"Lightproofedness" of plastic cassettes for bulk loading

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by philipus, Apr 9, 2013.

  1. philipus

    philipus Member

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    Hi everyone

    I have a number of plastic cassettes for bulk loading, the kind with the twist top. I haven't yet loaded any of them because I am wondering how light proof they are. Here's an image (and I know it doesn't show a plastic cassette but it gives an idea of my concern, I hope):

    [​IMG]

    The left-most part of the spindle will simply just "lie" against the bottom of the cassette. And it doesn't even seem to fit well in the cassettes hole either, it's possible to wiggle it back and forth a bit. I know the spindle has a pretty wide "brim" but is this really lightproof enough? If not, must I load the cassettes in a dark(ish) room to reduce leaks?

    Cheers and thanks for any insight.
    Philip
     
  2. noacronym

    noacronym Member

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    I've used lot of 'em. A cassette is only as good as the brightness of the light you load the camera in. Should be good enough. Don't load film while standing on the beach in July at high noon.
     
  3. semeuse

    semeuse Member

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    I use them all the time - no problems, even loading under the Florida sun at noon in July (actually , not quite true - I do try to shade the open camera with my body at least)
     
  4. bsdunek

    bsdunek Subscriber

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    I have plastic cassettes I have used for many years and never had a problem, unless the cap came off. I use a tape label and be sure the end comes onto the end cap. As said above, still best to load in shade.
     
  5. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    I don't like the plastic cassettes. I have had the end come loose and ruin film.
     
  6. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    I've had better luck with plastic than with the metal and actually prefer them. The caps seem LESS likely to come off to me, requiring a twist not just a straight drop to pop off.
     
  7. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    The plastic ones I have are the threaded screw-in type. I imagine they are safer than the friction top. I have never had mine come off

    pentaxuser
     
  8. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

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    They will be light-tight, however being plastic they may generate static electricity and attract dust. This I know as fact. Metal ones if you must use re-loadable
     
  9. philipus

    philipus Member

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    Wow thanks for the many and quick replies!

    I feel better now. I'll give it a go. I'll also be re-using cassettes from developed rolls (my own after having had them developed at a shop or empty ones I get from the shop).

    Cheers
    Philip
     
  10. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    The only plastic ones I've used are the screw on type, and I preferred them for that reason. But they also seemed to deform less than the metal ones which can easily warp and become un-light tight (while the plastic are, well, more plastic and seem less prone to warping.) I have also dropped the metal ones on the spool and had the cap pop right off, which has never happened when I've dropped the plastic ones.

    Disclaimer - my experience with metal film cartridges dates from the 1980s and was pretty brief before a friend recommended the plastic, which I was happier with and have used ever since. It's quite possible today's metal ones are better. I don't use much of either anymore as the savings from bulk loading are much less than they used to be. I do load some Arista branded Tri-X though, partly because I like shorter loads than 36x for the stuff I usually use it for.

    I have never had any problem with static or dust with the plastic. I can see it as a possibility but it seems a stretch to me in practice. I blow out the felt with canned air and keep them in sealed bags when not in use.
     
  11. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    I like the plastic ones best but be forewarned: On the cap that screws in, there is a tiny 'arm' of plastic that fits perfectly over the felt. Make sure that it does because you can screw the cap on where that arm will be 180 degrees away from the felt. I once got a Russian plastic cassette that did not have this arm, though. I did not trust it to effectively block all light. - David Lyga
     
  12. AgX

    AgX Member

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    I guess all plastic cartridges with that "arm" originate from the same manufacturer: AP
    At least the ones I saw all looked the same.
     
  13. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    Perhaps, AgX, but I do not know why the Russian ones did not have that important arm, whose purpose is to block light at the most vulnerable point where the film exits the cassette. - David Lyga
     
  14. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Aside of very old cassettes, type 135 metal cassettes (single- and multi-use) do not have that arm either. The idea was that plush protruding at the short side would seal the slit.
    So when starting from the standard type 135 cassette when designing a reusable plastic version with twist cap, one would not necessarily consider an arm.

    I shall have a look at those soviet cassettes.
     
  15. philipus

    philipus Member

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    Someone mentioned that Efke cassettes have screw tops. Is that true and does it go for all types of Efke film?

    Philip
     
  16. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    Correct, ApX, the plush felt sticking out from the sides of metal cassettes is the baffle that the 'arm' on plastic cassettes provides. When you screw a cap onto a cassette, on the other hand, the 'sticking out' of felt becomes impossible to have; thus, the 'arm'. - David Lyga
     
  17. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Whether a cap is screwd on or clipped on, the interference with the plush should be the same.

    But over time a number of type 135 cassettes have been designed, all varying from each other.
     
  18. bobwysiwyg

    bobwysiwyg Subscriber

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    They do seem to unscrew with little effort. To make myself feel better, I put a little blue painter's tape on so that a edge of the tape covers the edge of the cap. It gives me something to make note on as well.
     
  19. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    I use a mini Avery pressure sensitive label for same purpose.

    The spool in the OP first post is not the original pattern it is from a factory crimped cassette, it is more difficult to secure the film to this type, less area to stick to.

    Otherwise it should be ok.
     
  20. philipus

    philipus Member

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    So having now used the plastic cassettes for quite a while I find them reliable. The top does unscrew fairly easily but I secure it with a little piece of duct tape which I also use to mark up/identify the cassette. All in all I'm very pleased with these cassettes.
     
  21. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    +1

    I've used them for more then a decade now, no problems.
     
  22. tokam

    tokam Subscriber

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    I've been using the plastic cassettes successfully since around 1990. No problems with light leakage.

    One small issue I've found is that after taping the film to the spindle, the slot between the light traps on the cassette can be a bit difficult to locate at times and the cassettes are a bit tricky to stretch open a couple of mm to locate the slot and slide over the film.

    I still have about 50 Ilford cassettes from the late 80's - early 90's which are a delight to load. The modern metal cassettes are very light guage metal and I have occasionally damaged them when attempting to press on the end caps. The very edge of the cassette body can bend and distort when pressing on the end cap.