homemade 70mm loader

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by polyglot, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    I've been looking for a 70mm loader on eBay for a while and I refuse to pay the $250 that these things seem to sell for so I hacked one up out of a couple bits of wood and M6 bolts this evening. The bolts screw in/out to support the two spools and the big screwdriver is how you turn the takeup spool. Obviously this is not a daylight loader :wink:

    One puzzle I did have is that once the spool was loaded (I went to about 0.5mm smaller than the spool flanges) and installed in the cassette, it did a big unwinding inside the cassette after about a minute. I suspect that means the back of the film will be dragging on the inside of the cassette, so I hope I don't get any problems with scratches.
     

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  2. fatboy22

    fatboy22 Subscriber

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    Nice, I do the same thing. Load the film in my darkroom. I gave up trying to buy a loader a long time ago. Can't believe how rare and expensive they are.
     
  3. gorbas

    gorbas Subscriber

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    Nice work Polyglot! I recently started playing with Kodak 70mm Double-X Aerographic film 2405. For loading cassettes I come with this rig:
    _DSC4697.jpg

    Are you loading 70mm film back with lights on?
    Goran
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 12, 2013
  4. munz6869

    munz6869 Subscriber

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    aah, that reminds me...

    Marc!
     
  5. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Gorbas: I can see a bolt supporting a core there - is that where your source spool goes? Does anything else support the cassette spool or do you just hand-hold that?

    I'm loading cassettes into the back in the daylight and assuming the felt traps work OK. The Mamiya back requires you to wind on two frames after closing the back before it reaches "1" on the counter, so that will pull enough fresh film from the spool. While I could no doubt load in the dark and get two more frames, I don't know the back well enough to do that yet and it's fiddlier than a 120 back. The whole bottom comes off in order to insert the cassettes, and it has to go back on quite precisely.
     
  6. gorbas

    gorbas Subscriber

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    Hi Polyglot, On my picture, plastic core is only for illustration, since my 70mm reel still lives in the dark. You are right, the bolt is holding my film reel. I'm holding film spool in my hands and just roll it. On the end I insert spool into cassette.
    I loaded Double-X Aerographic film 2405 to film back on the room light and had severe light leaks. From now on I'm doing it in total darkness. 2405 is with "ivory" colour backing and transmitted light a lot. I'm cinematographer by training and dealt a lot with daylight loading of 16mm film on 100' rolls and never seen such leaks. Yes, with Hasselblad back you also had to wind a few frames after loading the 70mm back. When I reached the end of film i unloaded it from the magazine and had light leaks from that end too. One fine lesson in handling 70mm film! Just rolled 2 cassettes today and loaded one all the way to magazine in the dark.
     
  7. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    So your cassettes don't see any light between them being filled and being inserted in the camera? Does that mean you're attaching the leader to the takeup spool in the dark? If you're doing it all-dark, maybe you could ignore the cassettes entirely and just use the spools as long as they don't unwind themselves.

    They do say the cassettes get leaky over time. Have you tried a different/new cassette? Which part of yours is leaking?

    I think the 2405 is without antihalation backing (certainly doesn't look like it has one!) and probably intended for direct loading of 150' and 600' rolls into surveillance cameras.
     
  8. zsas

    zsas Member

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    Great MacGyver!
     
  9. gorbas

    gorbas Subscriber

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    Hi Polyglot, yes, from now on, everything is going to be done in dark. I will keep cassettes for some kind of protection (still not sure from what?). My 70mm cassettes look "tired", with decent gap between felts, but where you can buy them new now? Most prices for 70mm film on Ebay are just crazy. You can almost buy any fresh 120 film in same quantity for less money. If this system of loading in the dark works, I'm not going to buy new ones.
    You are right, 2405 doesn't look like it has antihalation layer. I can see it on very bright subject's. What Kodak emulsion are you using? Any idea how many of us here are using 70mm? Stone NY, you, me???
    Goran
     
  10. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Yep, and snaggs.

    I have 2405, Rollei IR400 and 160NC. snaggs might have an angle on some 600' rolls of near-fresh Aero Plus-X too.
     
  11. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Processing success tonight! The gel backing on 2405 makes it impossible to load onto a spiral in a dark bag because the heat+sweat makes it stick to the spiral and even itself (emulsion to film-back). In the darkroom though with a freshly-hairdryered Jobo spiral, it loads nicely.

    I discovered that my cassettes do not leak light at all, so loading the back in daylight is fine.

    I tried a technique I saw mentioned in another 70mm thread wherein you score the film (through the gate of the back) to mark the boundary between developing batches/rolls, then cut the film at that point when loading the spirals. In theory that means you can process three or four rolls of up to 20 frames each in 220 spirals while wasting only a frame per roll boundary instead of the six or so frames wasted by opening the back, cutting the film and inserting a new takeup cassette. However, I couldn't feel the scratches in the dark, mostly because I tend to avoid touching the emulsion side. Maybe one needs to be more violent to the sacrificial frame, I don't know and I don't want to commit a violence on the pressure-plate.

    Anyway, 2405 works reasonably well in Xtol 1+1 rotary: 8:00 for EI200, 9:00 for EI400. Those times are the only tests I've done and I've not done any sensitometry on the film, just had a look at how it came out. Will post images later this week once scanned.

    Now of course I find that it doesn't fit in my 6x7 enlarger carrier or my Nikon 8000, but I do have about 3000' of 70mm sleeving on a roll that I scored for $20 a couple years ago...
     
  12. gorbas

    gorbas Subscriber

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    Nice work Polyglot! Glad that it worked for you!
    Two days ago i went out and shoot some 40+ frames on 70mm. Capacity of my reel is 100" or around 40 frames. I was also thinking about marking the end of one batch and start of second. Maybe I will try with sticking piece of tape on the frame. As for developer I'm sticking to HC110, dilution H, at 100 iso.
    As for processed negatives, I simply cut off perforations so I can use 120 negative sleeves, enlarger & scanner carriers.
    Please let me know if you see some good deal on 70mm film, PM is just fine, will do the same.
     
  13. gorbas

    gorbas Subscriber

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    As for marking, I did it before cutting across the frame on exposure tests rolls of 120 and it worked, but backing paper was protection between film and pressure plate, but simply scratching it will not work especially when you have more frames on the roll.
    Last time I loaded max amount of 2405 film in cassette and would like to figure out how many exposures there are on the that roll.
     
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  15. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Tape to mark a frame is a good idea; I shall have to try that. Hopefully it doesn't catch the felt in the light trap though.

    PS: PM'd you...
     
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  16. gorbas

    gorbas Subscriber

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    :smile:)) My light traps are wide open!! At least something good from them! But will not go crazy with thick tape, maybe just masking, no gaffer tape.
     
  17. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    Hey guys! A few things I've learned about 70mm...

    I label the canisters as either "film out" or "film in" and always use the same canister for the same direction, because the fibers get most damaged at being reversed... since they were only made to last for about 3 times before being thrown out, this helps to allow them to last for much longer with no light leak issues.

    loading a 70mm spiral is a B!$ch!! The whole point of shooting 70mm for me is to be able to take 55 images at a time, so it's pointless to cut them up into smaller amounts, but loading that spiral is a pain and I still haven't found a good spiral loading assistant, be really careful as I've often skipped tracks and ended up with stuck together shots.

    70mm seems to be MUCH more prone to scratching so I would recommend a hardening fixer.

    I found Ilfsol 3 to work well as it's a fast developer (often 4-5 minutes) which cuts down on base fog, I haven't tried HC-110 yet but that's for my next experiment as it's a lot cheaper.

    ALSO

    Polyglot you have 70mm in IR film??? Whoa, where did you score that??

    Gorbas I think you're the first person I ever talked to on APUG and the reason I joined the forum, so thanks, and thanks for that really quick and easy way to use a grip to hold the reel while loading, not bad, but I don't have a dark room so I do it by hand in a bag, I'll have to try the OP's method, makes sense and seems a lot easier... I've just been lazy about going to the hardware store to buy supplies to make something like that.
     
  18. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Thanks for the directionality tip, I'll definitely do some labelling and keep it in mind! Any tips for preserving the felt in the face of the lateral motion of the film when inserting the spool into the metal cassette? Is it considered a bad idea to pry the canister open slightly to preserve the felt or does that come with other risks related to gaps forming in the corner?

    The IR400 is from macodirect, and when I say "I have" what I really mean is "it's in the post and I expect to take delivery this week". I got it because IR820 is discontinued and no longer available at a reasonable price and while I have most of a decade's worth in 4x5, I only had 9 rolls left in 120 and it's my favourite landscape film. IR400 isn't as nice IMHO, but it will have to do.

    While I'd love a proper long-roll 70mm spiral, it seems either the prices are silly (Jobo, especially the 15-foot 3xxx version) or they're near-impossible to use. The 220-spiral approach works well for me for now as long as I have a reliable way of marking 20-frame boundaries and therefore not wasting a bunch of film on cassette changes. Loading the 220 spirals (for Jobo 2xxx tanks) is no problem.

    I've just started feeding the 2405 into my scanner now.
     
  19. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Example one (crop), two (crop).

    Not very interesting artistically but clearly the process is working OK. I should have some portrait samples tomorrow.
     
  20. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    I wast aware there was a JOBO that took 15ft of 70mm hmm is that a processor style or hand developer tank?

    Also I would think the 70mm would have more issues with IR light leak than normal film... But I could be wrong.

    I would also suspect the prying open of the cassette would cause light leak issues and defeat the purpose of the felt when you want to change a roll out of the back in daylight.

    I haven't had any issues now that I've labeled the direction and stuck to that. But I started with never used cassettes so I started ahead of the game.

    I get frustrated with 70mm, I've considered selling the lot... And moving on, and then of course I just bought a graflock 70mm back for a 4x5 so now I'm all in... :shrug:


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  21. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Jobo part numbers are 3075 (5m reel) and 3035 (Expert drum to contain that reel). Very expensive.
     
  22. gorbas

    gorbas Subscriber

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    Thank you for kind words Stone NY! Also for good tip for labelling cassettes. As for Maco films, photographer from Finland, who pushed me in the direction to use 70mm film with Hasselblad, Jukka Watanen, http://www.flickr.com/photos/40146285@N08/ is their official dealer. So far I didn't order any films from them thru Jukka or directly. I was lucky to buy 70mm processing reel as old stock in local camera store. Next time I'm in their neighbourhood will check do they have any more of them left.
    As somebody raised on Paterson reels, I found loading this metal 70mm reel not that challenging. Not more than any other 35 or 120 metal reel. As soon as I have secured beginning of the roll, rest of loading is easy.
    StoneNY, what kind of reel are you using?
    Well, keep shooting Guys!
     
  23. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    Thanks, some kind of SS spiral...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Made a custom daylight tank with a JOBO hand tank and a store pot that fits exactly the size of the spiral, but the spiral is really hard to load, it doesn't look like the metal spun is perfectly even and so it skips tracks :/ I'm afraid to touch the film as I don't know how fingerprint oils affect film but if I could I could feel the feeding better but I can't so sometimes I skip tracks and everything gets messed up.


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  24. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    You needn't be afraid of touching the back of the film at all. Is that enough to guide it onto the rails?
     
  25. StoneNYC

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    Well since I've never done it I'm not sure, I have a shoot tomorrow night so I'll finish off my current roll and see what happens. Thanks.
     
  26. gorbas

    gorbas Subscriber

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    Stone NYC, I like your processing tank! Brilliant! I'm going "ghetto" route, with processing in open SS dish in the dark.
    I think, since capacity of my reel is 100", that wires on it are thicker and easier to load? While loading I'm keeping reel vertically and keep spinning the reel with film slightly squeezed so it can enter space between wires.