4x5 Instant Pack Film - Troubleshooting

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Anonymous

Q:

Hello, I had a question about shooting with FUJIFILM FP-3000B45 film on a 4x5 field camera. I've so far wasted an entire pack of film trying but with no results.

First - what speed should I be rating this film? I have a spot meter and it doesn't have a setting for 3000 speed only 3200 - is that OK?

Second - I've loaded the film correctly but there's no image when I shoot and develop. After peeling the film apart the print is just pure white. What am I doing wrong? Tried shooting both outdoors in very bright sunlight and indoors in dark subdued sunlight.

I have one more pack of film and would like to try it but don't want to waste my money without knowing how to shoot it properly.

Thanks! (Question via e-mail to FPP)

A: (Mat Marrash)

There are only two causes of white frames on Fuji instant films, and those are no chemical spread across the paper, and gross overexposure. Since you said in your email that you peeled apart your instant film, I'm going to have to assume the latter has occurred. To try and narrow down just might be going on, would you please answer the following questions:

    When shooting the FP-3000B, what speed are you shooting it at? Using your spot meter's reading of 3200 should be optimal.


    When using your spot meter, where are you metering and where are you placing those readings along the tonal scale? For instance, if you are metering for deep shadows but exposing them like a middle grey, you are likely overexposing by two or more stops, something which these instant films cannot tolerate, unlike modern B&W films.


    When inserting the film for exposure, are you double-checking that the lens is stopped down, shutter is cocked, and lens is closed prior to pulling the dark slide? My apologies if these questions seem elementary.


    How long are you letting the FB-3000B develop? Are you following the Fuji recommended times of 15-30 seconds based on temperature?

I hope this can be of some help, with a little bit of patience and persistence, I'm sure we can get this fantastic 4x5 film up and running properly for you.

All the best,

-Mat M.

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