Will photofinishers return bulk-loaded cassettes?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by BetterSense, Jun 6, 2009.

  1. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    I have several questions about bulk-loading slide film.

    Do photofinishers need to know the ISO of the film in order to process it? I don't know much about E6...must I use properly DX-coded cassettes?

    If I send my film to Dwayne's in a re-loadable cassette, will they send the cassette back with the film?

    Is it important that I cut the film leader to precisely the right shape, so that it works with their machines?
     
  2. Alex Bishop-Thorpe

    Alex Bishop-Thorpe Member

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    Colour (E6 and C41) is easy in that every film is developed for exactly the same amount of time, no matter what ISO it is. I'm not sure if Dwaynes will return re-loadable cassettes, but you can always email them and ask - I think if you put it in the special lab instructions they will though.
    When they load the film in their machines, the leader is cup off to a straight edge, so how you cut the leader shouldn't matter at all.
     
  3. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I used to bulk load Ektachrome. I stopped because the processing companies felt it was not worth the work to return the 35mm cassettes to me. That made bulk load almost as expensive as buying the film already loaded.

    That was in the late '70's. I stopped bulk loading then.

    Steve
     
  4. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    At one time, they would not return bulk load cartridges hereabouts or in my home town over 300 miles away, so I doubt if they will today. This makes things more difficult due to the difficulty buying cartridges nowdays.

    Of course, when I rolled my own, I processed my own. So......

    The shape of the leader is very important in todays cameras due to the autofeed capability so you might cause a bad feed and a jam at the start. It is not important in the process machine as the leader is cut off square and spliced.

    PE
     
  5. alanrockwood

    alanrockwood Member

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    Unfortunately, some of them will not even process bulk loaded film. For example, in my experience this applies to the sendout lab for walmart's (Fuji I believe). They simply returned the full cassette, unprocessed.

    I think some of the pro labs will process bulk loaded film and return the cassettes, but they tend to be expensive, which kind of defeats the purpose of bulk loading.

    If by chance you could get your hands on some once-shot E-6 cassettes (not bulk-load cassettes) you can bulk load by taping the new film onto the stub of the old film. Then it is not obvious to the processor that you gave them a bulk-loaded cassette, and they may process it. (I recently did this at one of the local mini-labs for C-41 processing.) However, in that case I would not advise asking for the cassette back.
     
  6. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    You can buy a templete to cut the film leader to the same consistant shape. I had one.

    Steve
     
  7. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    Ok, related question: How hard and expensive is DIY E6?
     
  8. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Not hard and not very expensive. Overall, about 2x longer than C41 and about 2x more expensive. This is just a rough estimate for your general information, and not exact. But, no harder.

    PE
     
  9. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Another point is some labs won't process home rolled colour films because they cant be certain of what the film is and whether it may cause issues in the process.

    As Ron (PE) says it's now very easy to process your own colour films, even E6.

    Ian
     
  10. ozphoto

    ozphoto Subscriber

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    We used to process some bulk-loaded films for customers. However, we weren't undertaking mailorders, they would drop off and then collect. As the cannisters were manually removed from the machines, putting them backinto their order envelopes wasn't a problem.

    If you have concerns regarding the "bulk loading" ones, maybe try those that are discarded by the labs. That way it won't matter if they are not returned and are basically free to you. We had a number of people who came in every month or so and asked for empty cans. I used to fill a RA4 paper bag for each of them and once it was full, sealed and named it for them to collect. When you are processing 300 or so rolls a week, it fills pretty quickly! Obviously these days d***** has eaten away at those numbers, but you could still get enough cans to last quite a while.

    Just make sure you tape the film very securely to the remaining film in the can; more than once I had to rescue film simply because they had used ordinary scotch tape to attach. Needless to say these didn't survive very well - minilabs (unlike many pro-labs) aren't kept in separate light-tight rooms. :wink: And the only way to get them out is to open the lid!

    I used to sell rolls of the splicing tape to a few of my regulars - this was good stuff that attached securely and was chemical resistant. Depending upon the relationship you have with your local lab, they might be able to help you out there too.

    - Nanette