Intrepid 4x5 Large Format Film Camera with PA-145 Instant Film Back and FujiFilm Instant Film Packs

Taking A Look At 4×5 Large Format Instant Film and Film Backs

So, from my last post with the Intrepid, I shot some ISO 100 black and white film using the typical double sided 4×5 film holders. This was a great deal of fun and my film is off being developed. Yay!

Large Format Instant Film and Where to Find Them (If You Can)

In the meantime, I had received my orders for some instant film.

I had looked around for what types of instant films were still available. Turns out, there aren’t that many… which is a shame. 🙁 The current crop of consumer “instant” photo film are these little squares… -_-; Very sad.

FujiFilm’s FP-100C Instant Color Film (3.25×4.25)

After digging around,  I found that I could buy recently made FujiFilm FP-100C instant film. This film was not the full 4×5 size, but a smaller 3.25×4.25 size. Not a deal breaker, but definitely not “large format”. Still, this is a function of the film, the surrounding chemical pack, and the film holder.

Some un-expired instant color film produced by Fujifilm!
Some un-expired instant color film produced by Fujifilm!

A Haul of Instant Film ( FujiFilm FP-100C and FujiFilm FP-3000B )

Fujifilm FP-3000B(ISO 3000 black and white film) and FP-100C(ISO 100 color film)

All told, I bought 5 units of the FP-100C, which are film packs of 10 sheets each. I also bought 4 units of the FP-3000B, which also come in film packs of 10 sheets each.

Instant FujiFilm FP-100C – Color

  • 3.25×4.25 Film Surface Area
  • Instant Color film
  • ISO-100 (need to compensate for age, and reciprocal exposure time increases)

Instant FujiFilm FP-3000B – Black and White

  • 3.25×4.25 Film Surface Area
  • Instant Black and White Film
  • ISO-3000 (need to compensate for age, and reciprocal exposure time increases)

Film Back Required For Film

In order to actually shoot with this film, I needed a film back that could hold the cartridges and properly put them through the wringer or roller, as the case may be. There were two sizes of the FP-100/FP-3000C

FujiFilm PA-145 Film Holder For Regular Size FujiFilm FP-100C/FP-3000B)

  • Uses FujiFilm’s FP-100C and FP-3000C Instant Films
  • Used For 4″x5″ Large Format Camera With Spring Backs, but needs more clearance.
  • Works with Intrepid 4×5″ Large Format Cameras

FujiFilm PA-1 Film Holder For Regular Size FujiFilm FP-100C/FP-3000B)

  • Uses FujiFilm’s FP-100C and FP-3000C Instant Films
  • Used for 4″x5″ Large Format Cameras with Graflex style mounts
  • Should work with Large Format Cameras with a suitable Graflex Mount System

FujiFilm PA-45 Film Holder For 4×5 Size FujiFilm FP-100C/FP-3000B)

  • Uses FujiFilm’s FP-100C45 and FP-3000B45 Instant Films ( Note The “45” in the film’s name. )
  • Used for 4×5 Large Format Cameras with Graflex Style Mounts
  • Provides a full 4″x5″ view area vs the “regular” sized version of the film, which is smaller.

Instant Film Shooting Procedure

Loading Film Holder

  • Load the FujiFilm Film Holder with the FujiFilm pack. There are indicators on the film packs and the film holder as to where and how to do this. There should be a tab extending out from the side.
  • Perform your normal composure through the ground glass.
  • Determine and set the aperture and shutter duration for the desired exposure. Remember to calculate the extra time to account for reciprocal failure.
  • Sliding Back Cameras: Insert the film holder into the sliding back, between ground glass and camera.
  • Graflex Back Cameras: Swap out the ground glass with the film holder, making sure to secure the sliding locks.

Exposing The FujiFilm FP-100C/FP-3000B

  1. Pull the protective sheet for the current instant film out slowly until you see a white tab.
  2. Make sure shutter is set/cocked/etc.
  3. Pull out sliding cover on the film holder.
  4. Trigger shutter
  5. Once exposure complete, pull the white tab out in at a consistent speed until the color tab shows.
  6. Determine the development time of the film based on the current temperature:
    • 35° => 60 seconds
    • 30° => 75 seconds
    • 25° => 90 seconds
    • 20° => 120 seconds
    • 15° => 180 seconds
  7. Pull the color tab out smoothly and in a straight manner. There will be some resistance. Do not bend/wiggle the tab. Once the film is fully pulled out, start the countdown.
  8. When time is up, pull the film apart at a uniform speed from the color tab side.
  9. Allow the print to dry.

My 4×5″ FujiFilm Large Format Shooting Bag

4x5 Film Camera Bag w/Instant Film Loadout 1 loaded film holder and two unopened boxes of film, 10 exposures each.
4×5 Film Camera Bag w/Instant Film Loadout 1 loaded film holder and two unopened boxes of film, 10 exposures each.

I managed to fit two boxes of the FujiFilm, one each of the FP-100C and the FP-3000B. The Intrepid 4×5″ Large Format camera sits nicely in there. The FujiFilm PA-145 film back. In a side pocket, I have a blackout cover sheet for doing the composition and focusing. Not in the frame is a side back that attaches to the main back, which holds the lens. On the opposite side, the lens release cable.

Wrapping Things Up & Notes

I’m looking forward to doing some shooting with this combo. Now, the interesting thing is, I need to make a composition mask for the matte focusing screen… because the instant film negative is smaller than the actual 4×5, if I compose a shot based on what I see through the ground glass, part of the image will be cutoff. 🙁 As was the case for the first shot I took. -_-;

In all, I made three “quick” exposures with the FP-3000B and my first thought was: my that was a PITA to get a shot, but once I got over that, I found that while I can’t appreciate all the aspects of the format and medium, the physical act of shooting, pulling the film out, waiting, then peeling apart the film and backing to see the image… it was a bit of a “wow” moment. And the captured image, even though it’s blurry and fuzzy due to bad focusing and settings, has a nice artsy feel to it.

I suppose by the time I get to the bottom of my stock of film, I will have developed a better fondness for this medium… more on that in future posts.

Wing Tang Wong

Wing Tang Wong

California