automatically exposing camera. Hard light situations are no longer a problem when shooting Integral film in a manual exposing cameras. Oh and how could we forget about double exposing. Previously left to Spectra cameras or Pack film. Not any more, double expose all the Px680 or Px600 film you want!

PX680 Color Protection Bronica ETRS

PX680 Color Protection Bronica ETRS

 

Depth of Field and Aperture

We all have our favorite apertures or love to play with depth of field. Or want to shoot at f/64 and do some amazingly sharp long exposures. We don’t know! You are free to try it all! That is the beauty of manual cameras. The ability to choose and experiment. Just picture shooting Integral film in a Mamiya RZ67 with bellows focusing. Now you can try all those great options with integral film.

PX680 Color Protection Polaroid Land Camera 100

PX680 Color Protection Polaroid Land Camera 100

Detail and Tonality

Who said you had to be limited by the slightly soft look of Polaroid cameras? Definitely not us! We have shot integral film in a 4×5 and a Bronica  ETRS 645. You could only imagine my face when I saw the result. I mean how awesome would it be to shoot at f/22 with PX600 and get mind blowing detail and tonality that rivals real black and white film. Imagine how amazing it would be on Polaroid Time Zero, Polaroid 600 film, Polaroid 779 film, TZ Artistic film and fresh Impossible Project film. The possibilities are endless and are only limited by the amount of film you have in your fridge.

Well, enough dreaming and more doing. We beg you to try this easy tutorial and try it with every camera you have that accepts pack film. We want to see what you make. We are dying for all of you to try this and take some amazing images. Upload your results to our submit page. Tweet us at @snapitseeit. Make sure to hashtag #snapitseeit on your instagram photos.

PX600 UV+ Bronica ETRS

PX600 UV+ Bronica ETRS

Comments

  1. Hey Lalo, nice blog post and how to video! If I ever get a camera I’ll know what to do with it!

  2. Nice!
    Do you find the given ISO values of the Impossible Project film to be a workable/reliable value for light metering when using a camera like the Mamiya, Bronica or the Grapic View? Do you always get correct exposure (or the exposure you are looking for) when applying these ISO values?

    • Hey Geraldd, thanks! When metering with the impossible film, you have to take in to consideration the latitude of the film. With impossible film, just like fuji pack film, the latitude is small. We find if you spot meter or incident meter for the highlights, you will be in good shape. And like any situation, if the light doesn’t change your settings stay the same and your results will be consistent. The only time this will change is when using the Mamiya RZ or any other bellows focusing system. Use your scale on the side to figure exposure compensation. Give it a try and share your results. @snapitseeit #snapitseeit

  3. Thank you for this post, amazing work. Congrats.

    M

  4. Hey Francisco! Indyalan from Instagram. I think this is a great application for certain backs. With my 4×5, I actually use the Fuji Quickload back, which lets you load a Polaroid and develop it without having to run it through the rollers of another camera. It’s called the Polaroid 545 back. I WISH Impossible would make a quickload film 🙂 Having said that, do you know which backs will work for this on a 4×5 with grafflox springs?

    Thanks!
    Alan

    • Hey Alan thank you for commenting and checking out the site. So please tell me more about that 5454 back I have heard amazing things about it. So, do you load integral film in this back or pack film? If you do load integral film lets email about it, I would love to see more results and possibly collaborate on a future post. I am really interested about that 545 holder. I use the Polaroid 405 back. It accepts 3.25×4.25 pack film.

      • Hey Francisco. The Polaroid 545 back is still something you can get used. But it won’t have a lot of long term value unfortunately. It did not use pack Film or Integral Film. It was based on the Quickload format. This format was used by Polaroid and Fuji, and a similar concept by Kodak called Readyload. It was a single sheet film. Much easier to use than having to load traditional 4×5 sheet film in holders (doing it in the dark, looking for the white indicator to check if it was exposed etc.) With it, you could drop in a polaroid, check exposure, then WITHOUT changing backs, drop your Kodak or Fuji in, and shoot the final frame. It was great…easy, and you only burned film as you needed it Unfortunately, after Polaroid went down, Fuji stopped making Quickload versions of its film. I still have box of Polaroid 54 ISO 100 black and white Quickload (expired a few years back) and if I am careful I can still get the chemical pack to break and develop the film.

        I think it is the Polaroid 405 or PA45 back I want to go to in order to use the Fuji 3.25 x 4.25. I can’t think of a way off hand to use the 545 with Integral, since the Quickload system had a “darkslide” built into the individual film pack. You loaded it in normal daylight, and when you were ready to expose, you simply pulled it partially out…the darkslide moved aside and you shot. You then pushed it back in, engaged the rollers, yanked it out and the chemicals started to work!

        Please let me know your experience with the 405. I need a proofing film and occasionally I simply scan the Polaroids. You can reach me at studio@modimages.net Best – Alan

        • Hey Alan,
          Yeah although I never used the quickload film I am familiar with the way it works. I was wondering if you had found a way to use this back with integral film. Man that would be magical. So sad to hear about discontinued film formats. l love my 405 pack for instant film. It works perfectly every time. It would be perfect for you and proofing. It works great. If their is any specific question you have about my back let me know. We are looking for artist that have shot real Polaroid film and have experience with it for an artist spotlight. If you have any great work you would like us to see please contact me with info.

  5. Pål Bjørnø says:

    I love using this technique in my holgaroid. Makes for great pictures. Holga softness with an Impossible look:-)

  6. Roy McBrayer says:

    I need to be able to use a Polaroid Land camera (100-400 series) but I need to be able to switch out film packs between exposures. I need to be able to take an exposure and remove the film pack and then put the same film pack back in for a second exposure. I can do it on a automatic like an SX-70 by inserting a dark slide into the film before removal. But I have not figure out a way to do this with the manual film cameras. Would the use of automatic film in pack film cameras enable me to do this?

    Thanks,
    Roy

Trackbacks

  1. […] Graphic after shooting some integral film taped into the normal film holders (which was inspired by Snap It|See It’s Francisco and a few posts on Instagram). Consequently, I got used to controlling this instant film. Probably […]

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