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Monday, November 7

Major Rollei cock-up

I promised in the intro to this blog on the right that I'd share my failures with you as well as the successes. Well, here's a good one. I've been using Rolleiflex TLRs with the automatic loading feature - which senses when film is being loaded so that you don't need to line up an arrow behind a little red window - for about 25 years. It would be reasonable to think that I'd know what I was doing by now, right?

I was at an allotment* on Sunday taking a few pics while Cath was doing some shopping and used up the roll of T-Max that was already in the Rollei 2.8F. In my defence, it was slightly awkward replacing the film as I'd nowhere to sit the camera and had to do it standing up with the Rollei against my chest.

Anyway, another T-Max film was loaded and I cranked the handle to get to the first frame. Big problem - the handle just kept turning, right until I could feel that the film had been completely wound off. The camera was only recently serviced and my immediate thought was that it would have to go back to Brian Mickelboro to be sorted. I took the film out and tried again with a fresh roll. A few turns of the crank later and I realised the same thing was going to happen.

That was a premature end to my wee trip to the allotments. Of course, in the car on the way to pick Cath up, it hit me like a sledge hammer just how big a pillock I'd been. See that little silver bar in the pic to the left? That's the roller that senses the film as you're winding it on.

It's crucial that the film is loaded under the roller. In my haste and slight discomfort loading the Rollei standing up, I'd forgotten to do it and so there was consequently no way for the camera to know if a film had been loaded. After a hard lesson like that, is there any chance I'll repeat the mistake in future? Probably. Ha, ha! I'd taped up the first film with a view to rolling it back onto a spool but I went on to screw that up in a changing bag as well. Just one of those days, I suppose. I did manage to rescue the second film and load it properly. Who knows, I might go out tomorrow and take my best ever pic on that same roll...

* Allotments are kind of like community gardens in the US except they are small plots tended by individuals rather than a large piece of ground looked after by a community of gardeners.

5 comments :

clicknroll said...

not removing the dark-slide off the back of my Hasselblad cost me so many frames, i don't count anymore...

Gregory said...

If you ran straight through the roll, it should be easy to re-roll in a changing bag. Lesson learned without the film-waste.

My big fail was using a borrowed Mamiya RZ67 and (I think) mis-aligning the lens so that the shutter didn't fire. Lost 6 of 8 on one roll and 8 of 8 on the second.

BRUCE ROBBINS said...

"If you ran straight through the roll, it should be easy to re-roll in a changing bag"

Agreed, Gregory. But you're forgetting that I was in brainfart mode! It's not funny wasting film given how much it costs nowadays.

Al Denholm said...

You're right there Bruce,it isn't funny wasting film at all,after owning both Voigtlander and Agfa folders with sticky shutters and wasting film I gave up on medium format film, a few trips up to my local repair guy proved fruitless,as the shutters continued to jam on both these cameras on every second or third shot.and to use a good old Scottish word here I got "Scunnered"

BRUCE ROBBINS said...

Scunnered! What a word. There's nothing in the English language that gets close! If I were you, Al, I'd swap repair men. It isn't difficult servicing the shutters on these cameras. Maybe a little labour intensive but certainly do-able.