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  1. #1
    Ara Ghajanian's Avatar
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    Cutting the film leader after bulk loading

    I have been cutting the film leader using a pair of scissors, but this is a royal pain in the ass and I'm afraid of stray pieces of film getting in my cameras. Is there a device that will cut the leader exactly?
    Thanks in advance,
    Ara
    Just because you're not paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.

  2. #2
    PeterDendrinos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ara Ghajanian
    I have been cutting the film leader using a pair of scissors, but this is a royal pain in the ass and I'm afraid of stray pieces of film getting in my cameras. Is there a device that will cut the leader exactly?
    Thanks in advance,
    Ara
    When I used to role my own back in the day, I would simply tear the film into the desired shape. I never had an issue with film fragments in the camera. I am just starting the process of rolling my own again, and I’ll tear or cut but I didn’t plan on worrying about remnants in the camera.

    Pete
    "…Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action."

    Frank Tibolt

    WWW.DENDRINOS FINE ART.COM

  3. #3

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    If there is such a device it probably cost a ridiculous amount. For example, one of the larger photography stores in the U.S is selling "film canaster openers" for 20 bucks. Heck,I just use my trusty Moosehead Beer bottle opener.
    I use a nice pair of curved manicure scissors. You could make a template of the leader from a factory film and use that to draw the correct shape onto your bulk roll and then cut.

    Mike

  4. #4
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    Leader Template

    Quote Originally Posted by Ara Ghajanian
    I have been cutting the film leader using a pair of scissors, but this is a royal pain in the ass and I'm afraid of stray pieces of film getting in my cameras. Is there a device that will cut the leader exactly?
    Thanks in advance,
    Ara
    Hi, Ari, I made A template out of Aluminium , cut from a sheet with tin snips then filed down to the shape of leader I wanted , you can use this as a guide to mark the back of the film with a pencil, and
    cut it with scissors, or cut round it with a scalpel

  5. #5

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    I remember seeing store-bought metal templates years ago, but I don't believe they had a built in blade (I think you used a razor knife).

    For the bulk loading I've been doing, I just quickly do a straight cut at something a bit less than 45 deg and going back about 2 inches. I do try to end the cut in between perferations but I don't try to imitate a "factory" leader. It's fine for my Nikon and Olympus bodies and just takes a second.

    I haven't noticed any problem with stray bits of film. Maybe I've been lucky.

  6. #6
    Dave Parker's Avatar
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    I have been using regular ole' scissors for years now, I make a cut about 1/2 in in on the film, cut at an angle down the length of the film about 1 in then cut to the edge, and have never had a problem with film bits in any of my cameras, if you make clear consise cuts and double check them before you load, I am sure you should be fine.

    Dave

  7. #7
    BruceN's Avatar
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    I, too, have used plain old scissors for a long time. The only thing I would add is that when you make the cut, you should try to make it curved rather than cutting straight back (parallel to the edges of the film) and then making another straight cut angled to the edge of the film. I used to do it this way and had a couple of leaders tear off in the camera. The tear started right at the angle of the cut, so now I try for a nice curve just like the factory ones.

    Bruce

  8. #8

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    I cut the film at an approx. 90º angle. This causes me no problems at all. I see no need to cut a leader.
    Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)

  9. #9

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    A while back I heard that a simple straight angled cut (so as to remove a triangle of film) worked fine. I tried it with my last batch of bulk-rolled film and so far I've had no problems.

    If you really must have a device to cut the film to a curved shape similar to factory-loaded cassettes, there are film-cutting templates available. One is the "Ablon," which is designed to cut long leaders for bottom-loading Leicas, although I expect it'd work to cut shorter leaders, too. There's one on eBay right now, but it's ridiculously expensive ($64.99 starting price, no bids yet). I've spotted a few bulk loaders on eBay recently that include similar devices; for instance:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...tem=7596509568

    I know I spotted such a cutter alone just a couple of days ago, but I can't seem to find it now. Perhaps the auction's ended....

  10. #10
    Robert Kerwin's Avatar
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    I just use scissors and do a curved cut in a single pass. I've never had a problem with this method and it takes but a couple seconds. I don't believe there is a need for great precision here.

    - Robert
    "Photograph more, worry less"

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