ReadyLoads - Need Advice : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I'm new to 4x5 and started with Kodak Readyloads in T-Max400 and Ektachrome. Problems: Some are totally exposed to light, some have streaks along the side of the film, some look just fine. I have a new Polaroid film holder for the Toyo 4x5 camera, and after some initial problems, the polaroids come out OK. Need some HELP to use these Readyloads, so I can get down to the business of making pictures! Thanks...

-- Michael Zerivitz (FL32725 @, March 04, 1999


You need to get the Kodak Readyload holder and not try using them in the Polaroid holder. If you already have the Kodak holder, just follow carefully the directions in the Readyload pack and you should have no problems.

You'll hear from some people that Readyloads have a design flaw that renders them worse than useless (the holders, I mean, not the people), and others who probably wouldn't shoot 4x5 if it weren't for Readyloads. I'm in the latter camp; I just finished a job where I shot almost 300 Readyloads. One of the 300 didn't come out, but I'm not sure enough it wasn't my exposure mistake to blame it on Kodak.

Good luck!

-- Simon Gammelin (, March 04, 1999.

using Kodak Readyloads successfully seems to be a personal thing. I have tried the Kodak system several times since it was introduced with at least three different generations of Kodak holders, each experiment has resulted in a consistant failure rate (due to light fog) of 25-30%. I think this is due to Kodak's design criteria of two sheets per packet. But clearly there are people who have better success than I. Contrast this to my zero failure rate with the Fuji QuickLoad system (I probabably shoot at least two cases a year of QuickLoads) for the past three years. I shoot so much QuickLoad that I just wore out my QL holder! So my suggestion is to try the Fuji Quickloads, noting that Fuji will probably be releasing two new films in QuickLoad this year in the United States: a color negative and a new E-6 daylight balanced transparency: RDPIII.

If you elect to stick with the Kodak Readyloads, all I can suggest is practice.

-- Ellis (, March 04, 1999.

And when you get the ready load holder don't forget to push the release button when reseating the film sleeve. It expands the little metal end and allows a good fit. Your failure rate will go down to near zero. I almost gave up on RL's until shown the correct proceedure. Polaroid holders won't accept RLds consistently.

-- james (, March 05, 1999.

Thanks for the tip James, I'll try that on my next go round. If it is really that simple however, why are Kodak tech reps actively asking photographers photographers if they think a single sheet per packet design would solve the failure problems?

-- Ellis (, March 05, 1999.

I had light leak problems when first using the RL holder. Since then I have learned to hold the groundglass and camera back together when pulling and inserting the dark slide. I have been 100% leak proof since. I do have long fingers, so this might not work for everyone.

-- Joe Alsko (, March 05, 1999.

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