light leak using quickloads/polaroid : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

We are having spring like weather here on the east coast. I lugged my calumet 4x5 to the park with daughter/model in tow. exposed several quickloads and a few standard tmax black and white. the fuji quickloads seem to have had a severe light leak. I know that there is a broken spring clip on the ground glass back of the camera. It has a revolving back. I was told the camera was a c-2 with black long belows and 25 inch rail. I have assumed that since I was shooting with the sun to my back and the additional width and weight of the polaroid holder this has caused my light leak. I suffered no such leak on the standard film holder. OR was it that maybe the bottom of those fuji films does not seal that well and since I was working under very direct bright sun some snuck in there (the extreme edge, has no leak but is the same end where the leak occured from... make any sense?) after exposing them I did not sneak them into the shade. I bet the leak is from my loose back.

Q: where can I get a replacement spring clip, they are silver and double sided clip held by two screws.

I have also ordered a focusing cloth since I figure the bright sun to my back also contributed. I generally just throw my jacket over the back for focusing and quickly remove it. I am in Baltimore. IF I left my head under there too long somebody might come behind me, hit me on the head... I might later wake to find my camera, daughter and internal organs missing!

-- paul schuster (, March 08, 2000


Your back might not be seated properly or the envelope didn't seat properly in the bottom it's clip, which may be due to some screw up with the Polaroid back or operator error , as well as something wrong with the QL. This is the first failure I have ever heard of with the Fuji QL. Kodak Radyload is infamous for that.

-- Ellis Vener (, March 08, 2000.

I have the same camera and I think the clip you are talking about is only there to hold your focus cloth. It is not instrumental in taking a photo. You can phone 'parts' at Calumet and if you can talk them into it, they can photcopy a blowup parts list schematic of the camera so you know what's what.

As to light leaks, it depends on which end the light leaks are. I had no luck using a Polaroid holder and Readyload/Quickloads and just bought a $35 Readyload holder to use for them. If you are new to large format, my real guess is that you haven't seated the holder exactly right. You have to check carefully that the holder meets the edges of the molding when you seat it and pull out the envelope without jerking it.

I had a bit of trouble making sure the holders were seated properly and switched my regular sheet film holders to the new Riteways with a button that won't release the dark slide unless the holder is fully seated properly in its edges.

I also had the problem (which I can't believe in retrospect) where the light leaks were on the grasp-the-envelope side of the film instead of the against-the-clip edge. And this to my embarrassment turned out to be inserting the holder with the handle onthe closed edge of the back and the clip end towards the 'open' end of the back (i.e. backwards into the camera back).

Cheers, Richard

-- Richard Rankin (, March 08, 2000.

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