Loading the Clipper 6×18

A couple of Clipper owners have contacted me about difficulty loading the Clipper. I plan to do a video to make this more clear, but I wanted to post instructions that may help on the first time or two. This procedure is easier than it sounds, and becomes habitual after the first few rolls.

Loading Sequence

  1. Set the opened Clipper in front of you facing the red window as though you’ll take a picture
  2. Break the tape seal on the new roll and insert the tab into the takeup spool
  3. Wind about 3 turns off the new roll in your right hand onto the takeup spool in your left hand
  4. Guide the paper backing into the top rail of Clipper and drop the two spools into the camera
  5. If the paper backing did not drop cleanly into the bottom rail, you may see the paper buckling on top of the bottom rail
  6. Guide the paper backing into the bottom rail – moisten your finger and reaching into the center area, try pulling the paper backing up a little where it buckled and use a pencil or pen to press it against the back until it drops in
  7. When you have it in, press both spools down and then use a key to slowly turn the takeup spool – if you got it into the bottom rail, you’ll see the paper backing moving around without buckling.
  8. Put the top back on and slowly turn the knob
  9. You will feel a little resistance when the film, taped to the paper backing, first comes off the new roll and enters the guide rails
  10. Turn very slowly for 3-4 more turns – you will feel the initial resistance dropping as the film starts sliding on the rails
  11. At this point, you can advance the film to the first frame – on Clipper, you will shoot on frames 2, 6, 10, and 14 (4 exposures per roll)

A general reminder – it’s best to wind Clipper more slowly than usual due to the curved backplane. If the winder knob becomes suddenly becomes more difficult to turn, that’s usually a sign that the film has jumped the rails, and you should open it up in a darkroom rather than forcing the winder.

If you liked this post, be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss any!