Quote Originally Posted by BetterSense View Post
Whether or not bulk loading saves money, depends on the film. You just have to do the math. Last time I did, I decided that TMAX was worth bulk loading.

Making short rolls because you find it hard to shoot a whole roll doesn't make sense to me. It makes more sense just to use full rolls, develop what you have exposed and leave the rest in the camera. When I have a half a roll I want to develop, I just go in the darkroom or changing bag, pop the back open without rewinding, tear the film off and pull out the exposed strip, and load it on a reel. Later, in the light, I just trim the leader left in the camera and reload the camera.
Actually this (the short roll approach) makes zero sense to me, but the reason was clear on 10 seconds of thought. I agree that it makes sense for you. The difference is in our reasons for wanting the shorter rolls.

You apparently have a very different reason for wanting shorter rolls. In your case the issue seems to be getting the film out and processed now. That's not my reason at all for liking shorter rolls. There's often months delay between my shooting and getting to process the film (stored refrigerated in the interim and I try to get to Pan F+ and Delta 3200 sooner but even they can be weeks.) If I just wanted to process the shots now I'd cheerfully do what you do and never even have mentioned it here.

Rather, my reason, especially with slower films like we're talking about here, is almost always because I want to load a different film in the camera. I have three 35mm bodies I regularly use but still often don't have an empty one or one with the film I want to use when I next shoot. I do mid roll changes sometimes, just rewind the film but leave the leader out and write a note on the leader about the next frame number, then when I reload click off, with the lens cap on, all the already shot frames plus, typically, one more to be sure. If you are consistent in how you load the camera this works, and probably wastes less film than loading shorter rolls, but I still find it rather annoying.

Actually what you propose, while it will work fine with factory loads, is risky with bulk loaded film anyway, at least if you use a daylight loader in daylight. The reason is that the tail of the film, not just the leader, will be fogged and if you pull out part of a roll in the dark and re-trim a new leader it will be almost impossible to tell exactly where the unfogged loaded film ends and the fogged tail begins. I suppose with practice this could become pretty apparent but without practice at this you'd risk making exposures on the fogged film tail.

I have done exactly what you say with factory loads, though.