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04-19-2011, 05:35 PM   #1
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First Roll Through 645 is blank - help!

I have just received a Pentax 645 which I bought on the Bay. I put a roll of TMAX 400 through but all the entire roll is completely blank.
I shot the roll manually using the built in light meter as an exposure guide. I'm pretty certain I loaded the film correctly because after I had shot 16 frames it auto winded to the end. I was carefull to load the film in the shade and it had no light exposure after being exposed. I put the exposed roll in the fridge for 24 hours.
Can't think what has gone wrong. The roll is completely clear apart from the frame numbers and Kodak branding.
Anyone got any suggestions?

04-19-2011, 05:40 PM   #2
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Not sure how much experience you'v had with loading up MF film cameras, or the 645 series of cameras in general ........ but is it possible you loaded the film facing backwards with the film backing facing forwards towards the lens?

When you say blank - is that meaning the film came out as un-exposed, or completely over exposed?

Last edited by Warped; 04-19-2011 at 06:16 PM.
04-19-2011, 06:33 PM   #3
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No I definately had the film paper facing the correct way. Infact the film was on the take up spool as expected after the 16 exposures were made ready for the gummed tap to be secured.
I have never loaded a P645 but I have loaded other MF cameras. The roll is totally transparent with no detail whatsover, not even the edge of each frame is visible. As I said all you can see on the roll is the frame numbers and the Kodak TMAX logo.
It's more likely to be my mistake than the camera as the camera was sold in perfect working order. I'm just not sure what I've done incorrectly to get such a dranatic failure. The exposure needle was certainly right in the middle so it's got me completely mystified. I just hope there's nothing wrong with the camera.
04-19-2011, 07:08 PM   #4
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If the roll is completely transparent, that sounds like the film wasn't exposed, or was drastically under exposed.

You can use the camera with the film back removed, so I'd try holding it up towards some light and firing a few shots off and checking if you see the shutter opening and closing. If that's all good and it's a nice, quick, and clean shutter opening then it'll come down to shutter speed.

I think the 645 will only fire at 1/60th (or is it 1/125th?) when the back is off and depending on what lens is fitted and what mode you're trying to shoot in, it'll default to either 1/60th or 1/125th ...... maybe something screwy happened there if you were shooting in low light/shade and needed a longer opening?

What kind of shots were you taking and what were the typical settings?

04-19-2011, 11:17 PM   #5
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I don't know about your knowledge with exposure, but can you remember that shutter speeds and aperture "made sense" at the light you where shooting in? A faulty meter or shutter could explain the blank frames. You could always try to scan the film, because there might be stuff on there that your eyes can't see.

The numbers and branding indicate that there was nothing wrong with development, so it must be the camera.
04-20-2011, 03:41 AM   #6

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Double check to make sure you aren't loading the film backwards. I did that with my first two rolls in a 645 and only realized the problem after development. There is a drawing of the correct film loading postion on the insert, just below where the film is loaded, make sure your leader points in the same direction as the drawing.
04-20-2011, 06:49 AM   #7
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I posted some pics/instructions on loading here...
04-20-2011, 06:03 PM   #8
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Gentlemen, I have to confess, I was wrong. After Nesster provided the link to his photographs, I realized that I had indeed loaded the film back to front and exposed the backing paper. Silly mistake which I won't be repeating. Thanks for your help guys.

04-22-2011, 11:37 AM   #9
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hummingbird, donīt worry Anybody of us - including me - has done similar with his/her first 120er film in the first Medium format camera (perhaps not the very first time - but a little bit later) - but most us donīt dare to talk about. So thank you for your honesty.
04-22-2011, 12:13 PM   #10
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It has happen to many of us, Trust me.

When I show my teacher back in the 1960's this problem his reply was: "Let's develop the backing paper and see what we get!"
04-22-2011, 12:36 PM   #11
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I once pre-loaded 3 backs for my Mamiya 645 with the film on backwards before I hiked to the top of nearby Mt. Humphries. The only photos I have from that trip are from my 1.3MP Kodak. Whoops!

04-23-2011, 09:52 AM   #12
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My 120 roll film camera is actually several roll-film holders that fit my 4x5 view camera. I have to give the process serious thought every time I load the things.

04-23-2011, 11:00 AM   #13
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I didn't think the film would actually roll through the camera if it was in upside down. At least that's what happened to me once. I took the "zero" picture (wind), then everything bound up.

Maybe we need a video of how to do it backwards!

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