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  1. #1
    BruceN's Avatar
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    How many times do you reuse 35mm film canisters?

    I was going to put this in the current bulkloading thread, but thought it would fit better here. I saw some people were only using their cannisters 3 or 4 times and then tossing them. I usually blow out the light traps with a dustgun between uses and just keep on using them. I have some that I've used dozens of times without a scratched negative. What say ye? Also, is there a particular brand or type you like best?

    Bruce

  2. #2

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    I find some last 'forever', others are dodgy out of the packet! never use a new one for something important! The best reloadable canisters were the Ilford OEM ones IMO.

  3. #3
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Yes, the old Ilford ones were great. With new ones, I usually toss them after 5 or 6 uses. Be careful of fraying light traps, not only because of light leaks, but if a thread comes loose in the camera it can get caught in the shutter, resulting in an expensive repair, speaking from experience.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
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  4. #4
    Monophoto's Avatar
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    I have been using the same cartridges since I started bulk loading more than 25 years ago. Mine are all commercial cartridges - mainly Ilford and Agfa.

    I blow them out, and occasionally scrape the dull side of an X-acto knife over the felt light trap to dislodge any grit that might be lurking there.

  5. #5

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    I'll use the ones I have until they fall to pieces :-)

    If I were shooting other peoples weddings I'd probably not use reloadable cartridges at all, however as I dont do that, and the the content is mine, I don't worry too much about the possibility of a bit of grit in the felt.

    Graham.

  6. #6
    dschneller's Avatar
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    The original Ilford cartridges seem to last forever. I have been using them for 10+ years.

  7. #7

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    Butler, the dental floss people, make an interdental brush which is about 1/8 inch in diameter and 1/2 inch long. They're cheap and very handy for cleaning the felt in the cassettes. Also good to getting into tight spots in cameras etc.

  8. #8
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    I'm cheap, so I use 'em till they fall apart (Remember, no paying clients, here)...

    I also use a piece of masking tape, folded over, to run back a forth through the light trap to pick up any stray materials. I've only had one fail, and I knew it would right after I reloaded it; so, it was tossed out.

  9. #9
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    At 70 cents a pop, buying new cassettes really eats up a lot of the economy of bulk loading. I save my Efke and JandC cassettes and clean the felt well between uses, a post-it note is just tacky enough to grab dust and grit without tearing up the felt.
    Gotta love those $1.50 35 exp rolls of Tri-X.
    That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
    =Neal W.=

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flotsam
    At 70 cents a pop, buying new cassettes really eats up a lot of the economy of bulk loading. I save my Efke and JandC cassettes and clean the felt well between uses, a post-it note is just tacky enough to grab dust and grit without tearing up the felt.
    For the ultra-cheap, you can re-use commercial film cartridges, even if they're not officially reloadable. You've got to unload the film in the original cartridge without opening it, which isn't too hard -- just don't rewind the leader into the cartridge, or use a leader retriever. Alternatively, if you don't shoot enough non-bulk film to supply yourself, you can get empties from the local 1-hour photofinisher. (Some will be weird things taken from single-use cameras, which can be interesting.) To reload these cartridges, rather than attach the film to the spool, you've got to attach your film to the stub of film that sticks out of the cartridge. Use cellophane tape to cover the entire area of attachment, on both sides.

    I've not been bulk loading long, but I've tried this method, metal reusable cartridges, and plastic reusable cartridges. Overall, I prefer the metal reusable cartridges, but the reused "single-use" cartridges have certain advantages, such as better availability of DX coding and of course low cost. OTOH, the felt traps aren't as easily cleaned, although I bet the methods described here could be adapted -- you'd just need to temporarily tape the film stub to something to keep it from sliding into the cartridge. Then too, with 1-hour labs willing to hand them over for free, what's the point? Just use 'em once and toss 'em!

    Gotta love those $1.50 35 exp rolls of Tri-X.
    Or in my case, $1.00 (or less) rolls of (Freestyle rebranded) Ilford Pan F+ or Fomapan 400.

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