How To Make Instant 4×5 Film At Home

If you are a medium format photographer you could not have missed the dwindling supply chain of Polaroid 4X5 sheets. They are almost impossible to get nowadays. You can get some on eBay for an ounce of flesh or mortgaging your house, but the sad truth is that they are no longer manufactured and existing stocks will not last forever.

How To Make Instant 4x5 Film At Home

Instructable user julsdylan has been trying to create a home brew for for his 4×5 camera inspired by the New55 Film project. (new55 aims at creating a 4×5 instant film). The results are surprisingly good.

The text is not the clearest and sourcing the materials may seem a bit Breaking Bad style, but definitely worth the effort.

Making the film is not a straight up process. First you have to create the reagent, it is a small pod which holds the reacting material that actually processes the film. Juls used some freezer paper, heat sealer and some nasty chemicals to create the pod. If you do this at home, better ware gloves and protection glasses.

How To Make Instant 4x5 Film At Home

Next an ilford FP4 sheet is exposed on a large format camera.

How To Make Instant 4x5 Film At Home

The instant part is not as instant – it takes some assembly and 8 minutes, which in the Instagram age seems like eternity. The process involves aligning the reagent pod, the film and a sheet of Ilford RC paper.

How To Make Instant 4x5 Film At Home

Then the film is peeled and washed/fixed.

How To Make Instant 4x5 Film At Home

While the process is not as “instant” as it used to be there is a bonus – you get both a positive and a negative.

How To Make Instant 4x5 Film At Home

How To Make Instant 4x5 Film At Home

How To Make Instant 4x5 Film At Home

[Making instant film at home ( polaroid 55 ) | julsdylan]

Thanks for the heads up, Jason.

  • Bob Crowley

    None of the chemicals are “nasty”.

  • superduckz

    I’ve been shooting a land 350 with fuji 100 and 3000 film (and LOVING it!) and have been lamenting the unobtanium status of larger Polaroid films. When I saw this I actually gasped a little with excitement. THANKS!