How to fire a Pentax 67ii without film in the camera

July 1, 2019

Let’s get straight to it, here’s how to fire (release the shutter) on a Pentax 67ii without film, also known as dry-firing:

  1. Open the back cover of the camera, shut it, then cock the shutter advance twice*. The camera should now dry fire.
  2. If you want to fire the shutter with the back door open, hold down the multi-exposure lever while cocking the shutter once.

*If you try to advance further it should maybe go 1 ‘click’ forward then lock in place. This is a good indication it’s ready to fire.

Pentax 67ii with back open and instax pack where I needed to fire without film

I’ve wanted to do fire the 67ii without film in the past, learned how – and then forgotten the procedure – so I thought it might be good to document it here.

My reason for dry firing the Pentax 67ii recently is actually not ‘dry-firing’, I’ve been loading Instax as I mentioned in my last post.

So I hope this helps any Pentax 67ii users who want to fire their camera without any film. It’s useful for testing the shutter is working and the aperture and other things.

Also: a reminder to treat the winder with care, I spent £320 getting mine repaired recently.

Feel free to leave comments or questions below and I’ll be happy to help out.

And now some life updates…

I had a great time in Belfast for Becky’s cousin’s wedding but I didn’t really take pictures. I stayed up late on the converted school we stayed in, looking at the stars. In the pitch dark, silent, middle-of-nowhere and listened to lots of Radiohead in preparation for Anima.

If you’ve not yet watched it, I’d recommend the PT Anderson-directed ANIMA on Netflix.

Becky and I went to Clissold Park to drink gin and soak up the sun at the weekend. Hopefully we’ll get to do that more this summer and have a BBQ with some of the fab veg from the local shop, like we did last year.

We’re off to Edinburgh this weekend for another wedding – our loves Adrienne and Eoin – hopefully I’ll take some pictures this time!


Shooting Instant Film on Medium Format

June 5, 2019

Disassembled Polaroid Sun 635 QS


Since the demise and rebirth of Polaroid, one thing that has become increasingly difficult is the ability to test medium format film shots instantly on shoot. I’ve begun thinking about experimenting with shooting instant film on medium format cameras.

Lots of medium format cameras had Polaroid backs allowing you to swap from colour negative film to polaroid/instant, to show the client etc. the shot instantly.

The majority of these used peel-apart style film (Type 100). This is what I used when I first had a medium format camera with a Polaroid back. Not long after, the Polaroid version of this film was discontinued but fortunately Fuji were making their own version, the FP-100C. However, this was also discontinued a few years back and the second-hand supply is running low (and expensive) on eBay and elsewhere.

The solution for many photographers (other than having stocked up or paying through the nose for FP-100C now) is to use a tethered digital camera to test the shot, something I’ve done often.

However, I prefer the instant film solution as I am more fond of practical and tactile workflows. I think the digital often doesn’t do film results justice (in some situations it does, don’t get me wrong). And I also prefer to have something I can stick into my ongoing scrapbooks.

First stage of research into shooting medium format instant was disassembling this Polaroid Sun 635 QS
Polaroid Sun 635 QS innards


With all that said, I’ve been toying with ideas and researching interesting camera engineers and hobbyists, looking for practical solutions. I’m still a complete amateur and this is purely for my own interest and enjoyment, but I plan to record the results and post them up here as I make progress.

I hope to make solutions for shooting instant film on medium format cafor my Pentax cameras and possibly some more original instant contraptions – likely utilising Instax due to its low price and ubiquity.

Shooting medium format instant film will involve rollers like in this Instax patent diagram


Here are some interesting links and projects I’ve come across on the subject:

I’d love to hear from anyone experimenting themselves, or if you know of any similar articles etc.!