Saturday, January 19, 2013

First 4x5 Camera and the New55 Project

For Christmas my amazing bosses Anthony and Andrea Vizzari gave me my very first 4x5 press camera! I am so excited to customize my first 4x5 and create my ideal large format camera. First things first I need to find a lens; I'm thinking of getting a Kodak Ektar 127mm lens usually made for a Graflex Graphic but I am also looking at some Polaroid lens that were originally on 110A cameras. (they are also 127mm) I'm not sure if the Polaroid lens will work as well as the Kodak Ektar but if I can get them for cheap I'll just purchase both! Goodbye to any money I have saved.

My press camera is a James and Burke Watson Speed-Press and it's in great condition. I may try to add some more doors or shield to see the glass better since the camera only has one door on the left hand side. It works fine but I want to at least try to add two doors (top and right side) and see if that works out. Plus adding a new glass with grid lines would only be a bonus, not sure how to go about that but I'm willing to learn. Here is a snapshot of the body of my 4x5, I've never made adjustments to a camera before so wish me luck! 

I've also want to make my 4x5 have the ability to be photographed with instant film (of course). I am planning on purchasing the Polaroid 550 Instant back, but I want to shop around for the best deal. As I was searching for some of the 4x5 instant film I quickly realized that it was discontinued! I had no idea Fuji stopped making the film type.  I feel so silly because this summer I saw that Helix was selling FP-100c45 and I didn't even think to purchase any! I still have a one or two packs left from last year stored in my fridge but I need more! 

In case you haven't already heard I'd like to tell you about a new photographic project called New55. New55 is recreating and improving 4x5 instant film!! This film will not be the same as Polaroid Type 55, in fact New55 film has a new single shot system, special positive receiver sheet plus it creates less paper waste which is always great! New55 has created this film in black and white so far, according to the website they plan on creating color film after New55 is fully released. If you love shooting with 4x5 instant film then I would definitely keep an eye on this blog and help spread the word about this awesome project!

Don't believe me? Here are some of the New55 test shots. 


  1. Is New55 still going? I haven't heard from them for more than a year...

  2. Yes! Last time I heard they are hoping to release the film this year.

  3. On Kickstarter now, Lauren ...