View Full Version : Problem with Polaroid back/holder

23-May-2010, 04:03
Ok I got hold of a 545i holder and some t55 film to give my new MPP VII a go this weekend.

Do you think I can even get film to load into it? Can I heck.

Followed all instructions on holder. Arm at L position, rollers are all clean. The end of the film gets just past the rollers and then just stops tight.

The only thing I can think of is that the film release button R is jammed. At the moment it is in rather than out. Is this correct. It doesnt change if I move the arm from L to P as I assumed it should.

The two metal clips/clamps at the other end of the holder that I assume hold the end of the metal strip on the polaroid film in place are in the down position.

I hope you guys understand what I mean and can shed some light on a rather crappy reintroduction to film photography.

Thanks in advance.


Rick A
23-May-2010, 08:47
The lever should be in the "L" position, and the tab "R" should be out. Its spring loaded, and returns to out position automatically, when the lever is switched to "L". Try placing the lever to L and pulling the R tab gently to see if it will come back to the extended position. If it wont, repairs are in order, if it comes out but wont stay, might be broken spring.
Just a thought, is there anything jammed at the end of the holder where the metal bar of the film clips? It should be visable looking into the holder film window. You should be able to see the release tab(chrome piece) and see it move in and out when the R tab is operated.

23-May-2010, 08:54
Two other things to consider, Tony. If you opened the holder up to inspect/clean the rollers make sure that they are back in place with the retaining cam fully locked. Also (and it has been quite some time since this poor boy has shot that very precious film) I recall that it is easy to cock the film in the slot, making it feel jammed. I generally inserted the film by holding it between my fingers and pushing it in until it locked... making sure not to grip the pod whilst doing so.

23-May-2010, 08:57
Hi thanks for the reply.

At the far end are two holes with metal tabs/teeth that I assume hold the end of the film sheet. These are in rather thatn out. There nothing stuck in there.

The R button doesnt release whatever I do with the arm.

As far as I can see I can take the rollers out and take out two screws in the same sort of place. But cant see how to take the rest of it apart. There are 3 very small screws in the film pane area but not sure what it would achieve by undoing these. Any ideas?


23-May-2010, 08:59
Sorry Brian just seen your post.

Whats a pod?

I think the main problem might be the R button not working????

Rick A
23-May-2010, 09:04
The "pod" is the part of the film pack that contains the dev/fix goop that processes the photo when you pull the film from the holder.

23-May-2010, 09:06
The pod is the chemical packet in the Polaroid film package. Look at the film... it is located in the region marked, "Do not touch here"... or some such words.

It doesn't sound like your R-button is working correctly but I'm not too sure that is the only issue. My vague memory is that the R-button did not have a very strong spring action to it. The release that is controlled by the R-button is at the very bottom of the holder and only engages the film when it it fully inserted. If I read your message correctly you can't get it fully inserted. A non-functioning R-button mechanism will cause the negative to stay in the sheath when you pull the darkslide rather than preventing you from inserting the film package.

23-May-2010, 09:08
... or conversely, a non-functioning R-button will not let go of the film (neg) when you try removing the film package, so when removal is attempted the film package comes apart: pod breaks and darkslide/positive comes out but negative stays in the holder. Not a pretty sight, even at the old price of Polaroid film!

23-May-2010, 09:09

... and that is EXACTLY what it is: vile, sticky, caustic goop!

Rick A
23-May-2010, 09:27
I have a 545, and aside from taking the rollers out for cleaning, I dont see any way to disassemble the holder for repairs. Mine has small rivets on the pressure plate(if that's what it is) in line with where the mechanism is for the release, and mine only has one release tab not two.

23-May-2010, 09:32
Rick, I'm doing this from memory... but look on the sides of the holder. I recall two U-shaped metal clips that hold the holder together. Those get "pried off" to do servicing of the holder beyond just opening the door to clean the rollers. But there is one part of servicing a holder that requires drilling out rivets, I read on the internet.

23-May-2010, 10:20
Ok, there were two long clps that were intergral to the body of the holder. I never even noticed them. Prizing them off the other side pops off and the R button resets itself.

Nice one. Was a tip form the APUG forum.

Just off to waste another sheet of T55.

23-May-2010, 10:39
Ok I hate it.

Film went in easy straight away. Click at the end. Set up and pull out the envelope.

Now here a question does just the one side of the envelope pull out or both sides?
Both came out. So I expose and try to push envelope back in. Goes most of the way and the last inch just gets stuck.

Oh the wonders of digital imagery.

At this rate I wont have any polaroid left so it'll not matter at all.

My other question is maybe I have a dodgy batch of t55.
The way its loaded it looks as if it it exposes through the positive onto the negative. Surely this is backwards. It should expose through the -ve film onto the +ve paper??

23-May-2010, 16:38
Ugggh... you are having a bad day, eh? Please forgive me if I'm getting too elementary.

Make sure the lever is in the LOAD position before putting the film in. The film packet is marked for which direction it goes in. I seem to remember the marking saying something like, "Expose this side". Make sure that marking is visible through the opening in the film holder.

The metal clip on the film packet gets held in place by the part attached to the "R button", so both sides of the package (including the positive) get pulled out for exposure. In terms of construction, the positive is firmly connected to the dark slide by a framing sheet. The darkslide (etc) pulls out to a point where it stops... it does not get detached from the holder at this time. This is how just the negative is made available for exposure.

The 'click' is a good sign that the metal clip is properly holding the film packet in place.

After you expose the film... the part of the film packet hanging outside the 545i gets pushed back in. When you push the package back it it all reassembles itself in a light-tight manner. It should push back in just as far as when it was originally inserted. I'd guess that if it is getting stuck then either it got cocked and needs to be gently straightened out. Pull the darkslide portion back out a bit and try again.

Then when the lever is flipped (depressing the R-button) the entire package can be removed. As it comes out the pod burst, spreading the goop and starting development. Now you need to time it, etc.

The transfer from the negative to the positive does not happen until during the development time. And then it works like the rest of Polaroid processes where the silver migrates from the neg to the pos.

23-May-2010, 23:49
Thanks Brian.

Thats what I figured. There are instructions on the back of the 545i so I followed them to the letter.

My concerns over the film were probably due to it being well out of date, so by going through all of this I've no garauntee it going to produce an image or not. Whether down to bad technique or bad film. So by minimising the ammount of stuff I do wrong the less chance of a bad image cos of me and more likely cos the film is out of date etc. If you see what I mean.

Thanks for the instructions though. Just confirms what I've been doing. Cheers.

24-May-2010, 06:30
My concerns over the film were probably due to it being well out of date, so by going through all of this I've no garauntee it going to produce an image or not.

I understand. Unfortunately the film may be hot-or-miss. You'll know it's too old if you see bad coverage of the developer goo. You'll likely get something, it just might not be pretty. :)

24-May-2010, 07:31

For what it's worth, keep this link handy.
Though it's geared toward the 545 (not 545i which is a tad different), it helps to SEE how to disassemble and 'maintain clip health' if you ever need to in the future.

I have had similar situations much like what you're describing, sometimes surprised to find, (upon opening everything up), a stray polaroid envelope's metal end clip floating around in there. Naturally this will obstruct free flow of movement.

I have also found that sometimes the envelope can get rippled and bent inside if you push on the envelope from the top/end while there's something impeding smooth movement back into the holder.

... And on the other hand, I've also had full boxes of expired polaroids that are rippled to begin with (and so get caught either going in or coming out).

But try laying the holder down down and using two hands to help keep the envelope stiff and less likely to bend or ripple:
Grip both sides with thumb and 2 fingers and brace the pads of the sides/palms of your hands along the sides of the holder. Apply firm but steady downward pressure to attempt to feed it back in to the holder millimeter by millimeter, until it gets to the point of being able to push it back under the clips with one hand at the end/top.

Often I find this 'ripple' or difficult movement to be about an inch long, sometimes less. When no amount of pressure allows for movement, I've found something else, like a stray end clip to be floating around inside.

Good luck!