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  1. #1

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    Hard to load cameras and tips

    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. #2

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    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.
    "Would you like it if someone that painted in oils told you that you were not making portraits because you were using a camera?"
    "Shouldn't it be more about the joy of producing and viewing the photo than what you paid for the camera?"

    Me

  3. #3
    darkosaric's Avatar
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    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

  4. #4

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    Loading a Nikon F is a royal pain in the butt. Still love using this camera though.

    Jim B.

  5. #5
    mablo's Avatar
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    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. #6
    paulfish4570's Avatar
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    My FED2 is tricky to load.
    Easiest to load by far is any Canon with QL ...

  7. #7
    eddym's Avatar
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    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.
    Eddy McDonald
    www.fotoartes.com
    Eschew defenestration!

  8. #8
    bobwysiwyg's Avatar
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    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.
    WYSIWYG - At least that's my goal.

    Portfolio-http://apug.org/forums/portfolios.php?u=25518

  9. #9
    Rol_Lei Nut's Avatar
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    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. :-)


    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.
    M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa

  10. #10

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    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.
    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.

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