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  1. #1
    Stuggi's Avatar
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    How to spool 400 ft of film into canisters?

    I'm thinking of getting some movie film, and the best alternative available to me (price per roll- and total investment-wise), is a 400 ft roll. So, how to handle 400ft in the dark? My idea is to get a bulk film loader, and some empty 100ft spools, and respool my film onto them, and load that into my bulk loader. The problem is, nobody sells empty 100 ft spools. So, I thought, is there anybody on here that would let me have a couple 100 ft spools for the price of shipping? If you're looking to seel a bulk loader, I'm interested in that as well.

    Or is there a better way? I don't have a proper darkroom, only a small windowless bathroom, so anything that doesn't require a lot of space is appreciated.
    Canon F1n / FTb / AE-1P | Yashica Mat-124G | Hasselblad 500C/M | Leica IIIf

  2. #2
    X. Phot.
    One method, when a loader is not readily available, is to run off a certain length of film, and cut it there (in total darkness of course). Tape one end of the film to the cassette spool, load that into the cassette, cap the cassette ends, and spool the film in by hand. You can cut the leaders to shape at a later time, when the lights are turned on. It's a slower method. But, it works.

    Loading up long lengths of film onto plastic cores and/or metal/plastic spools specifically for the film loader is definitely feasible. Someone surely has some cores or spools. But, I have always tossed them.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by X. Phot. View Post
    Loading up long lengths of film onto plastic cores and/or metal/plastic spools specifically for the film loader is definitely feasible. Someone surely has some cores or spools. But, I have always tossed them.
    This is exactly what I do. I use a piece of board with two bolts sticking out of it. The larger roll lies on its side. The empty spool on the other. I fashioned a crank out of aluminum stock which has a small bolt which fits a depression in the spool. Work likes a charm and is quite fast.
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  4. #4
    Newt_on_Swings's Avatar
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    Ive done that in the past, take out the center spool of each reloadable cassette and place a strip of scotch tape in the middle, the stick on to a table edge or something. then open up your spool in the dark and stretch out a length (arms wide out to the sides = 36 exp plus leader for me) and cut and tape, and re-roll.

    I have done it with, 100ft, 400ft, and 1000ft reels. its mechanical after awhile, but it sure gets boring in the bathroom. I use a long pair of safe tweezers to re-roll film in quickly by the spool through a cleaned felt light trap. as my current method entails using drugstore discards and reloading them.

  5. #5

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    No need for 100' spools. Spools are a PIA to deal with, especially with long 1000 foot reels. Just unwind a good handfull and put into the loader as is. I use the Alden 74.
    Gun Control is like: Reducing drunk driving by making it harder for SOBER people to buy cars.

  6. #6
    Helinophoto's Avatar
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    I made a new core-spool from a piece of a pen.

    I found a hollow pen which fitted over the bulk loader-axis, then i cut the pen length so that the loader would close ok with the pen-part fitted over the loader axis.

    Then I put my 90 meter source spool onto a empty writable cd-rom box (it fit pretty well onto the axis), so that the film could be un-spooled ok.

    Then I cut some wire and created an "U" shape, where I used the vertical parts to gouge the actual size of my finished spool in the dark, the length of the vertical parts of the "U", was measured from the film-loader axis to the film-loader edge.

    After that, put the wire trough the pen-core, and bent it into a "U" shape. Placed the 90 meter source spool between my feet, sat on chair in the dark and simply hand-wounded the film onto the pen-core (with the "U" wire attached) until i reached the top of the "U".

    The wire's secondary function, was to keep the film from sliding off or being wound crooked.

    After winding, I removed the wire and put the new spool with the pen-core in the loader and closed it.

    Worked well. =)
    Last edited by Helinophoto; 12-10-2011 at 09:01 AM. Click to view previous post history.
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  7. #7

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    I learned in a museum darkroom the fact that my fathom is just about 40 exposures and the leader...

  8. #8
    Mustafa Umut Sarac's Avatar
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    Stuggi,

    Do you think to purchase bw kodak film or color film ? Color film could create headache.

    Umut

  9. #9
    michaelbsc's Avatar
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    If you can possibly stand it, then you can get hundreds of canisters from a 1 hour joint and have a marathon loading session.

    I couldn't stand it.
    Michael Batchelor
    Industrial Informatics, Inc.
    www.industrialinformatics.com

    The camera catches light. The photographer catches life.

  10. #10
    Stuggi's Avatar
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    Okay, so it is possible to handle a 400 foot spool while loading cassettes manually. I envisioned a small hell trying to keep the film taught to keep the big spool from unwinding (does such a huge amount of film do that?) while trying to cut off a suitable amount for one roll. My plan for using the 100 ft spools was to limit the times I'd have to handle the 400 ft spool to 4 times, and then being able to use a normal bulk loader. It would even allow me to make several pre-rolled 100 ft spools, so with 4 100 ft spools and 4 containers I could actually get rid of the whole big spool in one sitting. But getting spools and containers is the catch, I don't want to have to use up 400 ft of some other film before I can start using the motion picture stock.

    BTW, does anybody have the dimensions for the "hole" in the middle of 400 ft and 100 ft spools? I'm planning on making a small "machine" in which I can load the 2 spools and then just crank on a handle to load the smaller spool.
    And are there any difference in the cores that bulkloaders take? Some seem to just take a cardboard tube with film wound on it.
    Canon F1n / FTb / AE-1P | Yashica Mat-124G | Hasselblad 500C/M | Leica IIIf

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