Large Format Polaroids - Which Back?

Recently Paul from Ryerson University in Toronto wrote and asked:

"I am looking into purchasing a Polaroid back for a 4x5 camera. I am lost however as to
what exactly I should be looking for. Is the film the same as a regular pack camera? I have a Polaroid 100 that I got over the holidays (from you guys!!) and it is amazing.

Thanks for your help!

Hi there Paul!

The Radio Shack

FP-100c instant color film shot on the Crown Graphic 4x5 camera at The Shack in Butler, NJ

Just when you thought Polaroid naming, numbering, and formatting couldn't get any worse, there's Polaroid 4x5!

There were two major types of Polaroid manufactured for 4x5 cameras, namely pack film and single sheet film. The pack films all had a three digit number sequence and fit into the 500 and 550 backs, while the single sheet featured two digits and fit into the 545 series backs.

Although you can buy expired Polaroid pack and single sheet films on eBay, prices are going sky-high lately. The only new offerings are currently made by Fuji. If you'd like to shoot 4x5" pack film, also known as FP-100c45 (not the same as regular FP-100c), you need either a Polaroid 550 back or a Fuji-PA45 back; they're essentially the same, and a tad expensive. Also please note that Fuji 4x5 pack films haven't been discontinued, but as of right now they aren't making any more of it (maybe a year or two more).

If you don't mind shooting regular 3 1/4 x 4 1/4" pack film, there is a back that will fit a 4x5 camera, and that is called a Polaroid 405 back. Considering the current volatile state of the two larger 4x5" selections, this is the most economical choice, but finding a used Polaroid 405 back may be considerably harder.

Best of luck with your instant large format endeavors, it's a lot of fun peeling bigger Polaroids, and really hope you get the chance to try it!

Long live film!

-Mat M.

Main Blog Image by Andy Jenkins


Sibokk's picture
I was going to post this very question in the forum but you've answered it before I could ask. Excellent!
Dan Domme's picture

I was going to write up a summary after listening to Episode 54, but luckily Mat beat me to the punch!  But I will offer a brief summary:

- You have: single sheet (2-digit film) - You need: a Polaroid 545 back.

- You have: 4x5 pack film (FP-100C45) - You need: a Fuji PA-45 or a Polaroid 550 back*.

- You have: 3.25x4.25 pack film (FP-100C, Polaroid 669, etc.) - You need: a Fuji PA-145 or a Polaroid 405 back. (best choices for economy and future film availability, also if you already shoot the Automatic Land Cameras, it's the same film)

* - I've seen Polaroid 550 also called Polaroid 505.  Could be different models of film backs.

Nodrog's picture
I have a Polaroid film pack back that I want to list for sale somewhere but can't identify it. The mask is2 -1/4 x 3-1/4 and it has a cirular ring for rotation with two spring loaded ball bearings centered on the loh direction of the mask for detents. The circular ring is undercut and will engage the locking mechanism on the camera. This came with a 6 x 9 Linhof Technika but it is extremely difficult to mount to the camera and can not be roataed ince installed. No markings except the serial number C8322354 Does anyone have any idea what the model number is or a suggestion about a possible different camera that it was designed for? The pack mechanism looks very much like the ones we used many years ago when I worked with cut film cameras. Thank you very much.
Bryan's picture
It's probably a back for a Mamiya RZ67. I actually have two of the Polaroid 405 film holders that I am going to sell. They let you shoot Fuji FP-100c or FP-3000b in any standard 4x5 camera
Milos's picture
I am interested in purchasing PA145 or Polaroid 405 back. If you have one for sale please contact me. Cheers Milos
Nilufar's picture
May I confirm that your Polaroid 405 film holder takes fuji fp-3000b instant film? If so I am interested in buying your film back, is it still available?
Bryan's picture
It's probably a back for a Mamiya RZ67. I actually have two of the Polaroid 405 film holders that I am going to sell. They let you shoot Fuji FP-100c or FP-3000b in any standard 4x5 camera
ACC's picture
I have one for sale. email me if you want to see pictures or make arrangements to check it out. You can come to my place of business in Bloomingdale, NJ Unfortunately, my sister pretty much gave away my sinar camera for $60 at a yard sale. I am still grieving!
Sarah's picture
Hi Bryan, If you're still selling those 405 pola backs, let me know:! Thanks!
Jeremy's picture
Hi, Newbie question here, because I never used a 4x5 camera before. If I use a 405 polaroid back on a speed graphic, how is the focusing done ? On a focusing screen or with an external viewfinder ? If 1) can you explain me how/when I need to fix the polaroid back ? Thanks ! Jeremy
Doug Lynch's picture
Anybody ever tried to hack/mod the film back from a junk polaroid pack film camera and turned it into a 4x5 holder?
enrique correa's picture
Hi I have a camera 4 x 5 and polaroid back .... what I find is the 54 polaroid film either black and white or color of a single sheet. and also I have the support package Polaroid 10 shots but where I find this movie?. thank you very much
Riley's picture
I am way late to this chat, but all this has been incredibly useful thus far... so perhaps you can help me a bit more. I have a wonderful 4 lens Polaroid Mini Portrait camera. I would LOVE to slap a 405 back on the thing and put it to good use, but I am fearful that smaller frame size will yield weird results. I rather ask about it first, considering the damn 405 backs are so expensive. Any thoughts or experience with the 550 Mini Portrait and substituting film backs? Thanks! -Riley
Jay Sullivan's picture
I have a 3 1/4 x 4 1/4 speed graphic. Will the 405 back fit?

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