Ready Load Film Holders : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Does anyone have any thoughts on the ready load film holders made by Fuji and Kodak that accept the 20 preloaded packets of film? Will the Kodak and Fuji packets work in the Polaroid 545 film holder and work in the others film holder? Which is the bettter system the Kodak or Fuji? What are the advantages and disadvantages over conventional film holders?

-- Chris Spencer (, July 19, 1998


Fuji Quickload works very well in the Fuji film holder, well in the Polaroid, and not at all in the Kodak. In the Fuji holder, film flatness compares well with a conventional film holder. Each packet contains a single sheet of film. The product does not suffer from light leaks.

Kodak Readyload works moderately well in the Kodak back, poorly or not at all in the Polaroid, and not at all in the Fuji. Each packet contains two sheets of film. The product suffers from light leaks unless great care is taken to avoid bending the packet, to firmly reseat the packet, and to shield the loading slot from ambient light.

Readyload is about twice as compact as Quickload, which is much more compact than a comparable set of conventioal film holders. In both brands, available film types are somewhat limited. Both are considerably more expensive than conventionally packaged film.

-- Sean Donnelly (, July 19, 1998.

I find that I disagree with several points made by the previous respondant.

1. Fuji quickloads work very well in the Kodak holder. I regularly use Velvia in my Kodak holder. It is true, however, that Kodak Readyloads do not work in the Fuji holder.

2. The relative flatness is irrelevant to field photographers. I've read numerous articles in this web site in which the writers get "hung up" about differences that can rarely be percieved on the film. If you're doing field photography (not studio) keep in mind that your ability to focus will be limited because a) you will often be working in morning or eveing light, and you'll be in a hurry due to the short time that you have good light, and b) it's somewhat dark, and so you can't see anything when you stop your lens down, anyway. Consequently, you will find yourself using a smaller aperature than would be ideal just to make sure that you make the photograph. This is art, not engineering.

I own and have used both holders extensively. Here's my read on the subject. If you prefer Fuji's film, and do not plan to use Kodak's film, buy the Fuji holder. If you use Kodak's film, buy the Kodak holder. If you use both brands of film (I use Velvia and E100SW), buy the Kodak holder. Later, when you've become more experienced and have begun to develope more personal biases, you can get the Fuji holder if it is appropriate.

As an artist, your composition and palette (i.e., film in this case), are more important than nuances in sharpness. Worry about these. That means that you should try several films until you understand them and develope of preference.

As a side note, you'll find it interesting that an article in View Camera magazine concluded that the Kodak holder gave sharper images than the Fuji holder. An article published on this site concluded just the opposite!

Best wishes,


-- Bruce M. Herman (, July 20, 1998.

About using Readyloads (or Quickloads) in the Polaroid holder: Besides the lightleak problem, there is also the problem of film plane placement. While hardly a big enough sample to be considered statistically valid, in my tests on my equipment, the Fuji Quickloads were sharper in their own holder as were the Kodak Readyloads. The films tested were Fuji RVP and RDPII and Kodak E100S. As far as the lightleak problem with Readyloads in current Readyload holders (which I have by the way) is concerned, what would you consider an acceptable percentage of fogged film due to bad design of product? I have had 0% failure rate with the Fuji product and my average shooting level is approximately one case of film per month over the past two years. Kodak needs to redesign their Readyload product so that it is as fast, simple, and reliable as Fuji's. This will probably mean either going to a single sheet per sleeve system like Fuji's, rethinking and redesigning the holder, or rethinking and redesigning both sleeve and holder. I hope that they are in the midst of doing so. Ellis

-- Ellis (, July 20, 1998.

I shoot Readyload (TMX 100) with the Kodak holder. Maybe I'm just lucky, but I shoot 300-400 Readyloads per month and I don't know when I last had a failure. Actually, I do, but it failed (crinkled) on me during insertion, so I just chucked the defective one and moved on; it's been a looonnng time since I had disappointment at the time of developing.

Note that there ARE apparently some important nuances to working with Readyload to prevent failure, most of which are covered in Kodak's instructions (and all of which quickly become instinctive in the field; if I can master them anyone can!); an extensive discussion of them is under the "Accessories" section of the home page, under "Sheet Film holders." (It also pays to buy the newest incarnation of the holder, as Kodak has revised it more than once.)

Some people hate the Readyload system, and some wouldn't use anything else; count me in the latter category.

-- Bill Daily (, July 26, 1998.

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