Question for experienced Lloyd's bulk loader users.
I just got in my Lloyd's bulk loader from Freestyle and 100ft of Kentmere 400. My interest lies in making short 10-shot rolls so I can switch film out rapidly.
The label on the front of the device recommends 13 cranks for 10 shots which makes sense, but I'm not sure how much I should allot for a header and how much I ought to allot for a lost partially exposed last-frame. I tried some spare already developed film in the loader and I found that I can minimize the exposure on the trailer pretty well when taping it onto the spool, but the front is what I'm worried about.
I'm just curious to hear what those who have more experience with bulk loading do. I did a search but I couldn't come up with any discussions which matched my question.
Thanks very much!
I use the recommended number of turns and when removing the casette from the loader, pinch the film so that it is pulled out of the loader, not the casette, about three inches and snip it about 1 inch from the felt exit slot of the loader. I then trim a nice approximately 2 inch long S curve on the leader for loading so my home grown roll looks almost like one that is factory made.
i usually load two frames and then start counting, then three at the end for a leader.... then when I stop at 36 exactly I don't lose any to fogging of that first bit -- shooting 10 shot rolls means ur going to be using a very high percentage of your bulk roll for leader and tail, a bit expensive.
maybe you should buy an Exakta, run the film from empty spool to empty spool (the take-up spool comes out of those) and use the built-in film knife to cut the film when ur done shooting.
If you're trying to be really exact, it will depend on what camera you're using it in. With my N80 and its automatic take-up, I barely have to pull any out of the cassette when loading the camera. Not the case with my older Nikon.
I'd give it maybe two frames on each side for my N80. But take my advice with a grain of salt as I recently packed 51 frames onto a single roll! I lost about ten of those when my camera's counter maxed out at 38 and I got scared of going much beyond that. :/ C'est la vie.
It's not all that expensive film anyway, and I bet this would come out cheaper than using 24 exposure loads.
Originally Posted by summicron1
You could also probably learn to just load in the dark. I'm too much klutz for that myself.
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I find the problem with Lloyds bulk loader is the last frame on the film i.e. the piece you fix to the spool. If I pull out 1-2 inches and tape it to the spool before sliding the casette in and place the cap, the last frame will inevitably be half black. If I knew exactly how many frames there were on the strip I could just avoid exposing the last but I don't know exactly. Should I just accept that life is imperfect or does anybody here have a trick to solve this issue?
Wind the number of turns the chart says for the number of frames you want to load. Unless you always load the same length, mark the cartridge (piece of masking tape with the number written on it works.) Then always stop shooting one frame short of that. Load 24 and shoot no more than 23 for example. Problem solved.
Originally Posted by phelger
Many of the problems with bulk loading come from trying to get the most use of every square inch of the film. It's worth wasting a half frame or frame to make sure all the rest are good.
Thanks for all the advice everyone.
I hate to say this, but I'm not terribly worried about wasting a frame or two of film on every roll. It's more about the convenience for me. If it means I have to buy a new 100ft roll a week earlier than I normally would then I'm perfectly okay with that. I'll just keep a few rolls of factory-canned film for emergencies.
I did a little test with a roll of exposed film:
- Put pre-exposed dummy film into bulk loader
- Wind 13 cranks onto roll, mark in sharpie which parts of film (would have) have been "exposed" by loading )leader, trailer, etc)
- Load film into camera, with sharpie mark best case scenario how much of the leader has been exposed.
- Put camera into Bulb mode, then start taking photos.
- For each photo, turn the camera over and mark and number the exposed area with a sharpie
- When you're done, roll the film back, remove it from the camera and lay it out.
Obviously don't do this if your shutter is going to be damaged by swinging a sharpie around the inside of the light box.
You should have a pretty good idea of the best case scenario of what is exposed when. With 13 turns I was able to get 10 frames with a minimal leader. That might be cutting it a little close, so I think I am going to live with 14 or 15 turns just to give myself a little leeway to not damage anything. At that point I can safely get 10 shots out of the camera and maybe an 11th if I'm lucky, but I would know not to depend on that 11th shot.
There you go.
Personally I find the ability to load shorter rolls the ONLY reason to fool with bulk loading any more. The savings isn't what it used to be and, with "Arista" Freestyle re-branded Tri-X, it really doesn't even save anything compared to their 36x loads, I just find 36 way more than I usually want. I have about 20 rolls of their 36x in the freezer, and my Llyod's loaded with the same film in the fridge.
Question for experienced Lloyd's bulk loader users.
Pretty much. That's also why I'm looking to get into bulk loading. That and the convenience of always having film when I need it. I don't have a lot of room in my fridge for a box of film so this is a great compromise. Short rolls on demand.