Bulk loading film!!!

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by AndersPS, Oct 12, 2009.

  1. AndersPS

    AndersPS Member

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  2. alexmacphee

    alexmacphee Member

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    My bulk loader is a Watson, but the principle should be the same. To load the loader with a new roll, I put the loader and the bulk tin in the changing bag, open the bulk tin, take the roll out of the bag, take the roll drum off the loader, and put the roll into the drum. It can go in in one of two ways, first, with the emulsion side down as the leader comes through into the cassette loading chamber, and second, with the emulsion side up and facing out to you. The first way is correct, the second is disaster. In the cassette loading chamber, there will be a sprocket wheel that meshes with the film perforations, and counts the frames as they go in to the cassette. The emulsion side should be in contact with the sprockets, so the film should face down on to the sprockets. It if's facing up, you need to turn the bulk roll over to the other orientation inside the drum of the loader.

    It's a whole lot easier than it sounds!
     
  3. AndersPS

    AndersPS Member

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    Thank you! But none of my Lloyd´s have just a pin in the middle! should there be a kind of spool to wind the film on inside the drum? Many questions but I´m a newbie at this and want it to be right :smile:

    ///Anders S
     
  4. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    The Watson/alden type have a spindle in the middle. You just slip the bulk roll on the spindle. The loader might have an adapter for short rolls. But I can't remember the last time I used one. 50' rolls?
     
  5. alexmacphee

    alexmacphee Member

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    This is how the inside of my Watson loader looks :
    [​IMG]
    I usually have a spare dud film I use for demonstrations, but I can't find it, so I've cut a strip of paper instead, to represent the bulk reel. The side of the loader has been lifted off to show a spindle, and the bulk reel just sits on this spindle. The film is led through a slot below the red lever and outside. You can just make out the words 'EMULSION SIDE' I wrote on the paper. This emulsion side faces down in to the cassette chamber, which you'll see in the next picture.

    [​IMG]
    Here, you can see the paper (film!) just emerging from the slot and touching a red wheel with teeth. You can't see it but on the left hand side there's a similar wheel with teeth to engage the film perforations, but it's black, so doesn't show in the picture. This is the cassette chamber. You put an empty cassette in here, and attach the emerging film leader to the cassette spool. The cassette goes at the bottom of the picture here where you see the orange piece of plastic, and the crank on the left will engage (when the cover door is closed!) and feed the film in to the cassette.

    Here is another view of the loader :
    [​IMG]
    The bulk reel sits as shown, the leader comes through the slot under the red lever and out where the words "Film leader" appear. The non-emulsion side is uppermost, and the emulsion is facing down into the cassette chamber. You can also see the drum cover on the right hand side, and you should see also the cut-out which fits over the strip of film as it leaves the main chamber and into the cassette chamber. That red knob is just the securing knob for the drum cover when it's replaced.

    Any more questions, just ask!
     
  6. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    The units you've got are substantially different from either the Alden or Watson units. They are dead simple with exactly 3 moving parts, the hinged door, the round screw on cover, and the crank handle. There are no frame counters, sprockets, or anything else to complicate matters. There is nothing to break or wear out. Loading the machine is dead simple too. All bulk film is delivered with the emulsion side IN. Simply unscrew the red door, drop the roll of film (with the center core if it has one) over the spindle, thread the leading edge of the film through the felt light trap, replace the round cover, and screw it down. Everything follows the natural curve of the film. Easy!
     
  7. alexmacphee

    alexmacphee Member

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    That's worth knowing if my Watson ever breaks. I've seen that model in pictures and ads, but never used it. How do you determine how much film you're loading if there's no counter? I sometimes load short runs of a dozen frames or so as well as the more regular thirty-six.
     
  8. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Unless you drop it, unlikely to break. They all can break if you drop them.

    The Watson has no "felt light trap" to keep clean, that will scratch your film. They all work and with proper use, work as they should.
     
  9. JukkaWata

    JukkaWata Member

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    I load bulk by holding the bulk roll between my legs in closet in darkness and just twist the takeup spool to load a suitable amount of frames, then cut off the film, insert the roll in casette. Then just start a new one until about 20 rolls are in cassettes. This will take about 10 minutes, just enough oxygen left in the closet...
     
  10. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    ***********
    My approach is a bit different. But what we share is bulk loading w/o using a bulk loader.
     
  11. AndersPS

    AndersPS Member

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    On the Lloyd there´s a list outside of the loader to see how many turns you need to wind the crank to get exposures. For example you need to turn 13 times to get 10 exposures.

    ///Anders S
     
  12. alexmacphee

    alexmacphee Member

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    Isn't it funny how the bleeding obvious is only obvious after somebody else has pointed it out to you?
     
  13. AndersPS

    AndersPS Member

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    I don´t exactly know what you mean by that? Was this post unnecessary?

    ///Anders S
     
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  15. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    alexmacphee
    Quote:
    Isn't it funny how the bleeding obvious is only obvious after somebody else has pointed it out to you?

    AndersPS
    Quote:
    I don´t exactly know what you mean by that? Was this post unnecessary?



    Anders:

    I could be wrong, but I think Alex was gently poking fun at himself - it was your post that caused him to notice what was there on his film loader all along.

    Matt
     
  16. alexmacphee

    alexmacphee Member

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    I must apologise for my lack of clarity. No discourtesy was intended. I was, as Matt says, poking fun at myself, and was having what is sometimes called a 'slap-forehead moment' when I realised you were right and I should have had the sense to know the answer before I asked.
     
  17. AndersPS

    AndersPS Member

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    It´s ok :smile: really! Now I understand :smile: I thougt you ment it that way but I wasn´t sure enough. I didn´t know you had a Llyod as well :smile: And I know what you mean by 'slap-forehead moment', it happens to me sometimes as well. I figure I had one of those moments when I read his post and maybe I were tired to.

    Final question, how many exposures can you get from a 30,5m(100ft?) bulkfilm?

    Thank you all for your answers.

    ///Anders S
     
  18. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    You get about 18 36 exposure loads. Shorter loads use the same amount of film for leader and trailer. Longer loads risk jamming the camera or over loading the the developing reel.
     
  19. mts

    mts Subscriber

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    I have used a Watson loader for years. Simply count the turns while turning the crank, one turn per exposure and add one or two for contingency. The portion of the casette spindle that sticks out faces down. Attach the film to the spindle with a length of masking tape, place it in the casette and snap on the end piece, and gently push the excess film back through the feed slot to place the casette directly beneath the crank hole with it lips against the loader's film exit slot. Close the door, insert the spindle crank being sure it engages the tab in the film spindle, and then count turns as you load film into the casette. Simple and works well. Keep the felt clean or don't get it dirty in the first place and you will not have any scratches unless there is grit on the felt of the casette lips.
     
  20. AndersPS

    AndersPS Member

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    But if I do 10 exposure loads I sholu get more than 18? Now, I´m not going to do 10 of all the bulk film, bur some test loads to learn to develop.

    ///Anders S
     
  21. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    Freestyle no longer lists the watson for sale.
     
  22. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    I don't use a bulk loader, even though I have several of them. I directly roll the film from the bulk spool onto the camera spool, tear it off and load it in the cassette. After I have all my cassettes loaded, I trim the leaders with scissors.

    One thing I do miss about bulk loaders is the frame counter. My rolls have a variable length of film on them now. I could measure the length, but that would require peeling the whole length off at one time, measuring it, and then rolling it on the camera spool. Seems inviting to dust.
     
  23. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    Yes, you'll get more than 18, but the overhead of the leader and trailer is the same for a 10 exposure roll as it is for a 36 exposure roll. Bottom line is that the longer each roll, the more total frames you get from that 100 ft. The practical limit for each roll is 36 exposures due to the limitations of the cassette, the camera, and the processing equipment.
     
  24. AndersPS

    AndersPS Member

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    Now I understand! :smile: It is less expensive to load 18 36exp., than it is to do 10exp. rolls? am I correct?

    ///Anders S
     
  25. Denis P.

    Denis P. Member

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    Yes: the thing is, you waste a fixed number of frames (film length) per roll (loaded film casette).
    Hypothetically, let's say that 5 frames (about 19 cm) are wasted* for each cassette (roll) you load. The more film you cut (the smaller the number of frames per roll), the more you waste. So, if you get 18 rolls of 36 exposures per one bulk film, you will NOT get 36 rolls of 18 exposures from the same bulk, because by halving the number of frames per roll, you are also DOUBLING the number of wasted frames :smile:

    * Actually, the number of wasted frames varies depending on the type of bulk loader. I find the Watson bulk loader to be particularly wasteful: it wastes several frames at the END of the spooled cassette, in addition to the 3-4 frames at the beginning.
     
  26. Denis R

    Denis R Member

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