Reload trick

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by alanrockwood, Sep 6, 2009.

  1. alanrockwood

    alanrockwood Member

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    Here is a trick for using C-41 reloads. It solves the following problem: some commercial developing outfits won't process home-loaded C-41. The solution is to obtain some once-shot ordinary C-41 commercial film cassettes... Kodak, Fuji, or whatever. In a dark room you tape the film from your exposed reload to the stub of film on the commercial cassette. You then wind your film into the commercial cassette.

    You should first cut the leader on your reload square before you try taping it to the film stub of the other cassette. Alternatively, you could pull the film out of the reloaded cassette (in the dark of course) and then tape the end opposite to the leader.

    With this scheme the company does not know they are processing reloads.

    Of course, the other way to do it is to not use reloadable cassettes to begin with. Just do the reload by taping to the stub of once-shot commercial C-41 cassettes.
     
  2. Jim Michael

    Jim Michael Member

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    Some of the commercial cassettes (usually offbrands) can be opened without prying the lid off, just press the spool end against a table and see if the lid pops off. Then you can tape the film directly to the spool.
     
  3. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    I haven't seen any modern films, other than some really cheapo B&W stuff from China, come in re-useable cassettes for many years now. Who's using them now? Certainly not Kodak, Fuji, or Ilford. Even the ARISTA.EDU Ultra stuff from Freestyle is not packaged in re-useable cassettes.
     
  4. Terrence Brennan

    Terrence Brennan Member

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    Yes, that works, but is it a good idea?

    In a pro lab in which I worked some 19 years ago, wherein I held the exalted position of assistant manager, we had a customer who used to do just that. He was pretty good about making sure that there was C-41 processable film in a C-41 cassette, and E-6 in an E-6 cassettes, but this practice did not sit well with either the owner or manager. Or me.

    In an operation where the film is individually opened and placed on a processing rack or reel, this will work, as long as you accept the problems which may crop up. I am referring to the usual problems with bulk film; dust, dirt and scratches, to name a few. If the film is destined for a high volume operation, the film cassettes are often opened by an automatic machine, a film splicer, in total darkness. These splicers can be quite hard on the cassettes; in fact, most render the cassettes unfit for further use. And, the film is often extracted automatically, pulled out, and stopped, again automatically.

    If the splice you make to join your film to the film stub isn't perfect, the film may jam in the splicer. It may also break, or the splicer may cut the film in the wrong place, applying the heat sealing splicing tape on top of either the tape you have used to make your splice, or on top of the tape the film manufacturer used to join the film to the spool.

    The splicer is designed to cut the film just before the film manufacturers tape, and holds the film in position, for the next roll. It then splices the two rolls together, the end of one roll to the beginning of another. If the heat sealing splicing tape lands on top of the tape you used, then it probably won't make a good splice. These type of splices can release anywhere in the process, in the wet section, or the dryer, anywhere. If the film is destined for a cine processor, I can tell you, from personal experience, that a film break in one of these processors is a very big deal, indeed. Some of these high speed machines have 2000-foot reels of film loaded on them, or about 500-odd rolls of customer film.

    If you want to shoot bulk film, why not have a word with the manager of the lab? I have done that, when I wasn't working for a lab, and have spoken to many, many customers over the years, who wanted whatever lab I was working in to handle bulk film.
     
  5. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    For black and white, Efke and ADOX come in reloadable cassettes.
     
  6. alanrockwood

    alanrockwood Member

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    Terrence,

    I think that most processing companies do not splice film end to end. Kodachrome processing is, or course, and exception.

    In general, processors (at least the minilabs) use film extractors to pull out the end of the film. It is loaded into the machine (perhaps taped to a leader card). The machine then pulls the rest of the film out inside the machine, where it is dark, and automatically cuts the film. They don't actually open the cassettes.

    Possibly the high volume operators may do it differently, but I suspect that most of the high volume producers are using minilab equipment these day. Someone correct me if i am wrong.

    Alan