View Full Version : Is the Kodak Ready-Load film pack holder useable today?

14-Sep-2013, 20:15
Do Kodak and Fuji still make their Ready-Load and Quick-Load film packs that work in Kodak's 'Ready-Load' holder? If so, is there any advantage to using them instead of the classic Grafmatic film holders?

Daniel Stone
14-Sep-2013, 20:33
in a short answer: NO

Kodak's RL system died when Polaroid went belly-up. They(Polaroid) were packaging it for Kodak
Fuji, I have no clue. Fuji Japan doesn't always release updates/useful data as to currently available(even if only in Japan, for the home market) products to the rest of the world.

Just get used to loading regular film holders, not that big of a deal really.

Grafmatics are nice, but IMO, regular filmholders are much easier to use in the long run, unless you NEED to shoot successive shots, FAST


Ivan J. Eberle
15-Sep-2013, 16:04
Actually, the Single Sheet Kodak holder works with both Fuji QL and Kodak RL (which the Fuji version is supposedly not so great at doing).
You can still find QL and RL being sold out of refrigerated or outdated stock on eBay, for a price

19-Sep-2013, 23:57
If, as the saying goes, the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing, and we assume Fuji Japan to the left hand, then not only does Fuji NA have any clue what Fuji Japan is up to, they're not even the right hand. Fuji NA is like someone else's pinkie toe at best, on a good day.

That said, basically, no, there's nothing on the market that is currently produced and which utilizes the read load/quickload holder.

Drew Wiley
20-Sep-2013, 11:44
Polaroid 545 holders are common and work with all the various film packets, generally better than the dedicated plastic Kodak or Fuji holders. But any of these holders
should be dirt cheap since the remaining stocks of film are getting scarce.

8-May-2015, 20:51
What was then the advantage of ReadyLoad and QuickLoad? Sorry i am not yet a 4x5-user, but soon.
Can we load our own material? or is there no real benefit?
Have everything except Kodak ReadyLoad.

8-May-2015, 21:07
What was then the advantage of ReadyLoad and QuickLoad? Sorry i am not yet a 4x5-user, but soon.

Each uses a single film factory sealed packet. When inserted into the appropriate holder, the user pulls a paper sheet to ready the film for exposure. The advantage I appreciate is a no-dust (or highly unlikely dust) film sheet.

Jonathan Barlow
8-May-2015, 22:03
They applied the design of the Polaroid 545 holder to traditional 4x5 film. It made sense, like the existence of Polaroid itself, until the market, post-digital, got too small. Fuji is still riding parts of the niche, as they always did.

Drew Bedo
9-May-2015, 05:18
"Build a bettr mouse trap . . ."

With all that said (above): Why not an updated, and effective, NIDO type system or maybe better yet, a light weight, mostly plastic Grafmatic? The old Grafmatics sell all day for $75 to $225 on e-Bay, so the market is there and the price point established. I would think that the design is now in the public domaine.

David Lobato
9-May-2015, 05:59
Can we load our own material? or is there no real benefit?

Loading one's own film is not likely. The envelope design requires special manufacturing machinery to crimp the metal clip on end of the packet. I like using both Kodak RL and Fuji QL film, and still have some with a couple of holders. It's a slightly different film handling workflow while out shooting. The regular double sided film holders remain the best option.

9-May-2015, 06:46
even using the film the ready load holders were designed for can be kind of tricky.
i have a black pressure plate film holder ( kodak readyload ) and while it works well
most of the time with film it was designed for .. once in a while i have trouble with the bottom getting
stuck in the holder and not releasing ( when the when the release-button is pushed ) ..
i haven't lost many sheets ( maybe 3-4 out of 40 ? ) but still, i'd rather not lose any ...

any suggestions on maintenance or tricks to release the film when it doesn't want to release ?

9-May-2015, 07:52
If the Impossible project can create Polaroid film, how hard would it be to create a process to repackage existing film into Quickload envelopes. Or , for that matter, to make and sell Quickload envelopes to individuals to load in their own darkrooms? If the Impossible project was able to get the machines from Polaroid at bankruptcy time, couldn't someone perhaps get the machines for Quickloads from the Great Yellow Father? Perhaps Kodak Alaris (the ones who do the special orders Keith Canham brokers) could do it.

Loading holders in the field is a little tedious and fraught with dust, dirt and error. Having one box with 30 envelopes of unexposed film and another box for exposed envelopes would be, for all of you who have ripped the rangefinders off your Crown Graphic or Tecknicas to reduce "weight", lighter than 15 holders or 5 Grafmatics. Certainly easier than trying to recreate film packs. I have always been too cheap to use Quickloads and carry the holders, but, if I could get 25 envelopes for about $10 I might consider it. And, if they could be reusable also, it would be a bonus.

9-May-2015, 13:16
New55 recently made and sold out of some type of readyload B&W films at $10.00 a shot. If they succeed with their instant film, they will have all the machinery and materials for readyloads. Whether their envelopes will work with the Kodak or Fuji holders ????? It would be great if they offered empty envelopes we could put our own film in.

Oren Grad
9-May-2015, 13:24
As I understand it, Kodak Readyloads were actually sleeved by Polaroid, in their factory, and that machine was lost when Polaroid went under. Impossible Project doesn't have that capability and appears to have no economically viable way to get it.

Also, I believe the New55 pilot run of sleeved film was designed to fit 545 holders only, not Readyload/Quickload holders.

Mark Sampson
9-May-2015, 14:51
The Readyload was like a muzzle-loading musket. Works ok when it works, which isn't always. Plenty of misfires. I was working for Kodak, film was free, and I got tired of using them because of the reliability issue... I went back to regular holders. Granted, I wasn't backpacking or out in the field.

9-May-2015, 20:20
I'll be sad when my stash of Ready/QuickLoads are used up. Shooting b&w in traditional holders and color with envelopes works really well.

Personally I have not had any misfires or issues in hundreds of sheets of film, except once when I tried loading a Fuji QL into a Kodak RL (newer red button) holder by mistake. It didn't work at all for me, despite the many reports of compatibility. Also, a Polaroid 545 holder didn't work for either.

9-May-2015, 21:13
when i was shooting double sided velveeta wtih the ready loader, i never had a problem ..
unfortunately E100 is a different story .. and it is funny, if i don't have the holder in the back of a camera
press the release and stick in, take out the packet, it works PERFECTLY as soon as i have the holder attached
to the back of my series D ( SLR ) it refuses to release as often ... maybe i'll just remove all the film
and put it all in normal film holders, like i do with #55 film, it will be less trouble ...

31-Jul-2015, 05:53
quick loads from fuji are reliable, ready loads and the new55 I've had problems with

Drew Bedo
8-Aug-2015, 07:08
In this day of CAD/CAM and 3D printing . . .cant someone come up with an all new Grafmatic type film magazine or an effective and usable Mido type system?

Daniel Stone
8-Aug-2015, 07:23
In this day of CAD/CAM and 3D printing . . .cant someone come up with an all new Grafmatic type film magazine or an effective and usable Mido type system?

There is coming up with one, then there is marketing AND selling one. If you're doing it for yourself, that's one thing. Producing a viable product, providing support for said product, dealing with customers/users who are too inept to figure out how things work on their own will be enough of an issue in itself. The design and "idea" of the product might be easy, but when it comes to actually making/supporting that product is where many fail, usually utterly. They're just not ready for it.

And TBH, not that I don't think your idea is a good one, but a baby Harrison tent and carrying a few film holders isn't really that hard. Yes, you'll just need to change film more often, but you'll get the reliability of traditional holders. Mido's are notorious for leaking if not given the utmost of care.

The support network for a finicky product like a holder/Mido-type sleeves would be more than a single person could handle alone, IMO. They might sell well, IDK about numbers, but in the end, I think most people would just stick with regular holders most of the time. Just my 2 I guess...

I do wish Readyloads/Quickloads were still available, even at a higher cost. The convenience of "back pocketing" a couple sheets, slinging camera and tripod over your shoulder, traipsing 100 yards to make a picture and coming back without as much as a case for everything, unfortunately seems to be coming to a close for many of us who enjoy that particular versatility of that product.
I don't know if paying 2x the price per sheet is worth the convenience factor, but to me, 1.5X the "traditionally boxed" cost would make it worth it, at least to have as an option for those special cases.


8-Aug-2015, 09:34
New55's ready-loaded film is back in stock.

It works only with Polaroid 545 and 545i holders. It's expensive, but I like it. The characteristics are similar to PlusX. Purchase of the film helps support New55's development of a positive/negative instant film.