Most difficult 35mm camera to load

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by cliveh, Jul 30, 2013.

  1. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    What do APUGers think is the most difficult camera to load? Although I hate to admit it, the old Leica’s must be near the top of the list. Even an M2 is not the sort of camera you could reload while running across a battle field.
     
  2. thegman

    thegman Member

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    For me, Leica IIIf, I found it a real pain in the a**. Leica M3 was very simple by comparison. I'm not normally that fussy about how hard a camera is to load, but it's not enjoyable at all, I can load a 4x5 film holder both sides faster.
     
  3. heterolysis

    heterolysis Member

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    I hate loading my Nikkormat FTN. The film never catches! I took to taping the leader to the take-up spool years ago...
     
  4. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    While some might feel the M3 is ok to load, for me it's a major pita. I've lost some good shots due to it's fiddlyness. Just couldn't get the darn film to catch - grrrr. OTH my M5 is a dream. Funny I never had a problem with my Nikkormat Ftn, loved that camera.
     
  5. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    Leica screw mount and Soviet copies - I tried to load old Zenit C (got it because it is one of the smallest 35mm SLR ever) - after 3 films with 0 successful frames - I sold the camera. And yes, I tried with bulb option, I trimmed the film as explained ... it is pain. M3 and M6 are super easy - almost easy as nikon F3.
     
  6. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Is the spool damaged? I can load mine in a hurry by holding the roll in my left palm, thumbing the leader into the slot, giving the spool a half turn with said thumb, sliding the roll into position, closing the back with my right thumb and voila!
     
  7. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    I guess the old Leica is difficult to load but I never used one so I don't know. Funny I have a hard time loading the autoload camera like my Nikon F5. Many times the film wouldn't lay flat for me to close the cover correct for the film to load.
     
  8. heterolysis

    heterolysis Member

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    So I'm alone? I guess that's a good thing. It's been this way for 15+ years... The leader doesn't really go into the slot. Not enough for the one little tooth to catch. Will play around with it, there's still hope!

    EDIT!

    With all my might I jammed the lead of some Tri-X in and it went. I am amazed. Something must have been lodged in there---I almost lost some fingers one winter trying to load it!
     
  9. Nick Merritt

    Nick Merritt Member

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    Yes, the bottom loader Leicas, Canons, Zorkis and FEDs win the prize here, no question. The Ms are a darn sight better, but still a chore compared with cameras with swing-open backs and fixed spools.
     
  10. John_Nikon_F

    John_Nikon_F Subscriber

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    Nikon bodies are easy to load. Even the F with its non-hinged removable back. Just loaded up the FT3 with a roll of Velvia. Took all of 10 seconds from start to finish.

    The early Leicas and other copies are kind of a pain...

    -J
     
  11. Alan W

    Alan W Subscriber

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    Try loading the Horizont panoramics.
     
  12. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

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    had a student bring an old Praktica to class (forget which model) but it was harder than any old Leica, and many of the old Leicas were tough to load
     
  13. illumiquest

    illumiquest Member

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    Every camera I've ever tried to load after a night at the pub. Mostly the widelux though.
     
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  15. vpwphoto

    vpwphoto Member

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    Lieca's...
    I wonder how many got away from HCB while re-loading?
     
  16. BradleyK

    BradleyK Subscriber

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    Another vote for the Leicas. I've had my M6s for going on a decade and I still have yet to load one in anything that could be considered a timely fashion...:redface:
     
  17. clayne

    clayne Member

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    Don't watch that it spools, just load it and put the bottom back on. Advance, verify rewind is moving, you're done. M4 and beyond are designed to be advanced after loading with the bottom on.
     
  18. IloveTLRs

    IloveTLRs Member

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    I've had trouble here and there with the Rollei 35. When you load it wrong and advance the film, it grinds horribly like a student driver on an old stick shift car. I found the Contax T to be similar, maybe because of its size.

    I use screwmount Leicas for most of my photography, so I have no trouble loading them. I quite enjoy it actually - a labor of love, I suppose.
     
  19. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    I've noticed that myself.
    I once had an odd problem. I must have left my door key in a puddle of beer, because it swelled up and took me a long time to get into the keyhole. Very odd.:laugh:
     
  20. bobwysiwyg

    bobwysiwyg Subscriber

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    :smile:
     
  21. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Hetero,
    The leader goes into the takeup spool at a tangent and enters against the direction of rotation. It should enter easily, when it's aimed properly. Then when you advance, the film is bent on itself and the notch is forced over the little tooth.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 31, 2013
  22. lightwisps

    lightwisps Subscriber

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    Chan the secret with the F5 is to make sure the cartridge is perfectly laid down in the dock designed for it. Had that problem with mine for a while too.
     
  23. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    Confirmed...
    first you need to be aware that the sticker revealed when you remove the base plate is only for use at -10C or below!
    the user manual says take the film through two petal leaf pairs at normal temperatures the single pair on the base plate is only for -10C...
    then flip open the back door pin the film to the inner guide rail thumb of one hand and tension the film in the cassette with the fast rewind using other hand
    close the door attach the base plate and fire three blanks or two
    this works well even with very thin base PET film
    Leitz were worried by film shatter when rewinding cold
     
  24. Vilk

    Vilk Member

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    :smile:
     
  25. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    Never really liked the reverse winding cameras where the film goes under. The Canon Ql's are a dream.

    With my M3 I pull the spool out, slide the leader in and pull enough film from the cassette and slide the film in. Not too bad. On a PBS show I saw Leibovitz load what appeared to be a M6 in like 5 sec's. Man she was fast.
     
  26. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I can't load film in my digital camera.:laugh:

    Jeff