Loading a bulk film - max number of frames

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by darkosaric, Mar 15, 2012.

  1. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    Hi,

    I am planning to buy 90 meters long Polypan roll - I am wondering can I put like 40, 45 or even 50 frames in one film cartridge? Are they any limitations in camera that I should be careful (nikon F3, Leica M3, M6)? I don't have any special loader, planing to load them in changing bag manually (guy who sell Polypan will also include 20 empty cassettes from color films from lab).

    thanks,
     
  2. Helinophoto

    Helinophoto Member

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    I don't know about the camera, but I've experienced problems with the developing tank reel when I had a film with 40+ frames on.
     
  3. werra

    werra Subscriber

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    Color film cassettes are a bit tight fit to open and close again. But manageable if nothing else is available.
    45 frames should fit fine, isn't polypan on somewhat thinner base compared to regular? How do you plan to develop that longer roll?
     
  4. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    Color cassettes have a small part of color film outside - so I will just tape polypan on this. Polypan has thinner base. Planing to develop in normal kaiser tank - but I must check this also - good that you told me, I forgot to check how long film I can load on reals.
     
  5. Monophoto

    Monophoto Member

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    There are two limitations - the internal diameter of the cassette, and the diameter of the processing reel.

    There is also the thickness of the film base to consider. Many years ago, Ilford offered a version of HP5 on a base that was thin enough that it was possible to have up to 72 exposures on a strip of film that would fit into a standard metal cassette. It was also possible to buy special reels that would accommodate those longer rolls.

    As a practical matter, I always targeted 35 exposures for bulk loads - because a 35 exposure roll could be cut into seven strips of five frames which would fit into a standard polyethylene archival storage page.
     
  6. georg16nik

    georg16nik Member

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    You might lose some available space for frames if You tape the Polypan F onto that piece of color film, since it all needs to go inside the cassette.
    Polypan F needs light tight cassettes, the plastic ones sold by various dealers works well.
    40,45 is doable.
     
  7. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    When I worked at a university photo unit, we used bulk loaded film. For us, anything beyond 37 was wasted because it didn't fit on the film reels when we processed the film. Also proof sheets were also a problem since the jobs were one sheet per roll of film. We sent out film to a dip and dunk lab and they were pissed that the bulk loaded film didn't fit in their hangers and tanks. Bulk loading is very economical, but we found out that there's always a few frames fogged near the spool and dirty cartridges caused scratches.
     
  8. gorbas

    gorbas Subscriber

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    A long time ago I used to bulk roll from 400' with out any mechanical device and I always had 38 to 40 frames. Those 2 or 4 extra frames from 36 were total pain to deal with. Contact sheets, negative preservers, etc. It's not worth your effort. stay at 36 or less, way easier to deal with. You can fit 40 frames on Paterson reel. Of you need reel for longer length most likely in Warsaw you can find old Lomo (USSR) movie film processing tank. It has capacity of 15m - 16 & 35mm film in one length. Very handy little device. Looks like classic anti tank mine, most likely done on the same casting mould. :smile:)