Cutting the film leader after bulk loading

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Ara Ghajanian, Mar 10, 2006.

  1. Ara Ghajanian

    Ara Ghajanian Member

    Messages:
    368
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2004
    Location:
    Providence,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have been cutting the film leader using a pair of scissors, but this is a royal pain in the ass and I'm afraid of stray pieces of film getting in my cameras. Is there a device that will cut the leader exactly?
    Thanks in advance,
    Ara
     
  2. PeterDendrinos

    PeterDendrinos Member

    Messages:
    303
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2003
    Location:
    Michigan, US
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    When I used to role my own back in the day, I would simply tear the film into the desired shape. I never had an issue with film fragments in the camera. I am just starting the process of rolling my own again, and I’ll tear or cut but I didn’t plan on worrying about remnants in the camera.

    Pete
     
  3. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

    Messages:
    1,595
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2005
    Location:
    Eastern Cana
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If there is such a device it probably cost a ridiculous amount. For example, one of the larger photography stores in the U.S is selling "film canaster openers" for 20 bucks. Heck,I just use my trusty Moosehead Beer bottle opener.
    I use a nice pair of curved manicure scissors. You could make a template of the leader from a factory film and use that to draw the correct shape onto your bulk roll and then cut.

    Mike
     
  4. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,538
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Location:
    U.K.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Leader Template

    Hi, Ari, I made A template out of Aluminium , cut from a sheet with tin snips then filed down to the shape of leader I wanted , you can use this as a guide to mark the back of the film with a pencil, and
    cut it with scissors, or cut round it with a scalpel
     
  5. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,960
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Location:
    Minneapolis,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I remember seeing store-bought metal templates years ago, but I don't believe they had a built in blade (I think you used a razor knife).

    For the bulk loading I've been doing, I just quickly do a straight cut at something a bit less than 45 deg and going back about 2 inches. I do try to end the cut in between perferations but I don't try to imitate a "factory" leader. It's fine for my Nikon and Olympus bodies and just takes a second.

    I haven't noticed any problem with stray bits of film. Maybe I've been lucky.
     
  6. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

    Messages:
    4,049
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have been using regular ole' scissors for years now, I make a cut about 1/2 in in on the film, cut at an angle down the length of the film about 1 in then cut to the edge, and have never had a problem with film bits in any of my cameras, if you make clear consise cuts and double check them before you load, I am sure you should be fine.

    Dave
     
  7. BruceN

    BruceN Member

    Messages:
    585
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2004
    Location:
    Wyoming
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I, too, have used plain old scissors for a long time. The only thing I would add is that when you make the cut, you should try to make it curved rather than cutting straight back (parallel to the edges of the film) and then making another straight cut angled to the edge of the film. I used to do it this way and had a couple of leaders tear off in the camera. The tear started right at the angle of the cut, so now I try for a nice curve just like the factory ones.

    Bruce
     
  8. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

    Messages:
    3,242
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2004
    Location:
    Milwaukee, W
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I cut the film at an approx. 90º angle. This causes me no problems at all. I see no need to cut a leader.
     
  9. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

    Messages:
    2,725
    Joined:
    May 18, 2005
    Location:
    Woonsocket,
    Shooter:
    35mm
    A while back I heard that a simple straight angled cut (so as to remove a triangle of film) worked fine. I tried it with my last batch of bulk-rolled film and so far I've had no problems.

    If you really must have a device to cut the film to a curved shape similar to factory-loaded cassettes, there are film-cutting templates available. One is the "Ablon," which is designed to cut long leaders for bottom-loading Leicas, although I expect it'd work to cut shorter leaders, too. There's one on eBay right now, but it's ridiculously expensive ($64.99 starting price, no bids yet). I've spotted a few bulk loaders on eBay recently that include similar devices; for instance:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=7596509568

    I know I spotted such a cutter alone just a couple of days ago, but I can't seem to find it now. Perhaps the auction's ended....
     
  10. Robert Kerwin

    Robert Kerwin Member

    Messages:
    206
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2005
    Location:
    Albuquerque,
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I just use scissors and do a curved cut in a single pass. I've never had a problem with this method and it takes but a couple seconds. I don't believe there is a need for great precision here.

    - Robert
     
  11. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

    Messages:
    4,049
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    As Claire said, even cutting at a 90 across the film works...

    Dave
     
  12. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

    Messages:
    1,670
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Do not cut through a sprocket hole but rather between two. If you do this you will have no problems.
     
  13. BruceN

    BruceN Member

    Messages:
    585
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2004
    Location:
    Wyoming
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Won't work on OM's - the slot doesn't go the full film width, only about two thirds. I'll bet the "nipping a triangle off the corner" thing will work just fine, though. I'm going to try it.

    Bruce
     
  14. Earl Dunbar

    Earl Dunbar Member

    Messages:
    558
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2004
    Location:
    Rochester, N
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    What? Not the Alexander Keith model? Ummm, spose not since the guy in the kilt got in trouble ...

    Earl
    Go Leafs... gone. sigh
     
  15. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    16,818
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Just avoid:

    1) cutting through a perforation; and
    2) leaving a tear in the film that might expand,

    and I think you will be fine.