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  1. #91

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    Hi, gang!

    I'm new here, and this is the thread that sucked me in. Can I live on your tiny island, too?

    I also have been playing with old 126 technology lately. Starting with the $3 Kodaks from the thrift store, but now including a Minolta Autopak, a Kodak 500 and a Kodak instamatic Reflex with wide, normal and tele lenses. I sprung a few months ago for a sealed brick of Konica SR 200 126 film (dated 1994!) on eBay with an eye toward reloading them with Tri-x or something. I have shot 5 rolls of it so far. One was too thin after processing to be of much use, but the other 4 have been surprisingly good. MASSIVE color shift, obviously, but the techs at my local Sam's Club are wonderful, and corrected it in the printing and scanning process.

    One of the reasons I joined the forum was so I could share this tidbit of info: Sam's Club (and therefore, I assume, any other one-hour machine) can do 126 film (C41) with no trouble. It feeds right into the 35mm machine and even gets detected by the machine as 126! Not to discourage you from processing yourself at home, but this is much easier, and pretty cheap besides. The only downside is that the film scanner doesn't have a carrier for 126 negatives, so they run it through the 35mm carrier, which obviously chops off some of the image in the scans and prints, but I can always rescan at home if I ever get a shot important enough to merit that extra step.

    The only thing I do that might be a bit of work for a newbie is to take the film out of the cartridge at home in my darkroom, and roll it into a re-useable 35mm cannister. It's easier for the ladies at Sam's to deal with, and it keeps my precious cartridges safely in my possession!

    I have put one roll of Tri-X through my 500. There was some overlap, but it encouraged me to keep experimenting. here is a shot of my daughter from that roll:

    Prudence by the Window

    I have since acquired the 100' roll of Portra 160 you guys have mentioned upthread, and have tried the hand-punch using the backing paper as a guide method for one roll. Out of a 24 exposure roll, there were maybe 6 pictures that worked. My Instamatic Reflex was not as forgiving as the 500 regarding the perforations! A few places it wound blissfully past 5 or 6 frames before stopping. I didn't mind, though. I just wanted to see how much better fresh film would look, and if the 160 film in a 200 cartridge would be a major issue. The few frames I got tell me that it should work fine, if I can conquer the perfing issue.

    I am grateful to Bill and Harry for the ideas of the cardborad stopper in the hand punch, and the yardstick ideas. Since I have a darkroom at home, I am anxious to try the yardstick idea. It occurs to me that the way to go may be two yardstick. See what you think:

    Take two yardsticks with felt on one side, the entire length of the stick. Lay them together with the felt sides touching. Take that first roll of Konica film that failed (but hasn't been cut yet!) as a template and drill 24 holes through the yardsticks. Then, in the dark, put a strip of the imperf Portra between the yardsticks. Using an appropriate sized hole punch from Sears, work your way down the yardsticks, punching your holes the length of the film. Then attach it to the backing paper, roll it into the cartridge, and away you go!

    I think it'll work. I can't wait to get home and try it! I'll let you know my results....
    Last edited by ratscabies; 02-26-2011 at 10:47 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #92
    hpulley's Avatar
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    Oct 2010
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    I haven't been successful with making my own perforations yet. My 500 is a beater so I cut off the finger. Now I can wind it 2 times per shot for sure single shots or if I want to chance it, 1.5 windings to get more shots per roll. This works perfectly for the roll of 100' Portra and the Rollei Retro 400S (both unperforated) so I have both C41 and B&W to bulk load. I develop both in my basement.

    I'm also buying old Verichrome Pan which works great too and then I have more backing paper to use which seems like the most vulnerable part, the cartridge and spool are tough but the backing paper starts to get crinkled after a while and I suspect it is only a matter of time until it rips. I still have several backups to use, then I'll have to buy more expired film for the paper if nothing else!

    Your yardstick idea sounds interesting. I'm doing my loading in a changing bag so far which is probably why the punching hasn't worked out, just too cramped.
    Harry Pulley - Visit the BLIND PRINT EXCHANGE FORUM

    Happiness is...

  3. #93

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    Feb 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by hpulley View Post
    I haven't been successful with making my own perforations yet. My 500 is a beater so I cut off the finger. Now I can wind it 2 times per shot for sure single shots or if I want to chance it, 1.5 windings to get more shots per roll. This works perfectly for the roll of 100' Portra and the Rollei Retro 400S (both unperforated) so I have both C41 and B&W to bulk load. I develop both in my basement.

    I'm also buying old Verichrome Pan which works great too and then I have more backing paper to use which seems like the most vulnerable part, the cartridge and spool are tough but the backing paper starts to get crinkled after a while and I suspect it is only a matter of time until it rips. I still have several backups to use, then I'll have to buy more expired film for the paper if nothing else!

    Your yardstick idea sounds interesting. I'm doing my loading in a changing bag so far which is probably why the punching hasn't worked out, just too cramped.
    Yeah, pretty much what Harry said...
    - Bill Lynch

  4. #94

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    Quote Originally Posted by wblynch View Post
    I thought of using a section of backing paper behind the film but wondered if it would scratch the film during transport? I guess it will be easy enough to try it and see...

    I want to try cutting the ends off a 126 cartridge, feeding the film through the center section with 35mm cans as feeder and take up reels. Thinking that the focal plane will be more stable. I don't know if there's room on the feeder side for a 35mm canister. Will try tonight.

    My newly arrived Kodak 104 Instamatic does not accept the trick of holding down the shutter while advancing the film. I think perforated 35mm film is out for that particular camera. Non-perf wouldn't work either because something will have to trigger the shutter lock.
    did you try this yet?

  5. #95

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    Quote Originally Posted by wblynch View Post
    One thing I did yesterday was tape over 2/3 of the paper slot on my 126 backing paper. Then I taped 35mm Plus-X film to the paper and rerolled it into the cartridge. My theory was that only 1 or 2 sprocket holes would be open to catch the pin.

    I put this cartridge in an old Instamatic 104 (very simple-minded camera) and so far it seems to work. I will use it this week and see what happens.

    On another track....

    I have a thought about a fun way to make 126 film. Using a bulk spool of unperforated 35mm film, create a roller device with a measured punch that will place a sprocket hole at the appropriate position. Roll the film through, punching holes and then load segments into 126 cartridges or modified 35mm spools.

    Probably way more hassle than it's worth though, given the toy camera nature of Instamatics.
    did you try this yet? I have thought of this as well.

  6. #96

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    Quote Originally Posted by wblynch View Post
    It doesn't have to be square. I use a 1/8" round punch and it works fine. I had to put a cardboard 'stopper' in the jaws of the punch to keep it from going too deep into the frame.

    I make the roll first by taping that leading edge to the paper and rolling it up onto the spool. I have put a thin slice of tape at the tail so I know where to snip off the film. Then loosely roll it back up to the non-spool side and go through it a second time to make the punches (feeling the paper slits for a guide).

    Then for the final time, I roll it up to the non-spool side and place it into the cartridge. If you have a 24 exposure roll you have to roll it up very tight to fit. A 20 exposure roll is a bit easier and a 12 exposure roll is real easy.

    Once it's all together, I tape up the edges of the cartridge and can take it out of the bag.

    Before putting it into the camera, I sometimes have to roll the film forward a bit by hand if the whole thing is too tight. Once I reach position 1 in the camera I've never had anymore trouble getting it to advance.

    Also... I found that I need to advance the film softly and slowly. If I go too fast or rough, it can pass right by the sprocket hole and waste a frame.

    I have been tempted to grind off the sprocket finger and use a length of fishing line to trip the lever. That way I could eliminate the need to punch holes.
    could you grind the finger off and then just advance until you see the frame number in the window?

  7. #97

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    I haven't played with the 126 for awhile. But I just rerolling the backing paper with non-perforated 35mm film and punch locating holes by feel against the original backing paper inside the dark bag.

    I got a50ft roll of ILFORD Hp5 a little while back I still haven't tried yet. Time to break it out.
    - Bill Lynch

  8. #98

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    Quote Originally Posted by wblynch View Post
    I haven't played with the 126 for awhile. But I just rerolling the backing paper with non-perforated 35mm film and punch locating holes by feel against the original backing paper inside the dark bag.

    I got a50ft roll of ILFORD Hp5 a little while back I still haven't tried yet. Time to break it out.
    Im looking forward to your report. I have an Instamatic 500 I would like to try out. Are there any issues with film flatness? I thought the ruler idea was a good one.

  9. #99

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    Instamatic 500 is a good one. Whatever film method you choose, you will have fun using it.
    - Bill Lynch

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