View Full Version : Fuji Instant Holder Nightmare

4-Oct-2009, 01:58
hi folks,

so I finally got some time to spare to shoot LF, taking the smaller Fuji holder with 10 packs to the US with me - only to be completely unable to get it working reliably.
Destroyed four packs before giving up and am wondering whether I'm just too stupid or the holder is broken (by design?). The paper pull strips that extract the frame and load the next one in line would habitually rip off, necesitating the partial opening of the holder and thus random exposure of parts of the film. The paper darkslide would often not reliably pull out of the holder, instead disintegrating halfways within the holder, again almost destroying the pack. Inbetween, all seemed to work for a few shots, before everything came apart again - especially when developer fluid all of a sudden accumulated on the holder rollers, soaking into the next advance strip and causing it to rip off again... a whole lot of fun!

Can anyone enlighten me on how to properly load this thing, with Instructions for an Idiot? Is the Polaroid holder a better choice?



Dave Grenet
4-Oct-2009, 17:28
It sounds a lot like you have something stuck in the rollers. Take them out and make sure they don't have a bit of paper or similar stuck in them and they are clean and smooth.

5-Oct-2009, 13:14
yes, I cleaned them several times and there's nothing stuck in them.. can't figure out what else the problem might be. Does anyone have any more experience with this piece of hardware, also possibly compared to the pola holder?

5-Oct-2009, 13:29
Having used both the polaroid and the fuji holders for several years now I have found that they need to be dissasembled and cleaned fairly regularly. Its not just gunk on the rollers that can be cause. You should remove the rollers and check the roller carriers, as well as the plastic doors the film runs through. Quite often those can get clogged up with chemical residue, and then when it dries restricts the motion of the doors thus causing the tabs to get cought up and not come through. I always have used denatured alchohol to do my cleaning with cotton swabs and q-tips. Its usualy best to clean it after a long day of shooting (before the chemistry dries). As it is much easyer to clean off that way. Anyway... don't just check the rollers, check the whole transport assembly. Most of the chemical debree ends up on the two sides, and not down the center from my experience.

Gordon Moat
5-Oct-2009, 15:35
If you just closed the back, then it should work, unless the rollers are completely frozen in place. The usual error I have seen is someone trying to thread the darkslide paper between the rollers when they load the holder; do that and destroy every pack.


Gordon Moat Photography (http://www.gordonmoat.com)

6-Oct-2009, 14:35
The usual error I have seen is someone trying to thread the darkslide paper between the rollers when they load the holder; do that and destroy every pack.

oh, I was under the impression that the darkslide paper has to go through the two rollers to get the first frame pull strip through there. how / through what aperture should I thread the beginning of the darkslide paper?

thanks for all your input so far!

Gordon Moat
7-Oct-2009, 10:39
Don't put the darkslide paper between the rollers! With the holder open, place the new pack into the holder. Make sure the darkslide paper and the little tabs are hanging free over the side. Then close the pack and move the locking piece. Next you are ready to pull the darkslide paper. Here is a PDF of the original Polaroid loading procedure:


While the images are not that great, take a look a few pages into that. There is at least one illustration that shows how the paper tabs should sit. After you pull the darkslide paper, you are ready to take a photo. After you take a photo, then you pull on one white paper tab, and the film parts will appear between the rollers as you pull. You will only see the beginning of the film, so you will need to pull that the rest of the ways out slowly. The smaller packfilm holder works the same way, and the old packfilm cameras are the same in operation.



9-Oct-2009, 09:18
ahhh! you're my heroes! it works, just as Gordon described it, and as illustrated in the PDF. Makes me shake my head in wonder that my, errmm, "method" allowed me to take some exposures at all :confused: .. definately beforehand, everything came out of the wrong slot, and was fed into the wrong part of the holder. oh my.


happy snapping!