Unperforated film with 35mm SLR

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by htmlguru4242, Feb 7, 2006.

  1. htmlguru4242

    htmlguru4242 Member

    Messages:
    973
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2005
    Location:
    Sandy Hook,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've been wanting to try to use some microfilm or other odd films in my Canon AE-1, though most, if not all of these films are unperforated.

    Is it possible to use unperforated film in a 35mm camera?
     
  2. Max Power

    Max Power Member

    Messages:
    598
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    Location:
    Aylmer, QC
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    FWIW, I don't see how it could possibly work seeing that most if not all 'regular' 35mm cameras actually use the sprocket holes to advance the film. If you could figure out how to advance the film like a MF camera, you might be able to do it.

    Kent
     
  3. donbga

    donbga Member

    Messages:
    2,084
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    Shooter:
    Large Format Pan
    Simply put, it won't work.

    Don Bryant
     
  4. Kino

    Kino Member

    Messages:
    1,730
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2006
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If you know someone with a Leo Catozzo 35mm polyester tape splicer for motion picture film, have impossible patience and can work in total darkness, you COULD perforate it yourself. The Catozzo is a guillotine type splicer that punches the sprocket holes out of an unperforated bandage of clear polyester tape laid across a join of a butt-splice. It certainly will NOT be pretty, but it should allow the film to transport well enough to test a roll.

    A trip to the local multiplex cinema should produced said device, provided you can cajole them into parting with it for a brief period.

    Of course, they will think you mad as a Hatter, but if you are like me, that's just par for the course...
     
  5. mfobrien

    mfobrien Member

    Messages:
    163
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, M
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    remember, I have a bunch of microfilm stuff for you!
     
  6. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    6,824
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2005
    Shooter:
    35mm
    A few times in my career with 35mm motion picture we have had film go off track and the camera has punched its own set of sprocket holes... before it jammed. It might be possible to run 35mm sprocket-hole-less film in a still camera, and let the sprocket teeth simply claw into the film. It might work in one kind if camera, it might not in another, and it could, very possibly, cause damage to a camera. That being said, I wouldn't hesitate to try it in a beater.
     
  7. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

    Messages:
    4,679
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Location:
    Italia
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Some MF cameras take 35mm film. I wonder if the TLRs adapters for 35mm might handle it.

    Which gone format was unpeforated 35mm? 126?
     
  8. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    6,824
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2005
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Nick is right, That would be the best way to do it. I have done it in a holga, for example.
     
  9. ras351

    ras351 Member

    Messages:
    163
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Location:
    Tasmania, Au
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    126 was close and was 35mm width. It still had a hole along the bottom which the camera used to align the film for the next frame. It might be an option if you could force a 126 camera to cock the shutter and you were able to guess by winding where the next frame would be. Frame size was 28mmx28mm. Of course assuming you can modify the camera finding and getting the film into one of those 126 cartridges might make for some fun times.

    Roger.
     
  10. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

    Messages:
    2,725
    Joined:
    May 18, 2005
    Location:
    Woonsocket,
    Shooter:
    35mm
    FWIW, my Ricoh XR-X 3PF has no sprockets; it seems to wind film by pulling on the take-up spool alone. I can't guarantee that it doesn't use the film's sprocket holes, though; it's conceivable it's got some sort of sensor that uses sprocket holes to count out the frame width. If you've already got the film, I'd be happy to give it a try if you send me a roll. If it works, you could then look for a Ricoh on eBay.

    As to the idea of using a camera to punch its own holes, some of the Soviet cameras have heavy-duty metal sprockets. They'd probably have a good chance of successfully biting through the film. Most newer Japanese cameras I've seen have softer plastic sprockets that I would guess would just dent the film.

    Of course, the film advance in most 35mm cameras is done partly via the sprockets and partly via the mechanical force from the take-up spool. I don't know how much cameras vary in terms of which of these is the more important factor.
     
  11. htmlguru4242

    htmlguru4242 Member

    Messages:
    973
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2005
    Location:
    Sandy Hook,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks for the suggestions; I'm pretty sure that my camera doesn't use the sprockets for winding; the take-up spool actually turns. I certainly don't want to risk it though; I'll see about the film splicer; doing it in the dark shouldn't be too bad, as the holes don't need to be perfect. Seeing as how the microfilm is, at best, ISO 30 - ish, perhaps I could do this under REALLY dim green light; which'll give me some illumination.

    Ah, mfobrien, that microfilm slipped my mind (and my PM folder; delete button happy). I'll contact you about that shortly. I just want to organize my (regular) film in the camera and then a roll or two extra; i'll let you know.

    I believe the instamatic cameras (126 or 127?) used ~35mm film with holes along the bottom; it was in a cartrige. I remember making a pinhole camera from one of these cartriges with cardboard and turning the reels to advance ...
     
  12. Oldtimer Jay

    Oldtimer Jay Member

    Messages:
    60
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hi,

    A Canon EOS Rebel G which sell for $50 or so with lens on E bay ( and to the best of my knowledge all the EOS cameras) uses infra red light to determine film spacing and has no sprocket teeth.
    It should work fine for your application and will take nice pictures to boot.
    Your idea makes we think I need to buy some of the 5 inch wide panatomic aero film and cut it into unperforated strips . I do love that Panatomic, and maybe this way I could get some fresh dated film instead of the fossil film I have been using.

    Jay L
     
  13. Rlibersky

    Rlibersky Member

    Messages:
    779
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2005
    Location:
    St Paul MN
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    What is the unperforated film used for? I mistakenly bought some 160VC a year or so ago. Have not been sure what to do with it, right now it os a spacer in my freezer.
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

    Messages:
    4,679
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Location:
    Italia
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Is it 35mm? I think some sort of large roll camera must have used it. The bigger formats are all like that. 46mm and 70mm. OTOH both of those can be used for other cameras. 46mm I think hand rolled for 127 and of course 70mm for 70mm.

    Maybe 828 was unperforated 35mm?
     
  16. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

    Messages:
    1,845
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    Location:
    North Caroli
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    828 was almost unperfed; most 828 cameras will work, more or less, with unperfed film.

    As it happens, I've recently repaired and been shooting a Bantam RF, one of if not the last 828 camera made by Kodak. I've been using cut-down 120, with the backing left on it, cut from the 6x4.5 track edge. If the Bantam didn't have a friction roller winding stop, I'd be able to get decent frame spacing using the numbers on the backing -- which means used 120 backing could supply a framing track to use unperfed microfilm in an 828 camera.

    Most other 828 models used a feeler finger, identical in operation to that in 126 and 110 cartridge camers, to automatically stop winding, but unlike the plastic cartridge formats, the cameras depend on that feeler *only* to stop the film advance, rather than to unlock the shutter; as a result, almost all 828 cameras can be used with unperfed film, by manually framing through the red (or green) window, just as you'd do with 127 or 120.

    Cut the backing to 35 mm width on the 6x4.5 track side. If you want to be "original" cut the film to 8 frames (for this purpose, that'd be about 16 inches) and then leave a tail of 8.5 inches after the last number; cut the leader to 7 inches from the film start (at the same location as the 120 had). However, with modern films and backing, thinner than those available in the 1930s, you can just as easily cut the film to 32 inches and use a full length 120 backing with the leader and tail cut to half their original lengths, and get 16 exposures on an original 828 spool (I've done it). I will note that it's a lot less work (IMO) to cut down existing 120 than to respool anything onto the cut-down backing...

    There were also 35 mm long-roll cameras used for stuff like school photos; they used unperfed film, took (IIRC) a 33 mm wide frame but I don't recall how long it was (the transport was vertical in the one I remember from grade school, but I don't honestly remember if that one was 35, 46, or 70 mm). And of course school photographers *never, ever* let loose of the negatives, figuring that reprints were a significant fraction of their profit (I guess -- I don't recall ever ordering one after the initial order of framing size, pass-around, and wallet sheets).
     
  17. htmlguru4242

    htmlguru4242 Member

    Messages:
    973
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2005
    Location:
    Sandy Hook,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yep, Donald, I've seen those long-roll cameras for school photos before; they took an entire 100 foot roll of film; kind of cool, though now everything seems to be going digital ...
     
  18. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

    Messages:
    1,670
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Many microfilm cameras use unperforated film.
     
  19. smilla

    smilla Member

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2009
    Shooter:
    35mm
    It should be fine

    ''I don't see how it could possibly work seeing that most if not all 'regular' 35mm cameras actually use the sprocket holes to advance the film.''

    But the Canon AE-1 isn't one of them.
    You'll be fine with any camera that has a manual wind on as these models generally have a slot in the wind on spool that you insert the tongue of the film into. This is usually enough to pull the film on when you wind. The perforations assist this and help keep the film in place but are by no means essential.
    I have run unperforated film through my Nikon Fm2 without any ill consequences and it's internal mechanics are identical to the Canon AE-1 (which I also have although have never run an unperforated film through).
    What you will find is that the film tends to slip about a bit more than it should and I would also recommend that you only put through relatively short films (20 exposures or so).
    If you're worried about the film not ''pullng'' you could also try taping the end to the wind on spool to give it extra security. Obviously this means you will not be able fully rewind it in order to change films and I wouldn't recommend you try rewinding a taped film in any camera with an automatic rewind.
    I certainly fail to see how you could possibly damage an AE-1 running an unperforated film through it:smile:. Why don't you run a small test strip through?
     
  20. nyoung

    nyoung Member

    Messages:
    371
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2006
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Just for the record, a friend of mine who used to be in the school photo business would cut off unused portions of his 100' rolls of unperfed 35mm at the end of each days shooting and spool it into carts for his SLRs.

    He shot a lot of it in Minoltas, Canons and Nikons all through the 80s and 90s. In all of those cameras I am familar with, all the sprocket post does is hold the film in line and trip the exposure counter as the film goes by.

    The company he worked for didn't care about the end rolls. They knew as well as he did that it wasn't economical to start a day when you were to shoot 500 kids with a 20' roll in the camera that would have to be changed less than an hour into the work day.

    BTW 35 non perf kodak film is still available through B&H. The school photographer, who will be shooting the underclassmen in the high school where I work, will be shooting the hundred foot rolls. He tells me that there are two shooters working for his company that still shoot film and the company has promised to support them until they decide to retire.
     
  21. Terrence Brennan

    Terrence Brennan Member

    Messages:
    300
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Location:
    Ottawa, Onta
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Long roll cameras

    When I worked for a photofinisher in the 1980s, a fair bit of our business was from school photographers. They mostly used Camerz cameras, and the format was 33 x 44 mm, on unperfed 35mm film, AFAIR.

    Here's a link with an image of a typical camera: http://www.rockymountainfilm.com/equipment/Camerz camera.htm
     
  22. smilla

    smilla Member

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2009
    Shooter:
    35mm
    amend that

    You've really got me thinking now.
    I tried running an unperforated film through my Canon AE-1 today and I can't get it to work.
    It's all about pulling power - oo er - I'll wrack my brains and see if I can remember how I did it. It was quite a long time ago.
     
  23. smilla

    smilla Member

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2009
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Some progress

    I have remembered what the crucial difference is.
    You load the film in the dark without a cassette which eases the friction so that the wind on spool can take the weight of pulling the film through.
    Obviously this makes for more hassle but not as much as finding someone to manually perforate your films.
    HOWEVER, I have been loading and winding an unperforated film through both my FM2 and Canon AE-1 and one in five times the film gets stuck halfway through.
    The problem is that the leverage from the manual wind on device goes primarily to the sprocket spool rather than the wind on spool. I tried taping the end of the film to the sprocket spool and this would work if there was sufficient room around it to take the film.
    I can't believe that this is an insurmountable problem and I'm going to have a chat with camera mechanic I know. I think the answer is to somehow cement the wind on spool to it's shaft to give you greater leverage or maybe even replace the wind on spool with a different one.
    I will report back.
    :confused:
     
  24. lxdude

    lxdude Member

    Messages:
    6,921
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    Location:
    Redlands, So
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Remember wind on spools use a clutch to allow them to turn backwards for rewinding. That limits their winding torque. Maybe that could be tightened some. I don't know if any cameras had a direct connection which would disengage with the rewind button, instead of a clutch, but that would work well.
     
  25. AgX

    AgX Member

    Messages:
    11,168
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    That clutch or rather friction clutch by which the take up spool is driven by the sprocket wheel in the classic set-up is not intended for rewinding, but to compensate that the take up spindle grows by taking up film and thus steadily the rotation ratio between both to has to change.
    For rewinding the sprocket wheel would be disengaged from the transporting/cocking lever.

    Another aspect is that some cameras have got a pair of pressure wheels which push the film onto the sprockets. With unperforated film this will make it difficult for the sprockets to rotate under film.
     
  26. dynachrome

    dynachrome Member

    Messages:
    974
    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Unperforated 35mm film

    Most 35mm cameras would be damaged by forcing unperforated film through them. If you must use this film type in a regular 35mm camera then you might cut it down to 24mm. If the take-up spool can pull the film through properly then the sprockets will just turn without engaging any sprocket holes. The problem will then come if you want to use a small tank to develop the film. If you use roller or dip & dunk processing you will be OK. A reel or apron might leave marks in the image area.