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09-25-2011, 10:37 PM   #1
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Pentax 645 film loading help pls!

Hi all!

I know, first post and i'm asking for help! Rude

But i figure if anyone would know, it'd be the Pentax forum. I have recently purchased a Pentax 645, the first one, not the 'N' or the 'NII', and i can't get it to load film correctly. Whenever i load a roll and click the shutter release it winds the whole roll through onto the other spool and then stops. I believe that i've loaded the film correctly. I'm starting with the new roll on the side of the back with the red lines. I have the black side of the paper backing toward the lens. I know the film/backing go on the outside of the rollers on the film backing plate, and that the film should spool out from the 'in' side of the roll, and not the outside. Basically, i followed the instruction manual

I've bought and tried another film back. Same thing. I've tried two rolls of film, although both were B+W Ilford rolls.

There is obviously a good chance that the body is faulty I bought it with a sticking 'EF' button that was preventing it from functioning properly. A quick clean of the board under the button and the electronics *seem* to function fine. It will happily fire with the film back removed, as it should, and all the other buttons work.

Has anyone seen this before? Can anyone help?

I'm in Melbourne, Australia, if that's relevant.

It's taken me months to get all the bits together to use this awesome camera, and it's driving me nuts that i can't use it!

Thanks in advance

09-26-2011, 02:19 AM   #2
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So, I will ask to establish a starting point... You've read a copy of the manual and you've noted to wind the film to the take-up until the arrow mark of the film reached the indicated point of the holder...right?

If you find that the film paper is off the take-up spool, then it is an indication that the arrow part was not done correct.

If instead the film is still sitting on the arrow mark, then it sounds like a drive problem.

CORRECTION... STILL ASLEEP... Are they 120 holders or 220 holders or modified? You had to clean a stuck button? Was the camera a victim of a sticky drink or something in its past and importantly is it sticking the part that detects the presence of film in the holder.

just to point out... I don't have a 645 yet, but these are the question I would ask myself to diagnose a bum camera of mine.

Last edited by MysteryOnion; 09-26-2011 at 02:37 AM.
09-26-2011, 02:32 AM   #3
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Did you load it with the rolls in the good direction ?
Pentax 645N 120 Film Loading - Medium Format Forum

The film should be rolled on the inner part of the loading rolls :
09-26-2011, 05:08 AM   #4
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Check out my review, I posted photos and an explanation of how things work
Pentax 645 - 645 Medium Format - Pentax Camera Reviews - DSLR and Film SLR Database

09-26-2011, 05:17 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies.

See below for pics of my film loading technique. I think this is correct? The film backs are both for 120 film. Unmodified, afaik. I'm not privy to the camera's history, so i'm not sure what caused the 'sticking' button. It looked as though a little moisture had found its way under the EF button and there was some corrosion or residue on the circuit board there that caused it to be permanently shorted. There was no other visible corrosion or damage on the board, or anywhere else at all. I hoped that i had fixed it

New roll side:

Take-up spool side:

And what it looks like after the film has run through:

I'm uploading a vid of what happens right now. I'll edit this later to contain a link, but if you click through to my flickr it will be there when it's done uploading.

Edit: Video here -

Thanks again for looking!

Last edited by Ches; 09-26-2011 at 01:29 PM. Reason: Added image captions for clarity + video link
09-26-2011, 05:38 AM   #6
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If you google how to modify a 220 insert for 120 film - or find the topic here - you'll see illustration of the wee widget on the insert that communicates with the camera. Find and clean the mechanical sensor for this in the back of the camera - this may be jammed or something. Just an idea for an additional avenue for investigation.

You're loading correctly, but somehow the camera doesn't seem to be initializing to the start, so it goes directly to the end routine. This is why I suggest a mechanical issue may be the cause, though if the electronics had been soaked I'd suspect them also. For the electronics, what sort of cleaner did you use? There are circuit board cleaners that might work, ask at a supply store.

I'm sorry you're having trouble getting to the real fun part with this wonderful camera. I hope you can get it running...
09-26-2011, 01:30 PM   #7
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Cheers for the suggestion, i'll try cleaning that switch tonight!

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