Hard to load cameras and tips

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by WetMogwai, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. WetMogwai

    WetMogwai Member

    Messages:
    152
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've always had trouble loading Nikon cameras. It often took 30-50 tries. I would only get it loaded by luck. I've never had this much trouble with any other camera. Here is a video that helped me figure out how to do it. By using the fold over trick shown in the video, I got it to work on the first try.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqmTmtbpClQ

    What cameras do you find hard to load? What tips can you provide to help others to not have the same trouble you had? Don't just limit this to 35mm still cameras. If you have a tip about another format or a cine camera, go ahead and post it. I only posted this in the 35mm forum because I started it with a 35mm camera. Mods, please move it if there is a better place for it.
     
  2. bblhed

    bblhed Member

    Messages:
    601
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2010
    Location:
    North Americ
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have trouble with my Nikon FM, and my Nikonos V, in fact I have lost a roll of film in my Nikonos V to this.

    Here is something I have learned. On the FM once I think I have it loaded I rewind the film until I have some tension in it so that when I wind the camera I can see the rewind knob turn when I advance the film that way I know the film is advancing.

    On the Nikonos V it is a little tricker and requires a little bit of faith. Most Nikonos owners know this, but I can not stress enough that the camera must be dry when loading film, yes, there are people that have loaded Nikonos cameras underwater. When loading the Nikonos I leave the rewind knob up and tension the film like I do on the FM, then when I see the rewind knob is turning as it should I advance to frame 0 then push the knob down. On the Nikonos there are two things to remember, one is that the rewind knob does not turn when it is down, two is that on the Nikonos if the knob is up the camera is not watertight. Never put a Nikonos V in the water with the rewind knob up, you will flood it.

    On my Pentax 6X7 I have trouble aligning the spools right, I have learned to not remove the paper band until I have the spool in place and locked in. Doing this makes my life a lot easier.
     
  3. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,118
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2008
    Location:
    Hamburg, DE
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I never had problem with loading Nikon cameras. Leica M6 is little harder, but once when you get familiar - also no problem. But 30-50 tries -- I would give up and got a F90 or F100 :smile:
     
  4. Mackinaw

    Mackinaw Member

    Messages:
    388
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2005
    Location:
    One hour sou
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Loading a Nikon F is a royal pain in the butt. Still love using this camera though.

    Jim B.
     
  5. mablo

    mablo Member

    Messages:
    389
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    No problems ever with any of my Nikons. My Zorki-1 is v e r y tricky to load and unload. I never shoot more than one roll with it. Reloading is just too dam**d hard to do.
     
  6. paulfish4570

    paulfish4570 Member

    Messages:
    155
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Location:
    At the confl
    Shooter:
    35mm
    My FED2 is tricky to load.
    Easiest to load by far is any Canon with QL ...
     
  7. eddym

    eddym Member

    Messages:
    1,927
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2006
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Is this the joke thread? I mean, you guys are kidding, right? A Nikon is hard to load? The early Nikons (pre-F100 and its autoloading ilk) are no harder to load than any 35mm camera. bblhed has a good suggestion about the rewind lever; I have always done that, and it does give a visual proof that the film is properly loaded.

    But the best tip I ever heard was from a Pentax rep. Basically, he said to reverse the loading instructions: first, holding the open camera in your right hand and the film casette in your left, insert the leader into the takeup spool (yes, BEFORE you put the film cassette into the camera); then turn the spool with your thumb, wrapping the film around it securely; THEN pull the cassette back over to the left side of the camera and drop it into its place. Take the slack out with the rewind lever, close the back, and fire off a couple of frames... and you're done. Once you get the hang of this "backwards" technique, it is very fast and secure.

    In spite of the Leicas' reputation for difficult loading, the M4 and later are really quite simple, especially if you use a wrist strap screwed into the base plate. Hold the camera in your right hand and remove the base plate, which will safely dangle from the strap on your wrist. Invert the camera, flip open the back window, insert the film cassette, and pull the leader across to the takeup spool, inserting it between any two of the three "fingers". Put the base plate back on, fire off two shots, and start shooting. The earlier M's are more difficult because you have to remove the takeup spool. But the wrist strap on the baseplate still helps.
     
  8. bobwysiwyg

    bobwysiwyg Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,623
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, M
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hm, this thread surprises me. I've probably uncovered every photography related problem known to man, but they have always manifested themselves after loading the camera. :smile:
     
  9. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

    Messages:
    1,118
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Location:
    Hamburg
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I actually find "classic" Nikons quite easy to load.
    (Even the notorious F, just like later Leica Ms).

    35mm Rolleiflex and Leica SLRs need the "reverse loading" a previous post described (insert film end in take-up reel first...). Only the Rolleiflex 3003 (and its brothers) can be something of a pain to load... Luckily several magazines can be pre-loaded beforehand and the counter doesn't advance unless the film does. :smile:


    I also find the Pentax 6x7 pretty akward: I'll certainly try the trick of not removing the tape until the spool is in place.
     
  10. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

    Messages:
    1,326
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2010
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I don't find the Nikons hard to load properly but when you have a flash mounted on the F3HP, there is no visual confirmation as the rewind is covered up. Applies to the F and F2 as well. So folding the leader probably makes it more foolproof. OTOH, you cannot fold the leader when using the Pentax LX, ME & ME Super (other M Series too?) due to the film take up spool design. I had concerns about this design initially but have not had any issues loading these properly.
     
  11. bsdunek

    bsdunek Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,351
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    Location:
    Michigan
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I think he's a candidate for digital! :whistling:
     
  12. xxloverxx

    xxloverxx Member

    Messages:
    156
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2009
    Location:
    Hong Kong/Pa
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    I find my Zorki 4 requires a bit of attention while loading. It's not "hard", but I need to make sure the film leader goes into the takeup spool "straight", else the film just creases on itself. I guess the clip's just a bit loose.
     
  13. winger

    winger Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,898
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    Location:
    southwest PA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    My Leica IIIf is kinda tough, but I've only loaded it a couple of times.
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. lxdude

    lxdude Member

    Messages:
    6,942
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    Location:
    Redlands, So
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The one time I tried to load an old Leica, it looked like I was the one that was loaded.:confused:
     
  16. flatulent1

    flatulent1 Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,342
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The only ones I've ever had difficulty loading were the old Minoltas with the white breakable tabs on the take-up spool, such as the SR-T series, XE-7, and XD-11.
    Um, which way does it go again? :pinch:
     
  17. Brian Legge

    Brian Legge Member

    Messages:
    543
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    Location:
    Bothell, WA
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    I blew loading more times when I was just starting out with film photography with a Canon A-1 than any time since. Then again, I've also gotten very use to watching for confirmation that the film is advancing. :smile:

    I actually don't mind loading bottom loaders at all. It takes slightly longer for me just because I have to get the takeup reel out but beyond that the process is relatively smooth. Maybe the fact that I'm pre-cutting the film with a template helps more than I realized.
     
  18. Perry Way

    Perry Way Member

    Messages:
    825
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Location:
    San Luis Obi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The biggest problem I've had loading film has got to be this little bugger right here: Go ahead, you're curious, check it out.

    It is not virtually impossible to load some Ilford and all Adox rolls, it is next to impossible to load modern Kodak film as well.

    Had to get rid of that dagblasted contraption. Traded it and the Speed Graphic it fit on (3.25 x 4.25, NOT a 4x5, no way, would not do that) for a Bronica ETRS. That's how I worked that problem gone...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 6, 2010
  19. Francis in VT

    Francis in VT Member

    Messages:
    124
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Shooter:
    35mm
    This must have come from Pentax engineers as I heard it from a Pentax Rep in the store I was working in in New Hampshire. I passed it on to all my customers and used it myself.
    Another tip from the same Pentax salesman was regarding coiled cords which always seemed to break the connection at the ends. Their idea was to start in the center and reverse the direction of the coil so that when the cord was stretched the cord would twist from the center and not at the ends putting less strain on the connections.
    This will work on any coiled cord.

    Francis in VT
     
  20. John_Nikon_F

    John_Nikon_F Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,921
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2008
    Location:
    Duvall, WA,
    Shooter:
    35mm
    The only time I had trouble loading a Nikon was the first time I did it on my father's old Nikomat FTn. That was 23 years ago. I usually do it the way that the Pentax engineers suggest doing it. Just simpler and quicker. Even my F is easy to load this way.

    -J
     
  21. fotch

    fotch Member

    Messages:
    4,824
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2005
    Location:
    SE WI- USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If your having trouble loading film you need to take a course at the local college on "How to get loaded". :D

    The only thing that is generally hard to load is a film reel and even that is easy if you think about what your doing and practice a little with a scrap roll.
     
  22. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    16,834
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Not 35mm, but ....

    Trying to find the start mark on a Koni-Omega back. Now that is hard!
     
  23. winger

    winger Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,898
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    Location:
    southwest PA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I think I would have had better luck loaded. One roll was fine. The second has some really cool double exposures for the first almost 10 frames or so. I think I'd probably loaded it ok, but I thought I didn't, so I unloaded it and started over. :whistling:
     
  24. lxdude

    lxdude Member

    Messages:
    6,942
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    Location:
    Redlands, So
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    :D:D:D
     
  25. NormanV

    NormanV Member

    Messages:
    198
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    Location:
    Falkland Isl
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    It's amusing to read this thread. I had a Pentax K1000 for around twenty years and never found it easy to load. Recently I bought a Nikon F and found that the film almost fell into place. If you want difficult try loading a Fuji GW690 whilst you are standing up. But then someone will tell you it is the easiest camera ever to load.
     
  26. wblynch

    wblynch Member

    Messages:
    1,646
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Location:
    Mission Viejo
    Shooter:
    127 Format
    I've been doing it this way for over 35 years. Dang! All this time I thought I invented the technique! :smile: