The tool that works best of the A-P black cassette opener. although bulk loaded cassettes can just have the end pried off by hand. I did get the wall mount A-P opener, but find the hand held one easier to use.
So does the A-P Black Cassette Opener or the A-P Chrome Cassette Opener work better? Better than a church key?
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I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.
I just use a film leader retriever, takes only a few seconds and I can do it in daylight. I trim the end with scissors, then load it onto a stainless Nikor reel in the changing bag, snipping the end with a pair of blunt end scissors.
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What's working for me is to pull the leader with a puller then cut it straight and just relieve the sharp corners slightly to make feeding easier. Then in the dark I pull the film letting it coil in my hand until I can cut it off the can. I then re-coil it back into my other hand so the trimmed leader is back at the top and goes straight into the spiral. Works for me.
I'm a fan of cracking the film can and cradling the spooled film in my palm while spooling.
My least favorite method involves opening the camera back prior to rewinding (in the darkroom) and cutting the film... pressing rewind button and pulling the film off the takeup... holding this loose film and winding it onto reels.
It reduces the number of passes by the felt opening... But I do not recommend it because many cameras reverse the wind direction on the takeup spool... The result is a straight piece of film that resists spooling... (Leads to too much film handling).
I extract the tail with a tail extractor, cut the tail and put if for a few centimetres on the reels. Only then do I put the reels in the changing bag and do the rest of the operation.
IMO there are some advantages in so doing:
- if something goes wrong it's easier to rewind all the film inside the cartridge;
- the film is not touched with the hands. When the film is entirely extracted from the cartridge before loading it into the reels there is a lot of film trying to gather dust or sweat from inside the changing bag.
The disadvantage of this kind of operation is that if there is some grit on the velvet of the canister extracting the film might cause some scratches to appear all along length of the film. The problem is potentially made worse when using bulk loaded film (reusable cartridges).
If using reusable cartridges velvet can be kept clean by brushing it with some scissors or by sticking and un-sticking some post-it to it, the adhesive surface should take away the dust particles.
I just pour my chemicals into the canister.... (just kidding!)
Actually there was a small developing tank made to allow you to do this. The leader was taped to the outdide of the cassette and the cassette placed in the tank which was not much bigger than a standard film can. Agitation was obtained by continuously winding and unwinding the film within the cassette. It worked for short loads of 10 to 12 exposures.
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