Spacing issue with Toyo 45/69 RFH....................

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avid1

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I had bought a Toyo 45/69 roll film holder just a while back and finally had the chance to finish and develop a test roll with it, and to my dismay it has very serious frame spacing issue that I didn't expect, given that these roll film holders have a good reputation. I got only 5 images on the roll instead of 8 and the frame to frame spacing is huge. I attached a picture of it. Unfortunately, the window of return has closed a couple of weeks ago, so I am trying to salvage the situation. Is there a particular component that needs to be tightened to get it back to spec? Is there a place in Los Angeles that might be able to fix it? Thought someone here might have had the same problem with this particular brand and type of holder and may have a suggestion. Thanks very much for any help.
 

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MattKing

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Looks like it has been modified to give 12 cm spacing.
 

reddesert

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The dark mark between the frames shouldn't be there either. Not sure where that would come from unless some kind of misload, or mismatch between insert and back is causing a leak.

I don't have much of an answer (I can't see why someone would modify a holder to space at 12 cm unless they also modified the film gate). Photos of the holder might be useful. You can do tests without wasting film by running a roll of backing paper only, no film, through the holder, and marking the paper to see how it was spaced. Using paper-only can cause small spacing errors depending on how the counter works, but much less than the error you are seeing.
 
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avid1

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The dark mark between the frames shouldn't be there either. Not sure where that would come from unless some kind of misload, or mismatch between insert and back is causing a leak.

I don't have much of an answer (I can't see why someone would modify a holder to space at 12 cm unless they also modified the film gate). Photos of the holder might be useful. You can do tests without wasting film by running a roll of backing paper only, no film, through the holder, and marking the paper to see how it was spaced. Using paper-only can cause small spacing errors depending on how the counter works, but much less than the error you are seeing.

Good point, but the film gate has not been modified and the dark marks between the frames are really strange. Not sure where they are coming from. As you suggest, I will run a test with backing paper soon as I process an old roll and have some backing paper to use. Here are some images of the holder, inside and out, if it helps. Also, the first frame started way down the roll. I made sure the counter is at 'S' when loading and then ratcheted a few times till it stopped at frame 1. I wound on after every frame, ratcheting till it stopped at the next frame, usually 2 strokes. I wonder if something is loose, or a gear might be bigger than it should be.
 

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grahamp

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Do you pull the dark slide right out for exposure? That could account for the light leak in the inter-frame space. On my (non-Toyo) RF holders the slide is pulled enough to clear the gate (the slides are marked), but not removed.

I don't think this addresses the gearing issue - that's something else. It looks like a 6x9 aperture. What is the actual frame to frame spacing? Left edge of frame to next left edge, that is, not the gap.
 

Dustin McAmera

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I think the mark between frames is a separate thing. To my eye, in the first picture there seems to be a rather ragged light-seal in that hinge.
 

reddesert

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I am not familiar with the wind mechanism in these holders. I think it's unlikely that it has the totally wrong part, yet possible that something is not catching correctly to engage the counter and stop. As an example, I had a Calumet C2 slide-in roll film holder (a more primitive version of the same idea) that wouldn't stop the wind at each frame. On those holders, the entire wind mechanism can be removed as one piece, so it was relatively easy to get out. I couldn't find any gearing obviously out of place, but when I reassembled it, it worked; just blowing the dust out and cleaning it was enough to get the wind-stop ratchet engaging again.
 
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avid1

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Do you pull the dark slide right out for exposure? That could account for the light leak in the inter-frame space. On my (non-Toyo) RF holders the slide is pulled enough to clear the gate (the slides are marked), but not removed.

I don't think this addresses the gearing issue - that's something else. It looks like a 6x9 aperture. What is the actual frame to frame spacing? Left edge of frame to next left edge, that is, not the gap.

I unlocked the dark slide from the first position and pulled it out till it caught at the next notch and I left it there, blocking light from entering. I think that's a clever design, so the light leak in between frames are baffling too. And as you see in the pictures, the film gate on the holder is a 6x9.

I used a caliper to measure the distance between the left frame-edge to the next left frame-edge as you suggested, and if I understood you correctly, it comes to 105mm, as in the attached picture.
 

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avid1

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I am not familiar with the wind mechanism in these holders. I think it's unlikely that it has the totally wrong part, yet possible that something is not catching correctly to engage the counter and stop. As an example, I had a Calumet C2 slide-in roll film holder (a more primitive version of the same idea) that wouldn't stop the wind at each frame. On those holders, the entire wind mechanism can be removed as one piece, so it was relatively easy to get out. I couldn't find any gearing obviously out of place, but when I reassembled it, it worked; just blowing the dust out and cleaning it was enough to get the wind-stop ratchet engaging again.

I am going to use a backing paper to see whats going on, with the back open. Have to finish a roll on another camera to get the backing paper. Basically, I ratcheted the lever to the next frame till it stopped. I think it took two strokes, or at least one and a half stroke to get to the next frame. I also checked to make sure it displayed the next frame number after every shot in order to avoid double exposing the frames. Also, of the last two shots one of them showed a sliver at the very edge of the roll, And the last shot was not recorded even though the winding lever ratcheted to display frame #8. Strange! After that, the winding didn't stop and it advanced the film all the way to the take up spool.

I suspect it is a gearing issue. I am not sure if it was modded to shoot 6x12 frames. Could be, but the film gate is still 6x9. And if it was fully modded for 6x12, I would have gladly accepted it.
 
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avid1

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I think the mark between frames is a separate thing. To my eye, in the first picture there seems to be a rather ragged light-seal in that hinge.

It could be light leak at the hinge. I am going to take a closer look at it tomorrow. On my initial inspection after receiving it, I didn't notice anything odd and hurriedly loaded a roll into it. I may have missed the state of the light trap.
 

grahamp

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Well, the 105mm frame unit (like edge to like edge) is too short for a 6x12 gearing. That rules out a normal 6x12 mechanism in a 6x9 RFH, which was one possibility. It might be that the frame stop is not triggering correctly, but the issue seems very consistent.
 

ic-racer

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Nominal 6x9cm should yield two images for each 8" piece of film as you have shown. The lack of images on your first three frames could be due to the dark slide not being removed, or from not starting the film correctly.

Screen Shot 2023-11-07 at 1.07.14 PM.png
 
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avid1

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Nominal 6x9cm should yield two images for each 8" piece of film as you have shown. The lack of images on your first three frames could be due to the dark slide not being removed, or from not starting the film correctly.

View attachment 352578

I was expecting the film to look like your example. I thought I did everything by the book from start to finish (per instruction pdf from Butkus' site). So, I was quite surprised that the first frame was blank and there was such anomaly throughout. There was a sliver of the 6th frame at the very end of my roll. Anyway, not quite sure where the problem is, but I am going to check it with a backing paper first to rule out user error without exposing a full roll again. I will post my findings soon as I do that.
 

ic-racer

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How do you align the marks on the backing paper on that one? Are you sure you have the film set correctly when it is closed up?
 
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avid1

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How do you align the marks on the backing paper on that one? Are you sure you have the film set correctly when it is closed up?

I think I had it set correctly. But I am doubtful now. I followed the film loading procedure of the manual. Had the start mark of the film aligned to a dot inside the holder. Made sure the 'S' mark was showing in the counter before I wound it to frame #1 and went on shooting to the end. I remember having to ratchet about two times to advance to the next frame (it stops after two strokes and the counter changes).

Anyway, I did a dry test tonight with a backing paper and what I got was (almost) normally spaced frames. I pulled the dark slide all the way out of the holder and marked the frames with a silver Sharpie through the film gate. I noted that I ratcheted the lever about two times before it clicked to the next frame and stopped. The frame spacing is better, although it's not consistent. Attached is a picture of the backing paper with the frames denoted as brackets. The only difference is that I completely removed the dark slide for the test instead of leaving it hanging on the RFH at the second notch, as shown in the second picture. But I doubt that it could be the cause of the spacing problem! I think it's a gear working incorrectly. I will have to sacrifice another roll of Fomapan to see what I get this time and be mindful of what I am doing in every step.
 

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_T_

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It still looks like the spacing is not correct. It looks like it’s getting wider with each shot.
 

reddesert

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I don't know how the counter works on this holder. The backing-paper test is only approximate because the paper alone is a different thickness than the film+paper; this matters especially for counters that count the turns of the takeup spool (for ex a Calumet C2), and less so for counters that have a roller that meters the length of the film going by.

Anyway, I don't think this issue is due to a bad or failed part. It could be some combination of the mechanism being sticky the first couple of times from disuse, and not getting the film started correctly the first time. This is not to cast an aspersion as nearly every RFH requires some getting used to the start procedure.
 
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avid1

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I don't know how the counter works on this holder. The backing-paper test is only approximate because the paper alone is a different thickness than the film+paper; this matters especially for counters that count the turns of the takeup spool (for ex a Calumet C2), and less so for counters that have a roller that meters the length of the film going by.

Anyway, I don't think this issue is due to a bad or failed part. It could be some combination of the mechanism being sticky the first couple of times from disuse, and not getting the film started correctly the first time. This is not to cast an aspersion as nearly every RFH requires some getting used to the start procedure.

I hope it is case of long unused sticky mechanism compounded by my haste to load it in the field for the first time. I will exercise the lever a bit and load another roll more carefully to see if this improves. And you are right: not having a roll with film in it may cause the spacing to exponentially increase as it goes towards the take up spool. I didn't think of that. Going through the ratcheting motion of the lever, it indeed gets shorter and shorter as it get to frame 8, to compensate for imbalance of length at the end.
 
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avid1

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So, I ran another test roll through the Toyo 6x9 RFH and realized what mistake I had made on the very first roll that resulted in uneven spacing and giving me only 6 frames. Yup, it was user error!

After loading the second test roll, I kept winding the film after closing the back, out of habit with regular cameras. The proper procedure is to close the back and then push a button, then wind on till it gets to frame 1. Soon as I realized what I was doing wrong, I rewound the film back in a dark bag, and restarted it properly. This time I had 8 frames on the roll as it is designed to have. However, the light leak persists, but strangely it diminishes towards the end of the roll. The last two frames does not show the leak. The pattern of the leak is weird too, so I am not sure where it leaks. Doesn't seem to be a light seal issue, but could be where the door hinge is. I will be more vigilant and probably figure it out on my next roll. Here are some images to show what the neg looks like, with the red arrows to denote leaks. And one of the frames scanned with the light leak:
 

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feanolas

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So, I ran another test roll through the Toyo 6x9 RFH and realized what mistake I had made on the very first roll that resulted in uneven spacing and giving me only 6 frames. Yup, it was user error!

After loading the second test roll, I kept winding the film after closing the back, out of habit with regular cameras. The proper procedure is to close the back and then push a button, then wind on till it gets to frame 1. Soon as I realized what I was doing wrong, I rewound the film back in a dark bag, and restarted it properly. This time I had 8 frames on the roll as it is designed to have. However, the light leak persists, but strangely it diminishes towards the end of the roll. The last two frames does not show the leak. The pattern of the leak is weird too, so I am not sure where it leaks. Doesn't seem to be a light seal issue, but could be where the door hinge is. I will be more vigilant and probably figure it out on my next roll. Here are some images to show what the neg looks like, with the red arrows to denote leaks. And one of the frames scanned with the light leak:

Next film, just put a black tape on both sides, hinge and lock, see how the film comes out. If no leak, you know it comes from one end ! Repeat with only one side et voilà ! ;-)
 
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avid1

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Next film, just put a black tape on both sides, hinge and lock, see how the film comes out. If no leak, you know it comes from one end ! Repeat with only one side et voilà ! ;-)

Good idea! I am going to do that to find the source of the leak. Thanks!
 
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