Guides and Manuals

While we provide a printed manual with each camera rental, we also provide PDF manuals below for each of the cameras we offer. Do remember the one rule of learning how to use a new camera: when in doubt, don't force it. If it doesn't want to go, there's a reason. (Note: If you notice some models in the following list that are not yet available to rent, that's our way of rewarding you for coming to check out the manuals, which we know can be boring. We'll offer these cameras soon, but you're the first to know about them here!)


Tips, Tricks, and How the F*cks?


Film can be a tricky thing to master. Most of us simply don't have the hands-on, lifetime experience behind these cameras as we do with other forms of technology – because none of this is contemporary anymore (or very little is, anyway).

Manuals can be hard to find, the guy at your camera store hasn't touched whatever you're shooting in at least a's tough. We get it. So here are some of the best guides we've found online covering a variety of film-related topics.

Have ideas for things to add to this section? PLEASE help me fill this out! Would be great to build this into something truly useful ASAP. I have a lot of sources stored up that I need to put here, but it will take some time.




Learn how to load 4x5 film into a standard, Fidelity (or similar) holder.

Here's an excellent video on how to use and load a Grafmatic 4x5 film holder.

LFPhoto is a fantastic resource for those looking to get started or improve their skills in large format photography. It's a bit text-heavy, but if you just want someone to explain it to you, start here.

4x5 Film Notch Codes

Each 4x5 film stock has its own, unique sequence of cutouts in the top, right corner of the film that helps identify what it is when feeling in the dark. You can treat these resources as a reference for which notch codes apply to various film stocks.

Kodak Film Notch Code Index (PDF)

Fujifilm Film Notch Code Index (PDF – This is actually a massive and awesome data guide sheet for all Fujifilm film stocks, including many since-discontinued films. Notch codes are on Page 21)

This page, despite the fact that Photon Detector doesn't seem to be a very active site anymore, does feature some a variety of information on other brands' notch codes and additional information about a variety of film stocks.