Medium Format Forum

Register a free account now!

If you are registered, you get access to the members only section, can participate in the buy & sell second hand forum and last but not least you can reserve your preferred username before someone else takes it.

A12 magazine problems


New Member
Hi everyone!

I just started to use my 500 C/M 3 months ago and I love it.

But: There is something wrong with the magazine and I don't understand what it is. One frame in every five rolls of film is overlapping a bit and almost every 3rd time I wind the knob, nothing happens in the magazine. when this happens I detach the magazine > shoot the body > reattach the mag. > wind the knob again and then it usually winds the film also. I have the manual and checked everywhere on the net how to load the A12, so I guess I'm doing it right.

And sometimes my film is damaged. Maybe I'm using the darkslide wrong and damaging this way the film???

The problem is, that at the moment I'm living in Estonia where we don't have any Hasselblad mechanics...

So, is there anyone who knows what can be the problem? Sorry if there an other thread about this - I just didn't find it then...


I used to get the first and second frame overlapping, and I noticed it was usually happening when I loaded the film in the field without being careful to follow all the steps properly.

From the other symptoms you describe, it could be a problem either with your back or with your body. But the first thing to make sure of, is that the film is loaded with the paper leader under the the 'clip' that runs along the side of the insert. The one time I did not run the leader under the clip, my leader was torn. And I had difficulty advancing the film on that roll. If the gears on the back and body don't mesh properly, this can cause them to slip more readily. Not running the leader under the clip is a frequent cause of frame spacing issues.

David Odess should be able to give you a better idea of the mechanical aspects...

Thank You for the fast answer Taras,

I guess I run the film under the clip (I didn't with my first 5 or 6 rolls, until I read the manual carefully). And I have the overlapping always in the middle of the roll.

But the damages on the film are the worst part really. I hope this is something in the magazine and it can be repaired... Or I hope I don't know how to put the darkslide into the magazine correctly and someone will help me with this.

I have tried to find a repair manual for the magazine but nothing so far.

Hi Denes,
Might sound silly, but have you checked that the serial numbers of the casing and the insert match? also, is the darkslide absolutely flat?
Regards, Gerard
Hello Gerard,
the darkslide is flat and is in visually good condition.
but I don't really understand what do you mean by matching S/N-s. The body is UTxxxxxx and the magazine is UC xxxxxx.


If you can describe what you mean by damaged film, maybe others on the list may be able to have a better idea what is happenning here. Do you mean the film is physically wrinkled and or torn, or that there is an exposure/light leak issue. If it is the latter, the fix for a light leak may be as simple as replacing the seals in the magazine. Hasselblad should be able to sell you these seals. This will not resolve the mechanical issues (no advance and/or overlap), however. I would believe that the magazine is at minimum in need of a CLA (clean, lubricate, adjust) or may even need a repair. I think that is as far as my knowledge goes at this point.


What Gerard meant the 3 digit code on the magazine insert should match the last 3 digits of the serial number on the magazine.

Denes, first the issue of matching serial numbers (back and magazine insert) is more relevant to film flatness, affecting critical focus and sharpness. These are precision instruments and the factory matches back to magazine inserts. This should have no impact on your issue of film slipping/overlapping frames.

Secondly, I take your problem to be - you load correctly (not hard to do really) and are sure the film/paper is under the guide on the side; after a few shots the film slips causing overlap in the frames; this always happens mid roll.

Logic tells me: 1. if the problems begin from the first frame - maybe a loading problem. 2. since it seems to "slip" thus causing an overlap of frames, it seems that it is a mechanical problem like a worn gear. Maybe slippage is caused by increasing strain as you begin to get through the film (reach somewhere like half way mark) and that added strain puts pressure on something that is slipping when strained.
Wen you load the magazine and insert it into the film back - does the manual crank advance work ok and get frame 1 in the window accurately? I think you are saying that is fine. After frame 1 doe the next couple advance the numbers in the window ok? I think you say they do. But further on it slips.

So while I'm no technician, I suggest there is a mechanical problem while all the gears and bits and pieces advance the film - worn or misaligned, whatever.

Seems you should just ship it off for inspection and repair or replacement. If it's very old etc maybe just trash it and get a new one (sounds awful but maybe better economics since there are complex devices).

Hope I have helped.

I wasn't clear on the "damage" issue, I'm sorry. The film is physically damaged in the middle of the frame ("only" on every 20th frame average). It's like some thing pushed it, like with a fingernail or so. There is not a hole in the negative it is just not as flat as it should be. It can be of course the mistake of the lab worker who developed the negative...

There is no light-leakage. I had a Kiev60 for 5 years so I know what it looks like.

Now I can understand the S/N thing. I will check this as soon as I can (there is film inside now).

I would like to show my camera to someone who could clean and repair it, but it is impossible here where I am now.


thank you for answering.

And yes, I think I will get a new magazine and then maybe will try to find someone later who can check this one if it can be repaired.

Just wanted to ask if someone knows a really easy way to repair a magazine. You can always hope...

Thank you guys.

No trouble Denes. With all due respect to others' who may disagree, there is no easy way to repair faults in these. They are a precision instrument with extremely fine tollerances in the manufacturing processes - hence the expense. I suggest you leave it to a pro when you find one. Additional backs are never a waste of money. I have bought a few used ones for great value from KEH.
Of course I didn't mean the "easy way to repair" seriously - just hoped there is one.
I'm just a bit scared to buy a new (used) magazine. With my luck I'll get now the one with a serious light-leakage trouble... But if some of you know a good magazine for sale in Helsinki or somewhere else in this region, please let me know.


And thank you guys again for your quick responds.