Daiichi Zenobia loading problem

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by jamesmck, Jan 23, 2009.

  1. Anyone with a Daiichi Zenobia with Daiichi-Rapid shutter and Neo-Hesper lens: are you able to load 120 films with 4-slot spools (+), such as Arista (Foma), Ilford, and Agfa? On mine, I am only able to load 2-slot films, such as Kodak and Fuji. The 4-slot spools simply will not fit into either the take-up or supply film chambers. The 2-slot spools (either empty or full) drop nicely into place. Yes, I am pulling out the lower plunger; yes, I have done all possible gyrations and moderate to strong force; and yes, I am quite familiar with loading 120 films.
     
  2. Hi James, I have one of these and to be perfectly honest I have not tried any other films but Fuji or Kodal. I wrote an article about it here I have a couple of rolls of Arista.edu Ultra somewhere and will try and load one and get back to you.
     
  3. Hi again, I just checked and I was able to load a fomapan(Arista) roll just fine.
    00SDRC-106575884.jpg
     
  4. Dustin McAmera

    Dustin McAmera Yorkshire

    For what it's worth, I've just tried this with my Waltax Junior; the Zenobia was developed from the Waltax cameras, and they're very similar. I find no trouble with two- or four-slotted spools of several makers: I use Fuji, Kodak, Ilford, Foma and Adox/Efke. Just for completeness, I fit the top end of the spool on the winding capstan (I mean the bottom end of the winding shaft), then pull the bottom knob to let the other end drop in, without any pressure at all. I thought the orientation of the capstan might make a difference, but it doesn't, with my camera anyhow. The only thing I found that would stop the spool going in was not pulling the knob all the way.

    Maybe you could upload a photo of the film chamber, and we could look for differences?
     
  5. Thanks Ralf and Pete. Since the offending spools will not fit in either side, here is a photo of the supply side.
     
  6. The photo....
    00SDat-106623784.jpg
     
  7. Here is the film chamber of my Zenobia:
    [​IMG]
    In your camera the knob tips seem to be inside the bottom well, while in mine are flush with the top and bottom walls.
     
  8. Julio,
    After much looking, I see where you mean. However, that is a distortion in my photo. Both are flush with the thin metal plate that makes the boundary of the chamber.
     
  9. I have arrived at a way to make the 4-slot spools work, if not an explanation of exactly why they do not. There is a very slight lip around the circumference of the spool ends, both the 2- and 4-slot varieties. I noticed that the 4-slot spool appeared to be going in, more or less, on the upper side of the camera (on the right, below), but was hitting the edge of the whatever-it's-called on the other end (the plunger end). I took some of the lip off the spool with a file, and was able to get the spool into place nicely on either the supply or take-up sides. I tried this first with a spool on which I had (earlier) enlarged the hole, and wondered if this is important. Did it with a fresh spool with altered lip and no enlarged hole, and success!!

    To avoid having to modify spools, the next step will be to shave off a bit of the top of the thing in the camera (marked below) with a Dremel. I don't imagine that this is some super-hard material that will resist grinding. I think that a very small beveling of the edge will do it.

    Since the absolute lengths of the 2-slot and unmodified 4-slot spools don't differ, it remains a mystery why the lip should matter on one and not the other. Something unknown about the chamber details or spool construction. The amount filed off the lip was only a few tenths of a mm by my measurements, but it was enough.
    00SEKi-106806184.jpg
     
  10. Ah Something to FILE for future reference!
     
  11. Very timely post! I recently acquired the identical model Zenobia, and encountered the same difficulty, except that I was unable to load either Fuji Acros or Tri-X. The old no-name metal (and lipless) spool that was in the film supply chamber dropped in and out just fine, but the chamber would not accept any new roll of film with a lipped plastic spool. Various empty plastic spools -- Agfa, Fuji, Kodak -- fit just fine in the take-up chamber. In order to get started, I took my kitchen shears and clipped off a small part of the protuding lip of the plastic Tri-X spool and it was enough to load the roll, which is now in the camera. Not willing to do this repeatedly, I'd like a report on the Dremel operation. Or -- any other ideas?
     
  12. Very timely post! I recently acquired the identical model Zenobia, and encountered the same difficulty, except that I was unable to load either Fuji Acros or Tri-X. The old no-name metal (and lipless) spool that was in the film supply chamber dropped in and out just fine, but the chamber would not accept any new roll of film with a lipped plastic spool. Various empty plastic spools -- Agfa, Fuji, Kodak -- fit just fine in the take-up chamber. In order to get started, I took my kitchen shears and clipped off a small part of the protuding lip of the plastic Tri-X spool and it was enough to load the roll, which is now in the camera. Not willing to do this repeatedly, I'd like a report on the Dremel operation. Or -- any other ideas?
     
  13. Bottom line is that my "surgery" didn't work. I Dremeled off a bit at the site indicated, but was reluctant to take more. For now, I am sticking with knocking off a bit of the spool lip on a piece of coarse sandpaper. There is a slight raised lip on the collar of the spool. Sanding this down on only one end (the last end in) did the trick for me.

    A friend of mine was able to load mine by doing a lot of fancy jiggling but I'll probably stick with the sanding. Try hard downward pressure on the right side. See also a post by MarkB on this thread: http://nelsonfoto.com/v/showthread.php?t=17650&page=3&highlight=zenobia.
     
  14. I learned two new things in the last few days. First, I learned to be patient with a slow network reponse in posting here, or else risk posting the same thing twice, cough. The other thing I learned is that apparently these early Zenobias were made in the days when 120 film came on metal spools with thin, lip-less ends. Even though the dimensions of the old spools are otherwise identical to today's, the insanely tight manufacturing tolerances of the Daiichi company can lead to random incompatibility with modern film spools, with their ever-so-slightly thicker plastic ends, reinforced as they are with a shallow rim, like the edge around the top of a coin.
    My own work-around is to carry a small nail file. A few strokes will take down the spool rim enough to enable film loading.
    It's really a fun little camera to carry around -- haven't come across another folder that you can reasonably put in your pocket -- and the Neo-Hesper lens is great. A pocketful of fun for about the price of a pimped Holga.
     

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