Pulling a partial roll

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by Denis K, Jul 9, 2009.

  1. Denis K

    Denis K Member

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    When I was about 15 years old I used to add sugar to my coffee. One day I decided to try drinking it black and after about two weeks I thought to myself, "Why would I ever want my coffee any way but black?"

    Over the years I've always wondered if I would have the same experience if I started the habit of pulling a partially exposed roll of film from my Leica whenever I have the desire to change film types. By pulling, I mean leaving a leader hanging out so that I can reload the partially exposed roll back in the camera and pick up where I left off (or close to that point).

    So my question is for those that do this on a daily basis, was your experience like my coffee experience, or do you only do it if you absolutely need to?

    Furthermore, for those that do this a lot; what is your technique?

    Denis K
     
  2. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

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    Hi Denis,
    I do it quite a bit.Nothing like developing a roll of film in the heat of summer to find frames you took in mid winter.
    On my manual cameras I follow the same technique as you by leaving a bit of the leader out.Remove the roll and put it in a film can.I use painters tape and a "Sharpie" marker to record the date/location/camera/lens/# of exposures then pop it into my freezer.Rewind the film slowly to avoid scratches.
    When I reload the film I make sure to advance the frames 1 or 2 past the last exposure.

    Works great.
     
  3. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Subscriber

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    Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry9000/4.6.0.167 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/102 UP.Link/6.3.0.0.0)

    I second Mike. I even did it in the middle of a wedding a couple of times. Handy when you know the film in your bag will do the job and the film loaded on won't.
     
  4. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    I have taken a couple of rolls out with the intention of putting them back in but I have never actually got round to using up the rest of the roll.

    I like my coffee with the coffee taken out and some tea added.



    Steve.
     
  5. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    I do this occasionally. To keep things straight I do the following.

    I mark the film as soon as it's pulled with a sharpie or pencil/pen on tape with GT 14, which means "go to 14" when reloading, which is a couple of frames past the frame count when I pulled the film.

    I also leave the leader out when I finish a roll that I'm going to process myself, so for finished rolls, the leader gets bent "backward" around the metal film canister, emulsion side out, when it goes into the plastic protective canister. For partially finished rolls, the leader is rolled around the outside of the film canister as delivered new.

    Using tape, or marking "GT XX" on the leader itself reduces the chance of mistaking the film for a new roll when reloading.

    Lee
     
  6. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Why not just put in the darkslide and swap the backs? I do that all the time with my Hasselblad. It is easy!

    My bad! :D

    Steve
     
  7. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    I don't bother with this anymore. There is too much potential for confusion and error. Just load another camera and shoot with it instead. These days, with the prices of film cameras, there's no impediment to having more than one.

    My equivalent to not adding sugar to the coffee is ensuring I finish a roll in a shooting day. Film is cheap; if I feel like I'm nearly done I just explore some angles and finish off the roll.
     
  8. fotch

    fotch Member

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    I would either plan ahead and use shorter rolls or carry a second body, which is what I usually do.
     
  9. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    I have done it on occasion when I need to change film speeds or go frm B&W to color. I leave a little bit of leader and write on it with a marker the frame # I was on. Then I would leave the lens cap on and advance a frame past that point to avoid a possible double exposure. if I was 5 or less frames from the end I would just use the film up on anything that was around.
     
  10. DannL

    DannL Member

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    Occasionally I will cut a film in mid-roll and develop those frames. I'll then trim the leader for the next time.
     
  11. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    If you shoot slide film, and it comes back to you mounted, your lab will be disappointed with you when you do this. Best to give them a warning when you drop off or send the film.

    Matt
     
  12. Terrence Brennan

    Terrence Brennan Member

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    Partial rolls

    I do exactly what you do. I also have a technique for using two different ISO speeds, and therefore two different development times, on the same roll of film.

    First, my main workhorses are a pair of motorized Nikon Fs. The motors have countdown frame counters; when they hit zero, even if there is still film on the spool, they stop. You can manually change the position of the frame counter, but I prefer to get 35 exposures on a roll; fits nicely in my Print File film sleeves and onto one sheet of 8x10 paper. I also put a strip on 1-inch wide masking tape on the back of my camera, with the camera and motor number on it, roll number, film type and ISO rating.

    So, let's say that the film in the camera is given its ISO rating for an overcast day, and I have exposed 16 frames; the countdown counter will show 19 frames left. If the sun comes out, and I want to change the development for the conditions I now have, I first note the number of frames exposed, namely 16 (35 - 19 = 16). I then give three blank exposures, and make this note on the masking tape label on the back of the camera: RH 2698 500->16. Underneath it I write: RH 2699 125 20->

    RH is my shorthand for camera R, HP5 film, roll 2698 @ ISO 500, with 16 frames exposed at that ISO. The next line is similar, RH for camera and film, but the ISO rating is now 125, starting at frame 20 to the end of the film. Remember, frames 1 to 16 were exposed at ISO 500, frames 17 to 19 are blank, and frames 20 to the end of the roll will be exposed at an ISO of 125. I also adjust the countdown frame counter, setting it backwards by one or two frames, so I use all of the film on the spool; both of these rolls will be shorter than normal, so I might as well use all of the film. When the roll is finished, I rewind and remove the film, and wind the masking tape label around the cassette.

    When I get to my darkroom, I use a leader puller to extract the leader from the 35mm cassette. I load my cameras the same each time, so I know that the distance from the end of the film leader to the edge of the first image is 188mm. I also know that from the left edge of the first frame to the left edge of the second frame is 38mm. So, I calculate a length of film to be cut off, which is the first part of the roll, exposed in the example above at ISO 500. In this case, with 16 frames exposed, and three blanks, I make the following calculation: I allow 188mm for the leader, and 16 x 38mm for the first 16 frames, plus 1.5 x 38mm for half of those three blanks I exposed. The total length is 853mm, or about 33 9/16-inches.

    I use a large spring paper clip to mark the required length on my work bench, and I have a 100-foot film can and black bag handy. Lights out, and then I pull the film out to the required length, and cut it. I place the length of film into the black bag, and into the film can, and then make sure that I haven't left too much film hanging out of the original cassette. Lights back on, and then I label the cassette and the film can with the necessary information, prior to developing the film.

    I have never split a roll into more than two parts, although I suppose it could be done. I prefer this method to loading, unloading and then reloading a roll in the field. If I am covering an event, I find this easier than juggling rolls of film. If you feel that three frames aren't enough, try four or more, as you please. Chacun a son gout.

    I also do this with my 120 film, as well. I use two blank frames, instead of three.

    And I also drink my coffee black, and have so for more than 20 years.
     
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  13. David William White

    David William White Member

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    If you do this regularly, it might make sense for you to register your film whenever you load it. Put a mark with a permanent marker somewhere on the takeup side of the film transport track. Then when you load a fresh roll, run a line with same marker across the film at your registration mark. That way, when you reload the partial roll later, you can line up your film with your mark, advance N frames, and carry on where you left off. Even if your spacing is a little sketchy, you would only need to advance N+1 'for safety'. Write N on the tongue.

    This same technique is mostly used for purposeful double-exposures, i.e. shoot a roll of one scene, then reload, re-register, and shoot another scene.
     
  14. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I do it sometimes, though usually I rely on having many bodies instead.

    The key is having a marker on hand and using it immediately upon removing the roll. I mark the number of the last frame I exposed, and "reload". Remember that the frame counter tells you the shot number you are about to take, so if it says 24, I write 23.

    Additionally, if I have the time, I tape the leader to the cassette with blue painter's tape so that I do not accidentally load it as if it was a totally unexposed roll.

    Another thing that I do is to advance two frames past where I think I should stop after reloading the film...just to be safe. Thus, the technique eats two frames every time I do it.

    Another variation of this is when you want to develop a half shot roll of film that is still in the camera. In these cases, I do not rewind the film. I open the camera when I am loading the reels and cut off the already-exposed strip. Again, this eats a few frames each time.

    I do not do this on a daily basis, as camera bodies are so dirt cheap. I have seven 35mm SLR bodies that I carry with me when I am "seriously" shooting on a long road trip or something. Two Canon F-1s, Two FTbs, a Nikon F, and two AE-1Ps. They all fit in the same case I would be carrying anyhow, so it is no trouble at all. I usually have three out (the Nikon F with a 135, and two F-1s with a 28 and a 50), all loaded with the same film, and these are my main cameras. I have one camera in the second line loaded with the same film, ALWAYS one loaded with Delta 3200 with a 55 1.2 lens attached, often another loaded with Delta 3200, onto which place a 17 or a 200, or swap my 28 onto, and I keep the others empty for the purpose of using a different film if wanted. I usually end up using two of the other ones for sure, and occasionally the seventh (an AE-1), which is the only one that is packed without a lens attached. I consider that one a true backup in case of mechanical failure, not part of the first or second line that I previously mentioned. However, sometimes even then the particular combination of what film is in what body with what lens does not match up, and I need to do the swaperoo. Total cost for all six of these cameras? Under $400 to purchase (plus about $400 in maintenance over the years).

    The film I normally use are 400 b/w, 3200 b/w, 800 color, 100 color neg., 400 slide, 100 slide, and 64 tungsten. So many different situations on the road......Around town I only carry one camera, and sometimes two.
     
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  15. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    That's a good idea. I am usually far more sloppy than that.
     
  16. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Holy smokes 2F/2F, your like a walking camera store.

    I like the KISS method, less chance for errors and faster since fewer mechanical things to think about. Two camera and several lens, and some form of tripod or support (just in case its needed) is all I have needed.

    If I had to remove a roll unfinished, I would consider it finished, film, even the good stuff, is not that expensive.

    Then again, I remember seeing some pros with 3 or 4 camera hanging from their necks. Must be painful way to make a living.
     
  17. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Like I said, it is only when I am on a serious "expedition", with a place to put a case, and only because it is no trouble at all and actually helps me rather than impeding me.

    FWIW, 3 or 4 cameras with primes is not painful. Changing lenses is, to me. When you are working on certain things, it is far preferable to two cameras with zooms IMO. Lighter, smaller, easier to manage, and better quality pix. When I shot the inauguration, I had five cameras on me with lenses fixed, plus a backup with a body cap on. Three main cameras around the neck: 28, 50, and 135. An AE-1 with a 200 in the coat pocket, an FTb with a 17 in another pocket (which I had brought specifically to hold far above my head with on my monopod for some Hail Mary shots), and a backup AE-1 with a body cap ready to take the place if one of the others failed. It made things easier rather than harder. I HATE changing lenses. The shot is gone by then. AE-1s are so light it is ridiculous. Remember that old cameras are nice and small too. Not like the newer electronic AF beasts.
     
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  18. zesbaugh

    zesbaugh Member

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    I do this all the time when the wife wants some color "documentation" (shoot B/W for myself, camera perpetually loaded with TMAX400).
    Same techique as most others - sharpie and some painters tape to mark last exposure on the can.
    Never felt the need to do it with color film, always finish that roll off or just call it quits. But B/W I refuse to waste a single frame, can't pop down the street and pick it up from the drugstore when I'm out. :mad:
    Having a Maxxum 7 with a "go to" function really helps though, not sure I would attempt with any of my older bodies. :D
     
  19. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

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    Sample of pulled roll.

    My pal's vintage V.W "Hippie Van" taken this spring/Earlier shot of the first winter storm.
     

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  20. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    I like Splenda in my coffee, when I was shooting 35mm b/w I loaded my own so I could make short rolls for short shoots. The main thing is to make the equipment work for you. In college my step dad gave me a huge bag of blended tea that his mother left when she died at 96. She had family in Cornwall England who send it over. It was the strongest blend I have ever had. The bag of tea and college ended about the same time. I went back to coffee after college.
     
  21. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Actually, I also carry two Nikon SLRs - one with C-41 and the other with Tri-X.

    Steve
     
  22. Denis K

    Denis K Member

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    Matt,

    That's a really important point. I normally only get my E6 film sleaved but that brings up the question how good of a job labs do when you ask for a bulk roll scan and you have a gap midroll?

    All,

    Thanks for all the replys and ideas. I'm ready to give it a try and see if you really can teach an old dog new tricks.

    Denis K