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  1. #1
    philipus's Avatar
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    Are there big bulk loaders out there?

    Hello everybody

    I am considering bulk loading because I am becoming curious about Eastman 5222 and was wondering if there are any loaders which accept bigger than 100foot rolls? When ordering from Kodak the 5222 comes in 400foot rolls (or 1000foot though that's pretty massive).

    A related question - are there any changing bags/changing tents that can be used? For instance I have seen the Calumet changing tent but is the opening (which I guess is the half-moon shaped thing above the sleeves) wide enough to put a roll and loader in it?

    If there are no bulk loaders that accept 400foot rolls I guess on should have to devise a way to roll from the can - is that possible? Any suggestions about how to do this?

    Unfortunately I don't have a light-proof room/closet or a real darkroom so I need to figure out a different way to do this.

    Cheers and thanks in advance
    Philip

  2. #2

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    There's an Alden 200 loader that takes 200 feet. Those show up on ebay pretty regularly for $25 or so. With one of those you could (somehow) split the roll into equal-sized halves (pretty easy to tell that you have made them equal, even in the dark) then load one into the loader and put the other back into the bag and can for when the first one runs out.

    As to how to get it split without at least a room you can make pitch black, I can't help you, but I bet others will chime in with ideas.

    Duncan

  3. #3

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    couldn't you just re-spool the larger rolls onto 100 foot spools? If the reel won't fit into your changing bag, and you don't have access to a darkroom, just use a closet. Shove towels in the bottom of the door, and do it at night with all the lights in your house off just to be safe.

  4. #4
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    I bought a 300 ft roll of Polypan.

    I cut the body of a plastic pen off and used it as a core for the new roll, then i spooled "around 100FT" onto that core, the rest of the Ploypan went back into the bag, worked just fine.
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  5. #5
    AgX
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    Welcome to Apug, Philip!

    When I started photography I did bulkloading from my 4th(!) 135-cartridge on, using 100' rolls. I did not even know that something as bulkloaders existed. I had neither a darkroom nor a changing bag. All worked fine. I just spooled the film onto the reel up to its flanges.

    Best would be to give a 400' roll some container to hold it whilst re-spooling. A glaced conical pot could hold the roll touching only its flanges, no dust, no scratches, no static electricity.

  6. #6

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    One problem is that Double-X comes on a core, not a camera spool. So once you remove it from the bag and untape the end, it wants to jump off the core into a big pile of tangled curls of film, like in a cartoon! The "correct" way to handle it is with a split reel, that allows you to lay it down flat on one half of the reel, then screw the other half on, then you're all set to pull film off of it. (You can also find these on ebay - make sure to get one for 35mm, not 16mm!). And the "correct": way to pull film off of it is with a pair of rewinds and another core or spool. But I've seen people here mention simply laying the original film on core down sideways on a smooth surface, with some sort of post sticking up for the core to spin on, then just pulling it off that way. Either hand winding it onto another bulk spool, or even one 35mm 36 exposure roll at a time.

    Duncan

  7. #7

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    I use a large changing bag, about 2' by 3' with a large plastic Tupperware-type box inside of it to give my hands some vertical working room. Then I open the film can and set both halves with the open side down. I put the source roll on one of them and the target core on the other and start winding. The key is to make certain that you handle the film by its edges and keep the dust out. I have done 2 and 1/4 400' rolls this way without any problems.
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  8. #8
    philipus's Avatar
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    Thanks very much for your replies and your suggestions, they are much appreciated. I am sorry it's taken so long to write back; we've recently had a baby and so I don't rule my time as I used to be able to...

    Duncan, thanks for mentioning split reels. That seems a very convenient way to keep the film organised while spooling. I've found this one on the US Ebay but I haven't found any sellers of such reels here in Europe.

    I guess I should try to find a few film cans as well to hold, say, 1/4 each of the 400' roll. Then I could more easily load film into a 100' bulk loader, which I've seen are quite readily available.

    As for changing bags - I've seen a Calumet pop-up changing "tent" which offers vertical room. And over at the Project Double-X website there's a reference to cotton changing bags sold on Ebay by Roger Luo. Does anyone have experience with either of these items?

    Lastly, what about film cassettes? I've seen that people use old empty film canisters. Is that preferable to other cassettes? I actually have two IXMOO for my Leica II but for my M6TTL I'll need to use something else.

    Cheers and thanks for your help
    Philip

  9. #9
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    I've used both reusable "Kalt" metallic film canisters and plastic cassettes. I like the plastic cassettes more because they have a screw in cap which is more convenient when loading the film and the top doesn't open up accidentally if you happen to drop the canister. I reuse a canister until I begin to see faint scratches on the emulsion.

    Roger Luo's changing bags are really good. Just make sure you get one of the larger sizes. You need some room inside the bag when handling bulk rolls.

  10. #10
    philipus's Avatar
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    Thanks mablo. I'll look for plastic cassetes; screw top sounds like the way to go to me, too.

    Btw, I received an email from Roger Luo that he only has the "L" size these days. It's 58cm X 61 cm (so approx. 23x24" I guess). Is that a large enough bag? I'm quite intrigued by the fact that it is cotton, actually.

    Cheers
    Philip



 

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