Rolling your own : one caveat

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by AOCo, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. AOCo

    AOCo Member

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    Hello fellow film shooters.

    Today I shot my first roll of bulk film loaded reusing a canister.
    Everything went fine, I set to make a 16 exposure film. Actually I could shoot 17 frames, but there was
    a problem : for obvious reasons, the last frame is burnt, because it's the part of film that was exposed
    while I was loading the canister into the rolling machine (not sure how to call it, the "lead" ?).

    Anyhow, this makes me think that going forward, I should settle for a number of frames (24) as I roll,
    and stop shooting at frame 23 or 22 to be on the safe side. Any other suggestion ?

    Cheers,

    Lou
     
  2. Felinik

    Felinik Member

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    I add about 4 frames on a 36 roll, in order to keep down the waste of frames you mention I only roll 36 rolls, less would be too many frames in total wasted.
     
  3. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    That's how I reason too. Per roll the level of waste is the same, so the economic incentive to load our own film from bulk becomes smaller the shorter the rolls are. Pretty simple economics.
    I suppose another incentive to 'roll our own' could be to make rolls that are of a length that is appropriate to how we work, disregarding the economics of it. I've always wanted to have 20 and 30 exposure rolls. It's easier to keep track of in my head, and I often cut rolls short at that many exposures, because the lighting conditions have drastically changed, or I move on to another project.
     
  4. AOCo

    AOCo Member

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    You're right. In my case, it is not just the economics. Being used to 120 film, I sometimes can't see the end of a 36 exposure film.

    Another motivation for rolling my own also has to do with reducing waste.
     
  5. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    I load forty frames to get a thirty six exposure roll.

    If you are careful as you handle the film, so as not to pull out too much extra film when loading a cartridge and you are conservative with pulling out too much leader when loading the camera, you can get thirty five or thirty six clean exposures. I usually get thirty four plus one "maybe" exposure at the end of the roll.

    This, I don't mind because I often scan my film for proofing purposes and for display on computer/Internet. The clear frame at the beginning of the roll and the black frame at the end gives me the light/dark references from which to adjust my scanner. Once I have those two references set, I can batch scan the whole roll in about half the time it would take to do every frame individually.

    i don't mind giving up a frame or to if I can have a benefit later on.
     
  6. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    I reload 35mm in total darkness, which saves those last frames.
     
  7. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    add two frames at the front and three at the end/leader to allow for this problem. Watch your film counter -- you can't squeeze that extra shot on with bulk.

    the extra is also why I don't recommend short rolls like you did unless speed is of the essence -- you can get 20 rolls of 36 out of a 100 feet, but if you roll 24s or even 20s you double the amount of waste and, obviously, reduce the amount of film you actually shoot to the point you are no longer saving money.

    not sure what ur shooting, but freestyle's arista professional, the re-spooled tri-x in a purple box, actually costs the same whether you buy 20 rolls already spooled or buy it in bulk -- if that's your film of choice, save bulk loading hassles and increase yur supply of empty film cans in the bargain.
     
  8. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    When I bulk loaded 35, I only left about an inch sticking out of the light trap (the minimum), taped on the spool, and turned off the lights. Then do the rest in total darkness.
     
  9. GRHazelton

    GRHazelton Subscriber

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    Why do the rest in total darkness?
     
  10. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    I don't need the lights on to do it. [double entendre?] So after I roll it and chop the film, I can feed enough back into the dark part so only an inch is sticking out.
     
  11. mrred

    mrred Subscriber

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    I don't care about the last frame. I've gotten so used to it, it's instinctive to re-shoot. It's more important to only roll what I need/want. If I only want to shoot 5 frames, that's all I roll.

    My F6 can automatically rewind after a set number of frames, if it were to really bug me. I haven't checked, but the F100 might too.
     
  12. Pioneer

    Pioneer Member

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    One of the reasons I hand load is to save money, much the same as a lot of people I imagine. But, just as important I wanted to be able to custom load specific lengths as needed.

    If I intend to travel I usually load 36 exposure rolls. Likewise if I am shooting for a specific project.

    The rest of the time I load a lot of 12 exposure rolls because I find that length very comfortable for my day-to-day work.

    If I am working from 400 foot rolls I load in the dark for obvious reasons. But if I am working with 100 footers I typically load out of a bulk loader and work in the light.

    I now load to the Leica cassettes or the Contax cassettes because they are much nicer to work with (and will almost certainly outlast me.) The Leica LTM cassettes (FILCA I believe) seem to fit and load beautifully in my Prinz 66 loader with the Contax cassettes work best in my Watson.

    For my Contaflex and Contarex backs I use regular, metal re-loadable cassettes. After about 5 reloads (I make a mark with some white-out on the cassette) I tend to toss these out. I have never had any scratches from dirt in the felt but I have had a couple fall apart on me after passing the 5 load mark. It is one of the reasons I much prefer the Leica or Contax cassettes. I am sure they can probably be worn out but it isn't likely that I'll be doing it in my lifetime at only 3 to 4 hundred rolls of film a year.
     
  13. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    Seems like the obvious best practice.

    I've been known to roll a few more frames than I should, then it doesn't fit on a standard stainless-steel reel.

    It's a bear when you don't expect it. I keep a 72-exposure reel for this contingency.
     
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  15. Felinik

    Felinik Member

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    I've been thinking about starting to do this as well, do you use a bulk loader in the darkness or you do it manually?

    Techniques, Advice ?
     
  16. AOCo

    AOCo Member

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    Total darkness is bot an option for me at the moment since I'm currently reusing canisters. I might try to find dedicated reusable ones, then.
     
  17. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Hi Lou,

    I bulk load inside a changing bag while watching television. I always load the entire 100 foot roll and I'm normaly done during a single sitcom (not including laying it all out beforehand). Normally, roll about 36 frames, but rolling fewer is not hard. Trust me, if a clutz like me can do it, you can too.

    Neal Wydra
     
  18. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    I was thinking bulk loader in the darkness.
     
  19. Felinik

    Felinik Member

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    Hmm, just thinking about how it will be to fit the "jacket" of the film roll over the film and on the spool in darkness, already in daylight it can be a bit tricky... Though maybe it's just a matter of practice.
     
  20. cmacd123

    cmacd123 Subscriber

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    I sit in the darkroom, and flip off the lights when I change cassettes in the bulk loader. After the new cassette is in, I turn on the lights and label the Just loaded Cassette, get the parts ready for the next one, then spool the film and flip out the lights to change the cassette.

    I also pull a little out of the new cassette beofre I cut the film, so that I am not pulling any film thorough the light trap of the laoder while the light trap is closed.

    I use an ALDEN 200, so the number of frames that would be fogged if it worked completly in the light is larger tahn with some of the smaller loader.s
     
  21. SpunkySpine

    SpunkySpine Member

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    Bulk loads

    When I load bulk 35 onto cassettes, I always load 36 plus a couple frames.
    Load the camera normally and shoot however many frames I want that day.

    If I want to change to B&W mid-roll, I wind my color film back into the cassette but try to leave the leader out for easy reloading.
    I mark how many exposures I took on the removed roll onto a piece of masking tape to stick to that roll.
    If I happen to wind the leader into the cassette, I use a film leader retriever tool to get it back again.

    When I want to use more of the same color roll again, I load my roll into the camera, set my shutter to its fastest speed and keep my lens cover on the camera until I advance the number of exposures already used plus one frame to insure against double exposure.
     
  22. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    I haven't got experience working in the dark, my bulk loading has all "to-date" been done in daylight. So this is something I'm thinking of doing "next time"...

    One thing about coming to the end of a roll and "knowing" it's not going to come out... Like the first few frames of a roll, you "know" they aren't going to come out either...

    If you come to the end of a roll while shooting, it's easy enough to change rolls and take a couple shots of what you were shooting at that moment.

    So maybe it's not really a big deal.
     
  23. Felinik

    Felinik Member

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    This is how I do it too, I always load my rolls with 40 frames, and when I reach 35, I tend to use 36 and 37 for "non critical shots", and if there's still anything left after that I shoot right out in the sky etc.

    :smile:
     
  24. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    I use a bulk loader. Be careful and tape the film to the spool accurately. Once the film is secured in the cartridge and the bulk loader closed, lights could be turned on. However, there's no need for lights just to wind the film into the cartridge. Usually I respool 100 feet of film in one boring session.
     
  25. mhcfires

    mhcfires Subscriber

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    I don't use a bulk loader. I use the Leica cassettes, loading in the dark. I stretch out the length between my outstretched arms, trim the end to insert into the cassette, wind it by hand and pop it into the cassette. It doesn't take long, I have about fifteen cassettes, takes about twenty minutes to load them all up. I can trim the leaders in the light.
     
  26. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

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    I use 3 for leader, x for required number of frames, and 3 for the exposed tail which becomes the leader in the camera.

    If you can figure how to tape the film to the spool in the dark, close it up, then turn on the lights, you will get a few more frames.

    I have since gone to a bench winder where the film goes off the big roll to a spool in the dark. Not for the inexperienced.