Need better tape to secure film.

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Mike Kennedy, Jun 4, 2008.

  1. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

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    Another failure in the field when my bulk loaded film became detached from the cartridge spool.I use cassettes from my local lab and tape the end of the factory one to my bulk film with scotch tape (on both sides).
    I've used masking tape with the same frustrating results.Doesn't ruin the film but renders your camera unusable until it can be opened in totally dark place.Is there a better tape? Where can I get it?

    Thanks
     
  2. analogfotog

    analogfotog Member

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    Tape

    Hi, Mike,

    I've always used masking tape, and never had any problems. The trick seems to be to stick the tape on to the base side of the film, over the spool and back on to the emulsion side.

    When I was still bulk loading, I used to bulk load my film in my basement, in total darkness. I had measured the distance from a heavy duty, spring type paper clip, which was securely screwed into one of the overhead floor joists, to another clip, which I had attached to the counter. That distance was correct to get a 35-exposure roll of film, with just enough film allowed for a proper leader and trailer. As I recall, I used to get 19 35-exposure rolls, and a "shorty," which was about 10 to 15 exposures. Or, I could get 18 35-exposure rolls, and two approximately 20-exposure rolls.

    I would start by popping open all of my cassettes, and placing the shells, spools and tops in three different utility containers, the kind you can buy at any hardware store for tools, parts, et cetera. A fourth container stood ready for the loaded cassettes. I would then measure 20 or even 25 pieces of masking tape, the exact length to cover the distance I required, and they were stuck along the counter, for easy removal in total darkness. My scissors were placed, business end down, in one of my rear pockets. Lights out; then, I would open the 100-foot roll of film, remove the tape the manufacturer as placed to secure the end of the film, and I would stick this piece of tape on my trouser leg.

    I would attach the end of the film to the overhead clip, and un-spool it until I reached the clip on the counter. I would then cut it as evenly as I could, and let the film dangle. I would place the spool of bulk film back into the can, and I would grab a spool from my utility bin, stick the tape to the base side of the film, attach the spool, stick the tape to the emulsion side, and VERY carefully roll it up, place it in the shell, secure the lid, and put it in the fourth utility container. The reason for attaching the film to the overhead clip is that when you have exposed and developed the film, you will find that the frame numbers will be where they are when you use factory loads. I have used this method with Kodak, Agfa and Ilford film, and it works.

    The reason you should stick that original piece of tape to your trouser leg, or arm, is that it won't find its way to where you don't want it, like on to the emulsion of one of your rolls. It was 27 years ago, when I was working for a large photofinisher in Toronto, I had to make an adjustment to the paper track in one of the high-speed printers. A piece of tape, which I had removed from a roll of 3-1/2 paper, and stuck lightly to the face of my wristwatch, became detatched, and ended up stuck in the printing gate. That caused the next hour's production, something like 2000-feet of colour paper to end up in the waste bin. I was reprimanded, and warned never to let it happen again. I hasn't, and whenever I work in my darkroom, everything has its place, and is in its place; nothing is left lying around.

    The trick with the tape seems to be to get just the correct length to hold the film to the spool, without having too much; twice as much is not twice as good. It must be attached squarely, without wrinkles. That can be done with a bit of practice. Use a bit of scrap film to practice in daylight, and then close your eyes and try until you can do it first time, every time. Drop me a PM if you have any questions.
     
  3. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    Blue Max Film Splicing tape

    I use it on my bulk loads, and also to join two 120's together end to end to load onto a single paterson style plastic reel. It is not all that sticky on anything other than film base, and it really sticks to itself. It does not loosen while in contact with processing chemicals.

    On my 35mm bulk loads, I cut the film off the spool, rather tha try to get this tape off the end of the film in the dark.

    My roll was found at Burlington Camera for $20. For that price f one 1" wide roll I have what I would estimate to be three lifetimes supply of the stuff, at the rate that I use it.
     
  4. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear Mike,

    Scotch Magic tape should work without problems. I've used it for many years. I would remove any vestige of tape from the spools you get and using one piece of tape, start on one side of your new film, continue around the spool and finish on the other side of the film. I have used this for literally hundreds of rolls and never had one come loose.

    Good luck with your future rolls, whatever method you choose.

    Neal Wydra
     
  5. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    There is masking tape and then there is masking tape. The better brands (more $) will do the job better than the cheap, house-brand variety. You're doing it the right way, tape on both sides, but the good tape will hold.
     
  6. patrickjames

    patrickjames Member

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    I use gaffers tape when I bulk load. It won't fail and it is reusable as well since it has a special adhesive on it. Masking tape is a waste of time in my opinion, but that is just my opinion.
     
  7. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    My sympathies. There must be few thing that are more frustrating, especially if your in the field and there's no darkroom handy. I use re-useable cassettes such as Jessops sell, which can be unscrewed and re-assembled and masking tape has worked fine here but I have tried to dissasemble factory cassettes(Ilford) and found that every time it was almost impossible to take apart without at least slight damage and was then very dificult to re-assemble so how do you guys manage it?

    An alternative which I think I have seen posted involves simply sticking the bulk film to the end of the factory film. That way the cassette is undamaged and the factory spool is intact and is built in such a way that the original piece film will never break free. The other advantage is that factory cassette seem to allow the film to wind on and back more freely. Sounds great but my worry would be this.

    1. What tape is both strong enough and thin enough to pull the bulk film into the cassette, given that there is a two film overlap( how much?) and thus double thickness and to ensure that there is no breakage as happened to the OP?

    pentaxuser
     
  8. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    Electrician's tape is hard to get off when you're trying. The only time I have had it fail on 35 mm was when there was not enough tape to allow at least 1/2 inch on each side of the film.
     
  9. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    I've been using that green masking tape from 3M wrapped once around the spool, the applied only to the base side of the film. Haven't had a failure yet.
     
  10. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    I think the problem is he is reusing factory loads. So he can't wrap the tape around the spool.
     
  11. Reinhold

    Reinhold Subscriber

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    Pat Gainers' got it right... use electrical tape.

    Nothing else works as reliably. It's relativly thin, conforms to the spool nicely, and will ...not... let go.
    It's a complete "repair kit in a roll". Tons of other uses for the photographer. Toss a roll in your photo bag...

    Reinhold

    www.classicBWphoto.com
     
  12. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    The problem isn't the cassettes, it's the tape! I use both the take-apart/reloadable cassettes from Kodak & Kalt and the ones I get from the mini-lab that hold "regular" rolls of film. However, I use GOOD masking tape and have been for 30 years and never a problem. One time I did used the cheap tape and had problems. As soon as I went back to good tape, end of problem.

    Two handy things you can take along with you (space and weight permitting); a black/opaque film canister and a changing bag. The changing bag is obvious and the cansiter is to put the film from the camera into.
     
  13. KD5NRH

    KD5NRH Member

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    Hmmm...does anybody sell the Ilford-type spools with the slot-and-post attachment? With all the companies making decorative paper punches for scrapbooking, I'd think one of them could make a die to cut the end of the film to the right shape for that spool.
     
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  15. jmcd

    jmcd Member

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    Mike,

    Scotch, among others I bet, makes masking tape in different grades of adhesion. For the purpose of securing 35mm film to the spool, I can recommend Scotch #2020 High Adhesion. It is plenty tenacious for the task.
     
  16. yellowcat

    yellowcat Member

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    If I understand correctly you are re-using cassettes by taping the film to the tail end of the original film sticking out of the cassette. See if your local lab will sell you some splicing tape as used to attach film to the leader card in roller process machines.
     
  17. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    Yes, this is good tape as well. You still have to put it on both sides of the film, tho'.
     
  18. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Gaffer tape. Best tape ever. Strong bond, easily removable, tearable by hand, reusable...
     
  19. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

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    Thanks all!
    Pentaxuser & Nick are correct.I reuse film cassettes that I get from my local photo store because sometimes I use a DX reading camera.I shall have to look into getting some good quality masking tape.The stuff I used was el-crappo.
    I did get a bit of film splicing tape from the tec. at Harvey Studio's which I will try tonight.

    Thanks
     
  20. Fred Aspen

    Fred Aspen Member

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    Howdy,

    I bought a 2" wide roll of the blue masking tape at the local Home Depot/Lowe's paint department and cut a 1/2" wide strip x 2" and use that to fasten the bulk film to the short tail on the cassettes that I get from the local grocery store processor. Never had a failure and it is easy to peel off (leaves no residue) once I have the film loaded on the reel for processing (I don't rewind all the way when I finished exposing and re-use the cassette). I marry the two ends together on the back and then fold over to the emulsion side. The roll has lasted for years.

    Been doing that for almost 5 years with zero failures.

    Fred
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2008
  21. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Thanks. That sounds ideal. I had forgotten about splicing tape which was designed to be invisible so thin, but very strong and hadn't realised that a mini-lab might have some. I thought it was a cine/movie tape only.

    It seem to me that a regular supply of used cassettes from a mini-lab, used once and thrown away with splicing tape is the best of all worlds. No need to worry about when the re-usable cassettes velvet lips start to wear out, nor whether the re-usable ones will retain their free running qualities.

    The ones I use from Jessops are OK but cause my auto windback motor to labour more than the factory ones.

    pentaxuser
     
  22. Paul Verizzo

    Paul Verizzo Member

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    What is the width of the tape? One inch wide tape obviously has 1/3 more strength and stickiness than 3/4 inch, the most common.

    I use packaging tape, the kind with fiberglass in it. It can't be broken and the adhesive is very strong but not gooey.

    Of course, taping new film to an old film "trailer" is nowhere near as reliable as taping the film, over the core, and then again on the film's other side.
     
  23. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

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    I tried out "splicing tape" last night and it does the trick.Actually loaded 2 cassettes with old film and froze both then heated one in the oven to 100c and let the other warm to room temp.Used my ole'Nikkormat beater as a camera and neither spool became detached.
    Just purchased a roll from the photo department at Harvey Studio's.($6.00)
     
  24. Paul Verizzo

    Paul Verizzo Member

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    Good test.

    I especially liked your (!!) heat portion. Some adhesives get real gooey, like electricians tape.
     
  25. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    Boiling tape.

    Now why would one boil one's camera before using it? I guess for the same reason one boils electrical connections.:D
     
  26. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

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    Oops! Yes,a 100c camera would be a little too hot to handle.Oven set to 100F to replicate the hottest summer weather around here.