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05-15-2018, 08:30 PM   #1
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Pentax 6x7 loading question

On my first roll, the film advance lever had noticeably increased resistance once the frame counter advanced to frame one. On the second roll, I didn’t get that same tension. Concerned it wasn’t properly on the take-up spool, I opened the back in the dark to check it. Everything felt ok and with a very dim light for a very brief period of time, I visually checked for the start arrow and it was gone. After closing the back, it obviously had reset the counter and I had to go through a number of actuations on the advance lever. With the camera set up to “know” when it’s done with 10 or 20 frames based on the setting on the body, does the camera require an arbitrary number of frames each time the back is open to take up the leader? If so, should I plan on only getting 4-6 frames out of the roll?

05-15-2018, 10:55 PM   #2
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Yup. The only way the camera knows the roll is finished is it mechanically counts exposures. Once you open the back and close it, you will have to advance past the leader, then take 10 shots, since the film is already advanced, all of that will shift further down the roll.

Another option—since the 120 feed mechanism is pretty simple—open it back up in pure darkness, pull both spools, and manually spin the film and paper back onto the supply spool. Then turn the lights on, reload like normal, then take two dummy shots (maybe three), then keep shooting. You’ll lose less film if you do that (since you opened the door, you need to do the several cranks after loading which will potentially spool past usable film.) you also won’t run the risk that the camera thinks it can still take pictures but you’re already past the film, so you take shots onto paper.
05-16-2018, 04:48 AM   #3
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That’s what I thought. I thought about backing the film up, but didn’t think about doing it by removing both spools, just that I wouldn’t be able to pull the film back off of the take up spool. Lesson learned. I need to figure out how to make sure it’s properly attached to the take-up spool. I had a 35mm roll that went about half way though the frame counter before it actually grabbed and started exposing film. Rewound it when the counter hit 35, but unknowingly left half the roll blank. Trying to avoid that with the cost of developing and scanning 120 when only getting 10 frames when things go right.
05-16-2018, 05:39 AM   #4
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At the end of the roll (when the film/backing paper is fully wound on to the take-up spool), the film counter stops counting (but the lever still operates)*. With a roll of 120, mine stop at about frame 15 on the counter. In the case where I've mis-loaded and wound the film too far before closing the back - resulting on only 9 frames, the counter stops moving earlier (the film/backing paper is all spooled on to the take-up spool earlier).

In the OP's case, as the film was already loaded when the back was opened (and counter reset), I'd expect the counter to stop counting much earlier when the whole of the backing paper has been spooled on to the take-up spool.

* I believe the roller on the film take-up side drives the exposure counter when film or backing paper is running over it - but I'm not sure exactly how?

05-16-2018, 06:23 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnha Quote
At the end of the roll (when the film/backing paper is fully wound on to the take-up spool), the film counter stops counting (but the lever still operates)*. With a roll of 120, mine stop at about frame 15 on the counter. In the case where I've mis-loaded and wound the film too far before closing the back - resulting on only 9 frames, the counter stops moving earlier (the film/backing paper is all spooled on to the take-up spool earlier).

In the OP's case, as the film was already loaded when the back was opened (and counter reset), I'd expect the counter to stop counting much earlier when the whole of the backing paper has been spooled on to the take-up spool.

* I believe the roller on the film take-up side drives the exposure counter when film or backing paper is running over it - but I'm not sure exactly how?
No idea, I was thinking it was just a matter of the number of shutter clicks and thumb advancements because the shutter will no longer fire after 10 exposures when the camera is set to 120 or 10, depending on year of production. One thing I'm curious about is whether or not the film advance will continue to function even if the shutter isn't released? I thought I read that somewhere to be very careful about putting a full stroke on the film advance lever after each shot and then, basically, don't touch the it again until after you fire the shutter and intent to advance it again as opposed to all of my 35mm bodies where once the shutter is cocked, the film advance lever won't advance until the shutter is fired.
05-16-2018, 08:29 AM   #6
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the worry I'd have more than anything is if you close it up now, advance it to frame 1, that frame 1 will some way through the film, but you don't know exactly how far. So you could get to frame 6, set up your shot, and take what could be the next pulitzer prize winning photograph, but you don't realize (and of course the camera doesn't know) that you're already past the film, and that perfect shot was just illuminating backing paper.

If you rewind the film and start over, you can guarantee that the first and second frame will be spoiled by light, and probably the third frame so don't take anything that matters with it. But after the third frame, assuming the supply spool remained tight when you opened it, you probably have a good chance the the images will come out.

Alternatively, you could just remove the entire roll and use it to practice spooling 120 film onto a developing reel.

EDIT: another thing you could try, though I don't know how well this will work, is spin the frame counter back to 1 after you close it. I know thats a trick commonly used to fire the shutter with the door open, but it may help here as well.
05-16-2018, 09:24 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by abruzzi Quote
the worry I'd have more than anything is if you close it up now, advance it to frame 1, that frame 1 will some way through the film, but you don't know exactly how far. So you could get to frame 6, set up your shot, and take what could be the next pulitzer prize winning photograph, but you don't realize (and of course the camera doesn't know) that you're already past the film, and that perfect shot was just illuminating backing paper.

If you rewind the film and start over, you can guarantee that the first and second frame will be spoiled by light, and probably the third frame so don't take anything that matters with it. But after the third frame, assuming the supply spool remained tight when you opened it, you probably have a good chance the the images will come out.

Alternatively, you could just remove the entire roll and use it to practice spooling 120 film onto a developing reel.

EDIT: another thing you could try, though I don't know how well this will work, is spin the frame counter back to 1 after you close it. I know thats a trick commonly used to fire the shutter with the door open, but it may help here as well.
All good ideas if there is a next time. I think Iíll just cut my losses on this roll and hope I get the 4-6 frames I took. Iíll probably expose the last few and see how many I get. Canít hurt anything to expose the backing paper on the tail end.
05-16-2018, 02:23 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by jtkratzer Quote
I thought I read that somewhere to be very careful about putting a full stroke on the film advance lever after each shot and then, basically, don't touch the it again until after you fire the shutter and intent to advance it again as opposed to all of my 35mm bodies where once the shutter is cocked, the film advance lever won't advance until the shutter is fired.
The 67 is just like a 35mm SLR; once you give the advance lever a full stroke, it will not advance further. If you do not give it a full stroke but think you had, the lever will not move and you maybe flabbergasted as to what happened.

05-16-2018, 02:39 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by desertscape Quote
The 67 is just like a 35mm SLR; once you give the advance lever a full stroke, it will not advance further. If you do not give it a full stroke but think you had, the lever will not move and you maybe flabbergasted as to what happened.
Good to know, thanks.

Based on the camera's reaction after firing the shutter once or twice and then feeling the tail let go, I'm concerned I even got the frames I was hoping for out of this roll. We'll see. Can't go back and change the results now or recreate the light/scenes I shot yesterday. Learning has occurred.
05-16-2018, 07:01 PM   #10
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A couple of times on other cameras that were new to me, I freaked out slightly thinking that the takeup hadn’t caught, which is I guess what you did. The only time it was actually a problem was the second roll I shot on my Nikon F4. It turns out the takeup hadn't caught and the sprocketed wheel right before the takeup had warped the backing around the sprocket holes so it could just spin. Every roll I’ve shot on my 67 the advance lever significantly increases friction on the last stroke before the picture, so if it didn’t happen I’d be wondering too. Fortunately though advancing to the arrow on the paper gets enough wrap on the takeup that I don’t really worry that it’s going to lose its grip.
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