Packing film for travel and conserving space

Discussion in 'New Zealand' started by Krzys, May 13, 2010.

  1. Krzys

    Krzys Member

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    I will be backpacking in NZ this year and plan to take along ~30 rolls of 35mm Tri-X carried between myself and a friend. I will be removing the rolls from their boxes to conserve space and would like to find a nice way to store them in my bag while taking up the least space.

    Does anyone know of any good 35mm roll plastic holders for travel? Or a simple trick to get them together and stored away in a bag - perhaps take the rolls out of their canisters, tape the leader to the body and keep the film in a ziplock bag in a side pocket of the bag?

    Also, I have posted this in the NZ forum just for any advice as to how to get through customs quick and easy with my film and any potential problems or situation advice. It will come with me on the plane on a carry on bag.

    Thanks, Chris
     
  2. werra

    werra Subscriber

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    I would not take the films out from the canisters. Getting rid of boxes should be enough.
     
  3. Krzys

    Krzys Member

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    I've found that I can pack them much tighter without the canisters. Plus they will become a problem of disposal when in intermediate locations. If the film is kept in a watertight ziplock bag then it should be fine...

    However I could put the used film back into the canisters and have more room for labeling. Though I would be carrying empty canisters of air while film is loaded....
     
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    As Werra says keep the film in the canisters or a waterproof food container. Having had a camera written off in a backpack during a heavy rainstorm last year I'd also make sure you have ziplock bags or plastic containers for your cameras and lenses as well.

    Ian
     
  5. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I'd also leave the film in the canisters to keep everything clean and dry. I suppose you could take them out and put them in some kind of long tube, but I'm not sure that gets you much. Presumably you only have one roll per camera loaded at a time, so it's not a lot of empty air space, and they will protect your exposed film, so you don't need to dispose of them en route.
     
  6. andrewkirkby

    andrewkirkby Member

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    I had success by packing lots of 20 films into black bags then putting inside a vacuum sealer. Works very well... You can get these vacuum sealers quite cheap from homewares type places.

    I spent a month in NZ last year for work and i would certainly insist on visual inspection. They use older style X-ray machines at Auckland and Christchurch airports and have potentially much higher radiation levels.

    If you are going through customs i'd say leave in canisters in zip lock bags. They are quite inquisitive.
     
  7. Krzys

    Krzys Member

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    I'm thinking of those green containers designed for compacting film space. You find them in Japan and there is a post on John Sypals blog about them (Valerian).

    I will look for it.

    Thanks for the advice. The plan is to have 3 cameras loaded at all times.
     
  8. Krzys

    Krzys Member

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  9. Thingy

    Thingy Member

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    Only 30 rolls of 135 film!!! :rolleyes:

    I took my Ebony (large format camera) to Spitsbergen last Summer and took 5 boxes of Fuji Quickload film (100 sheets of 5x4)...

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Krzys

    Krzys Member

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    I shoot in a rational and conservative style :tongue: However I might be doing a lot of bracketing in the snow..... oh dear
     
  11. werra

    werra Subscriber

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    "In the snow" I'd rather drop one film from the canister instead of 10. Or even 5.
     
  12. Krzys

    Krzys Member

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    Onto the ground?
     
  13. werra

    werra Subscriber

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    Onto the ground, into the snow, whereever. Maybe I'm just overcautious :smile:
     
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  15. Krzys

    Krzys Member

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    If I can load an M2 one handed then I can do anything....
     
  16. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    I'd keep them in the plastic cans. Keeps dust and moisture out for the most part. When you get done shooting, just pop them back in. They aren't that much larger than the roll of film.

    If you want to keep some kind of structure to your load of film, you could tape a bunch of plastic cans together in a block. I'd put them all in a big ziploc freezer bag or some other kind of waterproof container.
     
  17. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    We were in New Zealand this past October -- it rained 8 out of 12 days. I was using 120 film and kept it in ziplock bags. The plastic canisters for 35mm is an added protection. An outfitting shop should have small bags probably waterproof that clip to a belt. Find one the size that will work for you. That would provide easy access without having to go into a backpack when you want to change rolls.
     
  18. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    Thinking about this a bit further, those little cases you linked to look cool. Anyone know of something available in the US like that? Or what small Pelican case stores 5-10 rolls of 35mm film snuggly?
     
  19. Krzys

    Krzys Member

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    jeffreyg, the belt is a great idea thanks! perhaps a fanny pack haha.

    Tim Gray, from what I can see Japan Exposures is the only reliable source...Now if I can find out if they are waterproof and sealed tight...
     
  20. Craig Swensson

    Craig Swensson Member

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    Customs? just like anywhere else in the world, Try not to sweat, don`t dart your eyes all over the place and keep your hands as still as possible and you will be through real quick.
    regards
    CW
     
  21. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Hi Krys, If you get some plastic slide boxes the kind that slides come back from the processors in you can fit four cassettes in each of them, and put rubber bands round them to keep them closed, so with eight boxes you can carry all the film in a very small space and keep them clean and dry.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 16, 2010
  22. naugastyle

    naugastyle Member

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    This year I began experimenting with always leaving film cassettes in the plastic canisters to see if it would cut down on the scratches I get from dust getting onto the leader/felt. I'll admit that I didn't exactly take notes on the results, but my observations were that I got the same amount of scratches as before; which is to say, rarely and unpredictably.

    For travel, I generally carry my film in a gallon-size freezer-thickness plastic zip bags. The most I have carried with the canisters is 40 (I do not have separate check-in luggage). For an upcoming trip I will need minimum 70 rolls (50 days of travel--and although my average at the end of a trip is always barely over one roll per day, I'm worried about being too conservative) and I am not sure yet what I'll do about canisters. If they don't fit, I probably won't bring them.

    I've recently been working on a project where I shoot 3-5 rolls within a few hours, never removed from their canisters until use, only in one camera. Usually I have no scratches, but for a couple shoot days, one roll would have (minor) scratches while the rest wouldn't. I'm considering the possibility that some particle got on the film in the wash stage and scratched its way down the emulsion as the water dripped off..which would still mean the canisters didn't necessarily do much. While in the zipped plastic bag the cassettes and leaders do rub against each other, I do keep it zipped any time I'm not taking film in or out...I don't think too much dust is introduced. I don't tape the leaders down.

    I know it doesn't seem like the canisters are much bigger than the cassettes but it depends on how you travel and what kind of luggage you have. I've found the difference to be significant, even though I went ahead and made space for them on the last couple trips.

    Those egg-crate-esque Japan exposures film holders seem cool, but for the way I pack the film into my carryon, they're not practical...I need a more malleable mass of film, as un-structured as possible. But your packing style may be different.

    Extra plastic bags are useful on any backpacking trip, whether you're a photographer or not. In my case, I take film from the main stash gallon bag and pop a few rolls into a quart-size bag that goes into my daybag once I get wherever I'm supposed to be. I also separate into multiple gallon bags when a trip has distinct parts so I know which is which when I get home...like last year when I had 4 days at a wedding in Belize and then went to El Salvador for 9 days alone. This time I have 10 days of a family trip to China/Taiwan which I will segue into a solo trip to Indonesia. I want two clearly marked separate bags of film...both to feel safe when I'm running down my mental checklist each time I'm packing up for a new place but also to know what to develop first when I get home :smile:.
     
  23. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    I use these boxes made by Fuji, they can be got at Japanexposures:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  24. verney

    verney Member

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    Those were actually mentioned on the first page. Where can I get a 120-version of those?
     
  25. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    Oops! I should read a bit closer! I've never seen 120 versions.
     
  26. Thingy

    Thingy Member

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