How many times do you reuse 35mm film canisters?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by BruceN, Sep 27, 2005.

  1. BruceN

    BruceN Member

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    I was going to put this in the current bulkloading thread, but thought it would fit better here. I saw some people were only using their cannisters 3 or 4 times and then tossing them. I usually blow out the light traps with a dustgun between uses and just keep on using them. I have some that I've used dozens of times without a scratched negative. What say ye? Also, is there a particular brand or type you like best?

    Bruce
     
  2. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    I find some last 'forever', others are dodgy out of the packet! never use a new one for something important! The best reloadable canisters were the Ilford OEM ones IMO.
     
  3. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Yes, the old Ilford ones were great. With new ones, I usually toss them after 5 or 6 uses. Be careful of fraying light traps, not only because of light leaks, but if a thread comes loose in the camera it can get caught in the shutter, resulting in an expensive repair, speaking from experience.
     
  4. Monophoto

    Monophoto Member

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    I have been using the same cartridges since I started bulk loading more than 25 years ago. Mine are all commercial cartridges - mainly Ilford and Agfa.

    I blow them out, and occasionally scrape the dull side of an X-acto knife over the felt light trap to dislodge any grit that might be lurking there.
     
  5. gbroadbridge

    gbroadbridge Member

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    I'll use the ones I have until they fall to pieces :smile:

    If I were shooting other peoples weddings I'd probably not use reloadable cartridges at all, however as I dont do that, and the the content is mine, I don't worry too much about the possibility of a bit of grit in the felt.

    Graham.
     
  6. dschneller

    dschneller Member

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    The original Ilford cartridges seem to last forever. I have been using them for 10+ years.
     
  7. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    Butler, the dental floss people, make an interdental brush which is about 1/8 inch in diameter and 1/2 inch long. They're cheap and very handy for cleaning the felt in the cassettes. Also good to getting into tight spots in cameras etc.
     
  8. joeyk49

    joeyk49 Member

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    I'm cheap, so I use 'em till they fall apart (Remember, no paying clients, here)...

    I also use a piece of masking tape, folded over, to run back a forth through the light trap to pick up any stray materials. I've only had one fail, and I knew it would right after I reloaded it; so, it was tossed out.
     
  9. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    At 70 cents a pop, buying new cassettes really eats up a lot of the economy of bulk loading. I save my Efke and JandC cassettes and clean the felt well between uses, a post-it note is just tacky enough to grab dust and grit without tearing up the felt.
    Gotta love those $1.50 35 exp rolls of Tri-X. :smile:
     
  10. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    For the ultra-cheap, you can re-use commercial film cartridges, even if they're not officially reloadable. You've got to unload the film in the original cartridge without opening it, which isn't too hard -- just don't rewind the leader into the cartridge, or use a leader retriever. Alternatively, if you don't shoot enough non-bulk film to supply yourself, you can get empties from the local 1-hour photofinisher. (Some will be weird things taken from single-use cameras, which can be interesting.) To reload these cartridges, rather than attach the film to the spool, you've got to attach your film to the stub of film that sticks out of the cartridge. Use cellophane tape to cover the entire area of attachment, on both sides.

    I've not been bulk loading long, but I've tried this method, metal reusable cartridges, and plastic reusable cartridges. Overall, I prefer the metal reusable cartridges, but the reused "single-use" cartridges have certain advantages, such as better availability of DX coding and of course low cost. OTOH, the felt traps aren't as easily cleaned, although I bet the methods described here could be adapted -- you'd just need to temporarily tape the film stub to something to keep it from sliding into the cartridge. Then too, with 1-hour labs willing to hand them over for free, what's the point? Just use 'em once and toss 'em! :wink:

    Or in my case, $1.00 (or less) rolls of (Freestyle rebranded) Ilford Pan F+ or Fomapan 400. :smile:
     
  11. joeyk49

    joeyk49 Member

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    I like it! Post It notes! Now I don't even have to get up from my desk to retrieve the masking tape! ...And, your right; if your not careful, serious masking tape will tear up the felt...

    Glad to see I'm not the only cheap guy here! How's $0.50 - .60 (estimated) per roll of PanF? I got a sweet deal on some recently expired stuff (150 ft) on Ebay last year...
     
  12. narsuitus

    narsuitus Member

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    The Nikon AM-1 cassettes I use in my F2 can be used indefinitely because they do not have the felt-lined slit that conventional cassettes use.
     
  13. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    I just did an eBay search and found two up for auction. Am I correct in interpreting the photo that they've got a two-part outer wall with an opening that forms a "door" when they're appropriately rotated, and that this rotation must be done by the camera, so they'll only work in certain cameras?
     
  14. narsuitus

    narsuitus Member

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    Yes, the AM-1 only works in the Nikon F2. There is another one that works only in the Nikon F. There is a third one that works only in the Nikon rangefinder. I don't think Nikon made any other 36-exposure size cassettes for their other SLR cameras.

    Yes, your description of how they operate is accurate.
     
  15. battra92

    battra92 Member

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    So you can just go into your local film lab and ask for the empties and they'll give them to? I know my college photo club does that but I didn't know anyone could do that. Amazing that they don't freak at a request to take their garbage. I'll have to try that myself.

    And of course, cracking the DX code is necessary, especially if you want 25 ISO cartridges (easy convert from a 200)
     
  16. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    We just need to find someone who markets a die to cut the film to the shape that retains it in the Efke spools, i.e. the center tongue with the hole in it.

    Lee

    (It's about time that film mfgrs recognized the popularity of tongue piercing.)
     
  17. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    I've only done it once (at a local Walgreens), but they forked them over without any big hassle. (The clerk did ask why I wanted them, but it was clearly personal curiosity and not a store policy sort of question.) I recommend buying something when you do this, just to be polite about taking up the clerk's time with your unusual request.

    That depends on your camera(s). Quite a few Web pages detail DX codes, like these:

    http://www.geocities.com/Yosemite/2131/dx-code.html
    http://www.bythom.com/dxcodes.htm

    If you require DX-coded cartridges, ask for them specifically, ideally in the speed you need. (ISO 25 and 50 are going to be pretty rare, of course. My guess is most would be 200 or 400.) When I got my load from Walgreens, about half were from single-use cameras. Those aren't DX coded, although some seemed to be re-used (or at least re-labelled) cartridges, and the stickers could be peeled off to reveal DX codes.

    In theory, you should be able to change a DX code by scraping off paint or covering up bare metal. I've not tried this, myself.
     
  18. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    You can get DX code stickers from Porters Cameras, they sell them in various speeds, if you have a local lab that processes E-6 film, it is pretty easy to find ISO 50 DX encoded empties from fuji velivia film, I have hundreds if not thousands of them in a box here.

    The reason you find what seem to be re-used cartridges in the single use cameras is kodak used to have a cartridge re-cycle program, we used to save all of our cartridges and send them to kodak and they paid us like 3 cents each for them, then they were reloaded and put into the single use cameras, there are also many companies around that recycle the single use camera bodies and reload them and sell them under store brands.

    Dave
     
  19. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

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    I employ both methods mentioned in the previous posts.
    I have stick on labels from Porters as Dave stated. Use them with my DX reading T-4 and Muji II. {I save those canisters by loading my developing reel directly from the UNOPENED cassette}. As a side note: When I ordered via phone the kind sales lady asked me if I would like their catalog.Why not eh? Man oh man,it weighed a ton and I had to pay Canada Post $13.00.
    Srs5694 spoke of the cassettes tossed by 1hr. photo labs. I get mine from the local camera shop who are used to dealing with student ie.poor analogers. Actually it was one of their tec. people who told me that she used the method when she was a student. Heres my methodology: I use good quality scotch tape and attach the bottom leader of the cassette to my bulk film. Then affix the top. Work the thumb and forefinger over the taped ares to get a good bond. Gently run the attached pieces into the cassette then load as usual.
    One note of caution. On two occasions the film has become detached from the leader when the last frame was taken and the cameras motor drive pulled the pieces apart. To solve this possible dilemma I carry a small film changing bag if I plan on venturing far from my darkroom.

    Mike