Ian Livingston (www.ianlivingston.net) contacted me several months ago about a problem with his Rondinax 60. Sometimes the film separated from the backing path and wound its way into the light-tight chamber fine but most of the time the film buckled and got in a terrible mess. During film loading, of course, the lever was in the ‘2’ position. Between us over the next few weeks we worked out what was going on. In his tank, when the lever was fully over in the 2 position, the edge of the light-tight container protruded into the film path; the leading edge of the film hit that protrusion, buckled and folded up inside the body of the tank. However, he can now prevent that by not turning the lever the whole way to 2.

The photograph shows what was happening:


This diagram shows the problem:


I have never heard of this problem before. In the bakelite Rondinax 60 tanks I collected to make the video series, I noticed there were some differences between these containers, the shape and size of the ridge that hits a bar across the tank to prevent the lever moving past the 2 position, for example. I could not fit some containers to some tank bodies. In Ian’s tank, the lever moves too far, allowing the edge of the slit to protrude so I suspect tanks of different age or moulding set were made slightly differently, in this case by a couple of millimetres. It looks as if a different light-tight container has been fitted to this tank at some stage in its life.

However, this is something else to look out for when buying a Rondinax 60 and a potential problem that is not easy to see from photographs.