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 Removing Film


Help! This problem is a first for me - maybe I've been lucky in the past. One of my new style A12 backs has just 'refused' to let me take out the exposed film. It is fully rewound (and the rewind lever is free and 'loose. The back is off the (cocked) body. The darkslide is in, but will come out easily. The 'lock' lever is in the 'open' position (but will not return fully to the locked position.) The insert will move freely back and forth about 2-3mm only.
What to do ???? Colin
Just a follow up. I have been told by another local owner that the locking lever has probably become faulty (??) and one of its major functions is to move the pressure plate up and down. If the pressure plate won't release, the insert will probably jam. Anyone ???
Thanks, Qnu. I did as you suggested (g-e-n-t-l-y)and recovered the rewound film. However, by working all the parts including the locking lever "FILM INSERT KEY", I notice that the locking lever will still not turn all the way and sit in the locked position - which means that the pressure plate and the film capture (???) device "SIDE GUIDE" do not come together like my other working backs. Is there a simple solution, or has something gone wrong inside the body of the back? Because it will not properly lock (down) the insert will not slide in without gentle help. It seems that the advancing gears etc are in the correct settings as per other backs. There is obviously a problem turning the locking lever (tab)the last few mm to seat it properly and to 'lock' the film. What next. :)

This would be easy to fix, if you are willing to open the insert, take good notice of how things are put together, and how something is not where it is supposed to be.
These inserts (the problem certainly is with the insert) are rather simple contraptions, and you do not really need a repair manual.

You can get at the innards by removing the screws on the spool holder arms. There is a spring holding this thing down, and it's not always necessary to disengage this spring to do what needs to be done.

Beneath is a long axle, on which is the part that locks behind the "pinnacle" you see inside the shell.
This axle has a bend metal spring where it connects to the key, and i guess this, or the axle itself, will have dislocated.

The other bits in there are are sprung bits that push against the film on both spools, responsible for the red signal in the lock key window, and keeping the film on the take up spool tight.

And, of course, the pressure plate and pressure plate cl& come loose when you remove the spool holder arms. There is a H-formed spring below the plate, easy to see how it should go back. The same goes for the plate cl&: not hard to figure out how it should connect to the other bits.

But if you don't feel like running the risk of having parts fall out and not knowing how to put them together again, perhaps it would be best to let someone else look at it.
My new best friend, Qnu !!! I followed your instructions - at a well lighted table and my strongest reading glasses - and within about 30 minutes or so, I had a working back again. Wow! This is E-a-s-y. :) Now, to take apart my Distagon... joking, joking..

What I found was that the axle had somehow dislocated (popped out of the receiver hole??) at the spool holder screw ends. Why, I have no idea. Did not drop it.

It seems to work fine now. That was a first for me - the problem and the solution.

Of course, I would have been quicker with my repair if I had put the thin pressure plate spring back in the first time ... it all fitted back so easily and then I saw the spring sitting there all lonely. By the way, I am amazed how tightly those four little screws were torqued. They must use a machine to fit them in.

Anyway, thanks so much. You were a dollar saver. (Where should I send that dollar note....) Colin