From Christopher Moss

A salutary tale today. I used the Rondinax 60 for the first time in a few weeks. The film was exposed in a Rolleiflex, so no reverse curls etc from a Hasselblad insert. Placed it in the Rondinax and put on the lid and started to pull out the paper. What’s this? I see film coming out of the tank on top of the white side of the backing paper. Off into the dark, where I takeoff the lid, pull out the rest of the paper/film, separate the two and feed the film manually into the ‘film safe’ of the Rondinax 60, which I then close and attach the strap to the end of the film.

At this point I can’t quite understand what happened. Was the film manufactured incorrectly with the film on the wrong side of the paper? (in which case I will have no images as the backing paper was between the film gate and the film), or did I place the spool of film incorrectly in the Rondinax? – I don’t think so, as if I had the black side of the paper would have been uppermost as I pulled on the paper, and I’m sure I saw film on top of white paper.

I was actually surprised to see images on the film after fixing, and even more confused, as some kind of conjuring trick had been performed to get the film on the wrong side of the paper! I explained my difficulty to my clever and beautiful wife, who quickly figured out the facts of the matter. The film was made correctly, loaded and exposed correctly in the camera, and placed correctly in the Rondinax 60. Then some unnamed idiot didn’t open the light safe enough (‘Position 2’ in those blasted instructions I hate to read), so the advancing edge of the film didn’t enter the light safe, but went around again to emerge with the paper, but this time on top of the paper. Rather like a roll of two-ply toilet paper when the two layers become separated and incorrectly re-associate, so the perforations are no longer super-imposed. Obviously I’m not safe to be let out alone without her to supervise me! The film is drying, and the negatives look far nicer than I deserve for being such a twit!