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07-03-2018, 12:35 PM   #1
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Continuing issues with advancing film Pentax ME

Hi, I'm new to the Pentax world and so far I've shot 8 rolls with my ME. Once I had an issue with advancing film in the middle of a roll where I was advancing the film but the sprockets wouldn't catch. I could feel and also hear the film slipping.

Note: I load my own film with a bulk loader and cartridge and try to get 35 shots with each roll.

Someone mentioned that I most likely didn't load it right so I made sure to properly load my film and make sure that the perforations caught in both sprockets (upper and lower) before closing the film door and also making sure the film rewind lever spun with each pull when advancing the film.

Currently having issues with the last two cartridges. I loaded it properly making sure the upper and lower sprockets were engaged, closed the door, advanced the film and the rewind lever spun. Now the problem is that after shooting maybe 5 - 8 shots, I can hear the film slipping and the sprockets not engaged. Thinking that the film wasn't taught enough to be caught by the advancing sprockets, I popped the winding lever out and started winding but could still feel the film slipping from perforation to next perforation as I tried to tighten. Ended up winding the film all the way in without pressing the release on the bottom.

Does anyone have any idea why this is happening? How do I fix this? Or should I be looking into a new film camera?

07-03-2018, 12:53 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by ZTrev10 Quote
Hi, I'm new to the Pentax world and so far I've shot 8 rolls with my ME. Once I had an issue with advancing film in the middle of a roll where I was advancing the film but the sprockets wouldn't catch. I could feel and also hear the film slipping.

Note: I load my own film with a bulk loader and cartridge and try to get 35 shots with each roll.

Someone mentioned that I most likely didn't load it right so I made sure to properly load my film and make sure that the perforations caught in both sprockets (upper and lower) before closing the film door and also making sure the film rewind lever spun with each pull when advancing the film.

Currently having issues with the last two cartridges. I loaded it properly making sure the upper and lower sprockets were engaged, closed the door, advanced the film and the rewind lever spun. Now the problem is that after shooting maybe 5 - 8 shots, I can hear the film slipping and the sprockets not engaged. Thinking that the film wasn't taught enough to be caught by the advancing sprockets, I popped the winding lever out and started winding but could still feel the film slipping from perforation to next perforation as I tried to tighten. Ended up winding the film all the way in without pressing the release on the bottom.

Does anyone have any idea why this is happening? How do I fix this? Or should I be looking into a new film camera?
Welcome to the forum!

Have you tried a store bought roll of Kodak/Fuji/Ilford 135 film, do you have the same issues?

Phil.
07-03-2018, 01:08 PM   #3
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Without loading any film, do the sprokets AND the spool both advance when you wind on? If the rewind mechnism is still engaged I'd imagine it's possible to load a film and be able to wind on a bit just by the pull/rotation of the take-up spool alone. Once a few frames in however, it would not longer be enough against the growing resistance of the entire roll. Just a guess. Neither the take-up nor the sprokets are really enough to keep the strip from slipping - both have to be engaged.

---------- Post added 07-03-18 at 01:14 PM ----------

Another thought - are you certain you fed the leader far enough into the take-up spool's "Magic Fingers™"? What's happening to you makes sense if it was not - the take up spool provides tension between it and the advance sprockets; if it slips off and it's just loosely gathering inside then the film rides loosely on the sprokets as well, allowing them to slip. Make sure you push the leader in a very good ways and that the take-up spools it tight(ish) on the first rotation or two before you close the door.
07-03-2018, 01:50 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by chickentender Quote
Without loading any film, do the sprokets AND the spool both advance when you wind on? If the rewind mechnism is still engaged I'd imagine it's possible to load a film and be able to wind on a bit just by the pull/rotation of the take-up spool alone. Once a few frames in however, it would not longer be enough against the growing resistance of the entire roll. Just a guess. Neither the take-up nor the sprokets are really enough to keep the strip from slipping - both have to be engaged.

---------- Post added 07-03-18 at 01:14 PM ----------

Another thought - are you certain you fed the leader far enough into the take-up spool's "Magic Fingers™"? What's happening to you makes sense if it was not - the take up spool provides tension between it and the advance sprockets; if it slips off and it's just loosely gathering inside then the film rides loosely on the sprokets as well, allowing them to slip. Make sure you push the leader in a very good ways and that the take-up spools it tight(ish) on the first rotation or two before you close the door.
Chickentender (love it!), both sprockets and spool advanced when winding. I think maybe your second point is valid? But after a couple of frames, of proper winding, would that still make sense?

Also when inserting the leader, should I insert downward on the left side (what I have been doing) or horizontal to the right side so that the film bends back onto itself?

07-03-2018, 02:02 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by ZTrev10 Quote
Chickentender (love it!), both sprockets and spool advanced when winding. I think maybe your second point is valid? But after a couple of frames, of proper winding, would that still make sense?

Also when inserting the leader, should I insert downward on the left side (what I have been doing) or horizontal to the right side so that the film bends back onto itself?
There it is. You want it to bend back on itself so that it 'anchors'. But it really doesn't matter a whole lot as long as you shove it in there until pops through the back of the spool. And yes, if it's just hanging on losely (the leader in the fingers) it'll rotate a few times, then often slip out and release its tension, making the sprokets unable to keep doing their job. And when the take-up spool isn't "spooling" tightly, it's actually just "bunching" in the take-up spool space so that it starts pushing back as it were.

If you happen to have a spent length of bulk film you can load (or just sacrifice 2 or 3 feet), just try it out a few times.... I'm betting just inserting the leader in further will solve it. But again - I'm guessing.
07-03-2018, 02:05 PM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by ZTrev10 Quote
Also when inserting the leader, should I insert downward on the left side (what I have been doing) or horizontal to the right side so that the film bends back onto itself?
Probably a good time to read the manual? See link below for a copy.

Pentax ME Manual

Phil.
07-03-2018, 02:05 PM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by ZTrev10 Quote
But after a couple of frames, of proper winding, would that still make sense?
If the leader isn't captive in the take-up, sometimes it'll spool properly on its own tension if the wind is narrow enough, but if it's really lose the film in the take-up is too wide and pushes back the other direction as more film comes into the chamber.

---------- Post added 07-03-18 at 02:06 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
Probably a good time to read the manual?

Pentax ME Manual

Phil.
Indeedily. Or check out @DavidK 's excellent tutorials. This is part-2. He loads film about 2 or 3 minutes in.


---------- Post added 07-03-18 at 02:09 PM ----------

Ooops. That was ME Super (not that they are terribly different) .... Here's the ME:
07-03-2018, 02:14 PM - 2 Likes   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by ZTrev10 Quote
Once I had an issue with advancing film in the middle of a roll where I was advancing the film but the sprockets wouldn't catch. I could feel and also hear the film slipping.

Note: I load my own film with a bulk loader and cartridge and try to get 35 shots with each roll.

Now the problem is that after shooting maybe 5 - 8 shots, I can hear the film slipping and the sprockets not engaged. Thinking that the film wasn't taught enough to be caught by the advancing sprockets, I popped the winding lever out and started winding but could still feel the film slipping from perforation to next perforation as I tried to tighten. Ended up winding the film all the way in without pressing the release on the bottom.

Does anyone have any idea why this is happening? How do I fix this? Or should I be looking into a new film camera?
99% sure it's not the camera. 90% sure it's the way you loaded the roll. What type of bulk loader do you use?

With Lloyds, you must ensure that the flat side of the spool and small hole on the cassette are on the winding knob side. Then you must ensure that you wind the film clockwise as shown on the side of the bulk loader.

It is not uncommon that beginners unintentionally wind the film into the cassette so that instead of winding it with the emulsion facing the spool core, it's facing away which results in enough friction from the felt trap in the cassette to cause advancing problems. It's enough tension that the sprocket teeth will slip and sometimes even tear. When you try to then rewind the film, you're essentially winding it back on itself and creating a kink.

Before giving up on the film, try a roll of factory loaded film. If you have no problems with it, then I am fairly certain it's the way you loaded the bulk film.

Also because bulk loading is hand done, it's never as 'perfect' as factory loaded film....so maybe try rolling 24 exposures next time. You can get up to 40 in the cassette, but it takes more care in alignment of the film on the spool, etc.

07-03-2018, 02:19 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
Before giving up on the film, try a roll of factory loaded film. If you have no problems with it, then I am fairly certain it's the way you loaded the bulk film.

Also because bulk loading is hand done, it's never as 'perfect' as factory loaded film....so maybe try rolling 24 exposures next time. You can get up to 40 in the cassette, but it takes more care in alignment of the film on the spool, etc.
Yep that's my thoughts as well, try a store bough roll of film to rule out the bulk loader.

Phil.
07-03-2018, 02:21 PM   #10
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With the back still open, advance the film once after inserting the lead into the magic fingers. You might sacrifice frame 0 but you'll be more certain the roll is loaded correctly.
07-03-2018, 02:22 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by chickentender Quote
Or check out @DavidK 's excellent tutorials.
Yep a good source of info!

Phil.
07-03-2018, 04:21 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by chickentender Quote
There it is. You want it to bend back on itself so that it 'anchors'. But it really doesn't matter a whole lot as long as you shove it in there until pops through the back of the spool. And yes, if it's just hanging on losely (the leader in the fingers) it'll rotate a few times, then often slip out and release its tension, making the sprokets unable to keep doing their job. And when the take-up spool isn't "spooling" tightly, it's actually just "bunching" in the take-up spool space so that it starts pushing back as it were.

If you happen to have a spent length of bulk film you can load (or just sacrifice 2 or 3 feet), just try it out a few times.... I'm betting just inserting the leader in further will solve it. But again - I'm guessing.
I think that's what might have happened and was bunching up in the take up spool. So should I push it in and make sure the leader pops out again? I'll take a look at the video someone else posted! Thanks!

---------- Post added 07-03-18 at 04:24 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
99% sure it's not the camera. 90% sure it's the way you loaded the roll. What type of bulk loader do you use?

With Lloyds, you must ensure that the flat side of the spool and small hole on the cassette are on the winding knob side. Then you must ensure that you wind the film clockwise as shown on the side of the bulk loader.

It is not uncommon that beginners unintentionally wind the film into the cassette so that instead of winding it with the emulsion facing the spool core, it's facing away which results in enough friction from the felt trap in the cassette to cause advancing problems. It's enough tension that the sprocket teeth will slip and sometimes even tear. When you try to then rewind the film, you're essentially winding it back on itself and creating a kink.

Before giving up on the film, try a roll of factory loaded film. If you have no problems with it, then I am fairly certain it's the way you loaded the bulk film.

Also because bulk loading is hand done, it's never as 'perfect' as factory loaded film....so maybe try rolling 24 exposures next time. You can get up to 40 in the cassette, but it takes more care in alignment of the film on the spool, etc.
100% sure it was user error! Haha. I currently use the Watson bulk loader. I don't think it's the loader or the film, I think it's my film leader loading technique.
07-03-2018, 04:36 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by ZTrev10 Quote
100% sure it was user error! Haha. I currently use the Watson bulk loader. I don't think it's the loader or the film, I think it's my film leader loading technique.
Could be both. Alex is right. Tug some film out of your bulk cassette - if there's a good amount of resistance that'll contribute to the leader pulling out when you wind on.
Best way is to watch David's vids above, sacrifice a bit of film and load it up and wind-on with the door left open for 6 or 7 frames (just hold down the film cassette with your thumb to keep it all taught) and make sure everything's spooling properly. That way you'll know exactly what's going on in there and what it should feel like when it's proper. The Magic Fingers (I never get tired of saying that) usually hold it just fine (better than many other cameras with just slots in the take-up spool in my experience), but you do need to push it a ways for it to stay.
07-03-2018, 06:20 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by chickentender Quote
Could be both. Alex is right. Tug some film out of your bulk cassette - if there's a good amount of resistance that'll contribute to the leader pulling out when you wind on.
Best way is to watch David's vids above, sacrifice a bit of film and load it up and wind-on with the door left open for 6 or 7 frames (just hold down the film cassette with your thumb to keep it all taught) and make sure everything's spooling properly. That way you'll know exactly what's going on in there and what it should feel like when it's proper. The Magic Fingers (I never get tired of saying that) usually hold it just fine (better than many other cameras with just slots in the take-up spool in my experience), but you do need to push it a ways for it to stay.
Thanks for the advice! I'll go ahead and sacrifice a bit of film so that I know I'm taking images. It's been frustrating not knowing what's going on. Thanks for your help!!
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