Is it a good way to load a bottom-loading camera?

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by q_x, Jun 25, 2013.

  1. q_x

    q_x Member

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    So I've sold old Kiev 4 AM with some transport issues and got myself a decent tripod head. I've started to use festival Zorki-S a bit often, which is a Leica II copy from FSU, bottom-loading design.

    It's a Russian way to deal with things, but instead of cutting a long film leader, I'm cutting film flat. I'm able to place it in the right place starting a bit diagonally, metal spool first. It seems to work, it's easier, than cutting the leader. The film is not loose at any moment, so I see no risk of damaging the shutter, but I may be wrong. Is it safe for the camera? What's your opinion?
     
  2. 250swb

    250swb Member

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    You don't need to cut a long leader anyway. Simply set the camera on T and take the lens off when loading the film, you can use a finger to push the film up and square onto the gears. It saves a frame or two of film and means you don't have to trim any film so it is always the same with all your film camera's.

    Steve
     
  3. q_x

    q_x Member

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    Steve, I know this method. I don't think it's easy :D
    I always have a pair of scissors with me, so it's not a problem to cut a film (the pattern doesn't matter), my method wastes 2cm of film (one frame maybe), but it doesn't require taking off the lens and putting my buttery fingers inside. If both methods are safe, I'll stick to mine.
     
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  4. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    it takes five seconds to trim the leader, as q-x notes, the pattern is really very important, i once did it by just carefully tearing the film -- i saw another post somewhere about using business cards, taking lenses off and other such stuff-- why? Oskar Barnack knew what he was doing, why make life difficult?

    And second the comment about buttery fingers -- no no no.
     
  5. 250swb

    250swb Member

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    He may have known what he was doing when he started out with bulk loaded film in Leica cassettes, but when the standard cassette and film leader came into being his ideas kind of got left behind. I recommend washing your hands for all sorts of reasons (what are your sticky fingers doing to the outside of the camera and lens?), but even sticky fingers only ever go onto the unused first frame, its not like you can gunk up the whole film, or am I being overly optimistic?

    Steve
     
  6. Dali

    Dali Subscriber

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    I always followed the usual recommendation (long film leader) which can be found in any Leica SM manual. It works so I never felt the need to change of method.
     
  7. q_x

    q_x Member

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    Thank you all for your input :smile:

    It seems to be a problem with transport in my old camera, once it all got stuck after about 20 exposures, and I had to tear the film from the taking reel piece by piece. That was with carefully trimmed leader. I know such things are happening, and this is error on my side prolly, but still I feel like having more control over what goes where with my method.

    Not always there's a faucet and running water close to wash hands in the right moment, in my case it may be sweaty, sticky fingers, dust and wind combined, conditions far from suitable to take any camera apart.
     
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