Kiev cassettes came in two styles -- the original designed for the Kiev Vega (Bera) and the second generation designed for Kiev 30 cameras. Loading is the same for both.  The big difference is that the original cassettes will fit in Minolta cameras, but the Kiev 30 cassettes will not. Another difference is that the original cassettes have caps held on with tape like the Minoltas, but the Kiev 30 cassettes have snap caps.  Both have a spring steel clip on the takeup spool to hold the film, so no tape is needed.
  1. Memorize these instructions since you can't refer to them in the dark; better yet, run through the steps with the lights on with scrap film.
  2. Gather all your items together -- 16mm film, Kiev cassettes (or Minolta cassettes if you are loading an older Kiev camera), scissors, 1/2" black tape, and film template.
  3. Wash your hands thoroughly, or use film gloves (obtainable at most camera shops) in order to avoid getting oil or dirt on the film.
  4. With the lights on, remove  the caps from the film-feeder end and the film-takeup end of the cassette. The film-takeup end is the end of the cassette that is slightly larger and holds the film-takeup spool. The cap on the film-takeup end has a hole in it to allow the camera to advance the film. The cap on the film-feeder end is solid.
  5. Remove both caps.
  6. Remove any film from the film-takeup spool.
  7. Completely check the cassette for any loose dirt or film scraps.
  8. Turn off the lights.
  9. Cut a 19" length of film, using a template, ruler or whatever you can device. A yardstick with a notch or piece of tape at 19" will work fine. (Any type of 16mm film, regardless of perforations, will work with any Kiev model, but the useable image size will vary. Older models will produce a 10x14mm image on 16mm film, regardless of the perforations. The newer Kiev 30 series will produce a 10x17mm useable image on double-perforated film, an 11x17mm image on single perforated and a 13x17mm image on unperforated film.)
  10. Wind the film tighly into a roll and pull out a 1-2" leader. Make sure that the emulsion in wound in toward the center of the roll.
  11. Slip the leader through the film outlet while dropping the roll of film into the film-feeder end of the cassette. The film slot can be difficult to find in the dark, so you may need to practice with the lights on with a scrap piece of film.
  12. Place the cap back on the film-feeder end of the cassette.
  13. Turn on a dim light.
  14. Check to make sure that the film is loaded correctly -- emulsion toward the lens and perforations toward the cassette bridge.
  15. Press the film-feeder cap and cassette together and attach the film-feeder cap with 1/2" black tape.  The tape is optional with the Kiev 30 cassettes, as they have snap caps with detents to hold them in place.
  16. Line up the leader of the film with the film takeup spool. Make sure that the open end of the film-takeup spool is facing in the right direction. The film and the spool are exactly the same height and the film must line up exactly with the edges of the spool. This will help prevent the film from detaching in the camera.
  17. Slide the end of the film under the metal clip until the film is covered by at least half the clip.  Make sure that the film is centered top to bottom on the takeup spool.
  18. Slide the film into the takeup film slot (which is as difficult to find as the feeder slot was) while slipping the takeup spool into the cassette.
  19. Place the cap back on the film-takeup end of the cassette.
  20. Press the film-takeup cap and cassette together and attach the film-takeup cap with 1/2" black tape.  Once again, the tape can be left off  the Kiev 30 cassettes that have snap caps.
  21. Make sure that ends or kinks of tape are not protruding around the cassette.
  22. Place the reloaded cassette in its protective case and tape shut with black tape.
  23. Mark the outside of the case with the type of film.
  24. If the film won't advance once it's in the camera, most likely it was not properly aligned to the film-takeup spool.

This may sound like a lot of work, but once you get used to it, you can reload a cassette in a matter of seconds. 

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COPYRIGHT @ 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 by Joe McGloin. All Rights Reserved.