Andrés Cuervo contacted me via a comment on my YouTube video on the Rondinax 60. On his ‘new’ tank the film did not enter the film chamber but went around the film spool again and emerged on top of the backing paper through the slit in the end of the tank. He was using Tri X, Portra 160 and Portra 400.

Note, this is not the same problem as occurs with some polyester-backed films where the film comes out of the slot underneath the backing paper.

He wrote:

I found the cause; the metallic spoon that acts as a spring on the inside of the top lid is not pressing the film spool in place so the film is getting wound around it self and not inside cartridge thus coming out of the tank on top of the paper. When I saw the film I sacrificed that roll and opened tank rolled it right and tried several times adjusting springs until found out what’s wrong the metallic spoon spring.

He also wonders if the explanation for the ‘rogue’ tank (post of 24 July 2014) is right. The bend in the film may cause the film to be well away from an edge getting in the way at the left-hand side. Instead, the curve may well make the end of the film hit the right-hand side of the film container first. This is his superb diagram:


So, thanks to Andrés solving this one with the take-home message of ‘check the metal spoon’. He has made a short sequence on YouTube to show this:

I can add three points. The first is that on the 1930s Rondinax 60 I had for many years, the rivet holding the metal spoon in place corroded and had to be replaced by a small nut and bolt.

The second is that I suppose exactly where the film end enters the film container depends on how naturally curvy the film is. For the past day I have been playing with a spool of FP4+ and seeing how the film end enters the chamber. That particular length seemed to miss both lips of the chamber and, as far as I could tell, enter between them without touching. I could even get the film to load with the slit partially closed (i.e. between the 1 and 2 positions).