Select Page

Free download: large format camera grid overlay screenFree download: large format camera grid overlay screen

Free download: large format camera grid overlay screen

In recent years I’ve turned into more of a do-it-yourself kind of guy. From starting leatherwork a few years back, to getting knee deep other crafts, hacks and mods. Whilst I’m not the kind of person you’ll find extolling the virtues of customizing Ikea furniture, if I feel I can make something myself, then I’ll give it a try…even if I end up purchasing the object I tried to make further on down the line.

It’s something I do partly in the name of getting exactly what I want and partly for the unique buzz I get from the “pleasure of finding things out” I’ve mentioned many times before.

Moving into large format photography has been quite the catalyst for encouraging this kind of behaviour and I love being able to completely tear-down and rebuild my camera (a c1957 Graflex Speed Graphic) on a whim. So, in the spirit of the community, I’d like to share one recent “hack” with you; a grid overlay for 4×5 and 8×10 large format cameras.

EMULSIVE 4x5 grid overlay v1

EMULSIVE 4×5 grid overlay v1

In the file below, you’ll find a 4×5 grid overlay with 6×6/7/9 and 12 frame lines in landscape and portrait orientation, as well as an 8×10 version with extra 6×17/24 frame lines. The image above shows version 1 of the overlay, which has since been revised a couple of times and currently sits at version 3.




Simply download, open and print the PDF file (certified malware free if you download it from the link on this page).

Download the EMULSIVE 4x5 grid overlay v3

The included designs are best printed onto A4 transparencies using a laser printer. You can use an inkjet printer but I find the print doesn’t hold for as long.

The PDF file contains a printer’s bleed of 5mm but this should not affect your actual print.

I’d recommend you wash and dry your transparency both before and after you print in order to remove any material, or chemical that could impair the quality of the print, or visibility.

Once you’ve printed the grid overlay, remove your focus screen and while centered over the transparency, use a craft knife to cut your print to the exact shape required for your camera.

After that, it’s a simple case of reinstalling the screen and overlay, with the overlay sitting on top of the focus screen and facing out of the back of your camera.

Note: if you’re worried about the overlay affecting your focus, don’t. As long as it’s installed on top of the screen, it won’t change a thing.

Let me know how you get on in the comments!


About The Author


Self confessed film-freak and film photography mad-obsessive and OVERLORD at I push, pull, shoot, boil and burn film everyday, and I want to share what I learn.


Comments are welcomed and encouraged on EMULSIVE but there are some instances where comments will deleted, and authors of those comments banned. They are as follows:

  • Comments deemed to be spam or solely promotional in nature will be deleted. Including a link to relevant content is permitted, but comments should be relevant to the topic at hand.
  • Comments including profanity, containing language or concepts that could be deemed offensive will be deleted. Note this may include abusive, threatening, pornographic, offensive, misleading or libelous language.
  • Comments that attack an individual directly will be deleted, as will comments that harass other contributing authors. In short, please be respectful toward others.



  1. You reposted this at the right time! I need to get a couple of grids printed for some 4×5’s…

  2. Very handy- using a screen wipe on both sides of a ground glass ‘cleans’ everything (a MPP MK VII I’ve just about finished)

  3. Thanks dude, appreciated.

    • You’re very welcome. Would appreciate it if you shared the link around!

  4. Thanks again for this! One request: would it be possible to have alternative version(s) with only 6×7, 6×9 and 6×12 formats. Would greatly simplify both the view and figuring out which is which. Think it would get sloppy if I tried to clean up the download itself.

    • Of course! I was considering labelling the different guides but feel that it make the screen a little cluttered. I’ll drop you a line when I have an update ready for you, Rick.



  1. Camera review: First impressions of the Chroma Camera 4x5 AKA what's your poison? - by John Whitmore « EMULSIVE - […] The screen itself is fairly bright but a dark cloth is definitely needed until there’s a hood available. If…

Add your voice to the discussion

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Find out how you can help support EMULSIVE from as little as $2 a month on Patreon.Learn more

All Categories

All Categories