Ready-Load Systems : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Anyone using these regularly? Preferred holder and why. Was this something the industry just gave up on. Seems like with refinement and practical pricing it held great promise.

-- David F. Stein (, September 13, 2000


If you mean Kodak Readyloads yeah I use them and like them. They are very convenient. James

-- james (, September 13, 2000.

There are many, many threads relating to Quickloads and Readyloads under "Film and Holders" in the "Older Messages" section of this website, and every time the question comes up it seems to start a flame war between Kodak and Fuji partisans. I use hundreds of Kodak Readyloads (mostly b&w) and just as many Fuji Quickloads (color) per year without a problem (except the cost!). There have been endless debates about which system is better; the Fuji system may be a better design (albeit twice as wasteful from an environmental perspective) but for b&w shooters (except those who go grey market with Neopan) and compactness (i.e., when traveling overseas with a few hundred sheets) Kodak has the edge. Whatever you use, please don't complain on this forum if the film envelopes don't work flawlessly in anything but the maker's own holders. In other words, use Readyload in Kodak's holder, and use Quickload in Fuji's holder. Good

-- Simon (, September 13, 2000.

. . . luck, and one more note:

Whichever company (Kodak or Fuji) is first to sell rapid loads in the US with color negative film will get a huge market edge. Despite the pleading of countless customers, Kodak STILL hasn't produced 160 neg film in Readyload (tho B&H has listed it for sale for almost a year; I talked to Kodak and they said "we still plan to eventually"), and Fuji isn't marketing any color neg film in Quickload format here either. In light of negative film's popularity for scanning and the booming growth of film-to-digital processing, such sluggishness is quite baffling. FWIW...


-- Simon (, September 13, 2000.

I use the Fuji Quickload system (holders and film) and have for the past five to ten years but then 99% of my large format photography is color transparency. I have had zero problems with this system. I tried the Kodak Ready Load products, holders and film but had a very high failure (film being fogged at at one end) rate with the first three iterations of the system and so I gave up on the Kodak Ready Load system as a viable tool. Kodak has recently begun field trials of a new version of the Ready Load system, supposedly a single sheet packet like the Fuji Quickload and a vastly improved holder so this holds some promise.

Early last year I spoke with a Fuji Professional products rep and he said they were going to be bringing out a Quickload version of NPS or NPL. It may not be distributed in the US because of the demand. Evidently (and you might want to take this with a grain of salt) the Quickload production line is already running at full capacity and Fuji's management was looking at the cost vs profit of dedicating another production line to Quickload products.

-- Ellis Vener (, September 13, 2000.

With regards to either system versus hand-loading film:

I hike a lot with a backpack. A Readyload type system is essential, both because of reduced bulk over film holders, and dust and sand problems if you try to load in the field. Plus I like to shoot pictures, not waste time loading and unloading film holders.

This weekend I'm going on a 8-day photo workshop with Tom Till down the Colorado river. Tom, who has shot 4 X 5 in the area for 35 years, feels that Readyload or Quickload is essential due to the sand.

-- lloyd chambers (, September 13, 2000.

Ellis: more details please! Beyond fixing the fogging problems (hopefully), does this new ReadyLoad system in field trials improve film positioning at all? Also, has Kodak given any indication of when it might hit the market? Thanks for sharing anything you can pry loose from your contacts.

-- Sal Santamaura (, September 13, 2000.

I tried the Kodak Readyloads when I started with LF. They worked fine for me. I never lost a sheet due to light leaks.

I stopped using them after a few weeks, though. They cost too much, the film I wanted to use was not available in readyload packets, and loading my own holders was easy enough. Now, the readyload system seems gimmcky to me.

-- William Marderness (, September 13, 2000.

I just got back from a trip to New Mexico. I shot 60 Kodak T-Max 100 Readyload packets (120 sheets of film) using a Kodak Readyload holder. This evening I finished processing the film. I had a minor light leak in one packet, 50 packets were perfect.

It is my feeling that a great majority of the problems described with Readyloads are due to operator error.

When I first started using them I had a 30-50% failure rate. I eventually learned to remove the packets slowly and carefully. Since that time I have had no more failures than I have had with film holders.

Travelling with the 4x5 throught the Southwest was a joy using the Readyloads. I could not imagine using film holders on a trip of this type.

Good Luck Mike

-- Mike Kravit (, September 13, 2000.

Quick and Ready Loads: One potential disadvantage to both is that the pulled out sheet adds additional 'sail' area for the wind. A floppy sheet attached to the camera and swinging about in a windy day can spell unsharp pictures. This was a hint passed to me by a well known landscape photographer. The fact remains that very sharp landscape photos are taken with Quick and Ready films. See Jack Dykinga's recent "Desert" book. Guess the remedy is: always carry an umbrella, even in the desert.

-- Julio Fernandez (, September 14, 2000.


You said you shot 60 packets, 1 had a minor light leak and 50 were perfect... what about the other 9? Did they fail?

-- Glenn C. Kroeger (, September 15, 2000.

Thanks for the excellent responses (and, yes, I had read the other stuff on the board.)

-- David Stein (, September 15, 2000.

"Quick and Ready Loads: One potential disadvantage to both is that the pulled out sheet adds additional 'sail' area for the wind. A floppy sheet attached to the camera and swinging about in a windy day can spell unsharp pictures." Possibly, but I've never had it happen for me even when shooting in some very windy locations like commercial airports. To be safe I some thing lightly hold the jacket. Not so tight as to create a rigid "sail" but just enough to absorb and minimize any possible vibration. My instinct is that any condition that could cause the jacket to be a source of unsharpness is also going to play havoc with an extended bellows too.

-- Ellis Vener (, September 15, 2000.

The other situation where I've found quick/ready-loads don't work is when photographing an interior shot into a mirror where the camera is situated below the mirror (if your to the left or right of the mirror it doesn't matter because you can always reverse the direction the film pulls out by rotating the back). If your this close, the pulled- out flap will end-up in the recorded photograph - you see it in your Polaroids.

-- Larry Huppert (, September 17, 2000.

I started out with an older Polaroid holder, and Polaroid film on sale. Then I found that Kodak is designed to work in the Polaroid holder, and I bought some boxes of expired Kodak Readload, and never had a failure. (Fuji also works in the Polaroid holder, right?)

-- Brian C. Miller (, September 18, 2000.

Be careful investing in a Polaroid holder thinking you can shoot Readyloads in it. The Polaroid holder is designed for single sheet Polaroid film and Readyloads are thicker because they contain two sheets. You won't always be able to extract the packets from the Polaroid holder without problems. To be safe and have a trouble free system use the Readyload holder that was designed for the Readyload system. James

-- james (, September 18, 2000.

Ellis the soothsayer has triumphed again!

Here is the info on the new Readyload... supposedly they fit the Fuji QL holder! eadyloadMain.shtml

-- Glenn C. Kroeger (, September 19, 2000.

Tmax films are conspicuously absent from the announcement of single sheet ReadyLoad packets?

-- Glenn C. Kroeger (, September 19, 2000.

Not only is T-max not included, Kodak announced in their webpage that double sheet readyloads will be discontinued ! Is T-max gone ?! I have e-mailed kodak with this question and will report back with the answer.

-- Paul Mongillo (, September 19, 2000.

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