Buying film in bulk

Compaq

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I've been reading several topics about this from a few years back here on TPF, and this is something that I definitely want to start doing. It'll really cut the film costs, which is about 50 NOK per 36 exp bw film, and, even better, it will make the photography more personal. Knowing that I did as much as possible myself in the process of making a photograph is part of why I bought a film camera. Feeling personally responsible for the process, sort of.

So, I'm not too sure about what equipment I need. Here's what I've understood that I need:

- changing bag to do this stuff in. Practical.
- re-usable film cartridges..when I start loading, I might as well load several rolls of film
- some sort of tape to make sure the film is properly attached to the spool...otherwise it might get lose in-camera.. not idea.
- I could get a loader, but I'd like to measure the exposures by arms length, or based on experience... that's something I like :p maybe a bit ironic seeing as on the chemistry lab precise measurements are often required..
- a pair of scissors to make the L-shaped end of the film
- a good place to store the bulk film... I suppose I could store it in what it comes in? Probably a bag of some kind?

Can this (press image for more info)

be used with both ASA-100 and -400 film? And don't worry about no DX coding, I have no use of that. I am quite able to set the film speed and read exposures myself, thank you very much :)


Any obvious things I've missed? Maybe someone has any specific tips?

Thanks anyway!
Anders
 
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ann

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if you are going to use the "arm " method to measure, you don't need a changing bag.

there is no difference in cartiage for various ISO and the film will come in a light tight container
 

snowbear

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A loader is a good idea - I got three on ebay for about $20. I use artist's tape - like masking tape but thicker. I also use it to label the cartridge.
 
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ann said:
if you are going to use the "arm " method to measure, you don't need a changing bag.

there is no difference in cartiage for various ISO and the film will come in a light tight container

But I don't have a darkroom. Once I've taken a course I can use the photo club's, but I'd rather do this at home...and then I would need a bag, no?
 

tirediron

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I agree with Ann; use the arm method (42 frames in my case) and don't worry about the loader, they work, but they're a PIA, and the arm method is easier and quicker. You will need a totally dark room, so it might be something that you wind up having to do in the WC late at night, but with a little practice, it won't take more than 1-2 minutes per cassette.
 

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ann said:
if you are going to use the "arm " method to measure, you don't need a changing bag.

there is no difference in cartiage for various ISO and the film will come in a light tight container

But I don't have a darkroom. Once I've taken a course I can use the photo club's, but I'd rather do this at home...and then I would need a bag, no?
Yes, but if you want to measure by arm's lenght, you're going to need a very large changing bag.
 

ann

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already answered;)

You don't need a darkroom to bulk load film.
 
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322730.jpg


27x30 inches.. That's almost one square meter of work space, would that be sufficient, based on your experiences?
 

tirediron

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322730.jpg


27x30 inches.. That's almost one square meter of work space, would that be sufficient, based on your experiences?
You can use a bag, but really, it's a LOT easier just to have a dark room (Note: Not necessarily a darkroom, just as long as it's a dark room).
 

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It's not absolutely necessary to measure the length of the film. If it fits into the cassette it will work. When shooting, advance by hand and take it easy when you get toward the end so you don't yank the tape off. But, if you do yank the tape off, it's not the end of the world either. Just load directly onto the development reel from the camera inside the bag.

Of course, this is assuming you process your own film and use a manual-advance camera.
 
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I do use a manual advance camera, and I would like to develop my own film - that's why I'm joining the photo club for students at the uni. I don't know how good this darkroom is yet, but I'll find out soon.

Whether I've loaded my camera with 30 or 33 or 35 exposures makes little matter to me.. Only I will save space if I keep it to 6x exposures. But that's just a detail, and I don't think I'd be too much bothered by it.
 

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27x30 inches.. That's almost one square meter of work space, would that be sufficient, based on your experiences?
It's fine if you want to use a loader. How are you going to stretch both arms out inside there though?

I use a loader... Stick it in the changing bag, load the film in it, then the rest can be done in daylight.

Getting the film into the loader can be tricky the first time, but you get used to it pretty quick.

Like compur said, the amount doesn't have to be exact (but if you don't have a manual advance camera, it will probably rewind at 36 exposures no matter how much film is left) - but I like to know how many frames I have till the end of the roll... The frame counter on my loader is pretty accurate. There is hardly any wasted film when I develop it. And if I want to do some 12 exposure rolls for testing something out, I can do that too.

I think I would disagree that it's easier to work in a dark room though... In the changing bag, all you have to do is put the film in the loader. You do everything else in the light. In a dark room, you would have to measure out the film, cut it, tape it to the spool, roll it up, put it in the film canister, then put the bulk roll back in it's tin when you're done. All that without knocking something over, and then having to search the floor for that spool you dropped or something...

I will admit that the film is hard to get into the loader if you've never done it though...
 

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Back in the olde days of yor. I worked at an amusement park in VA. I worked for Keyhole Photo and accosted you as you entered the park so we could take your picture and later sell it to you in keychain form. Anyway. We bulk loaded film. The loaders work just fine. In your case you just need a changing bag to load the film in the loader. Then sit, watch TV and load a bunch of rolls.
 
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Compaq

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Well, I don't want a loader. I like to do things myself and relying on experience. Loader's out of the question for me. I been presented with its positives, and I disregard them all :lol:

On a more serious note, what do I actually need? For doing this manually, I mean. I won't do it in the darkroom, or a dark room, but in a bag. That just seems way easier. I don't need to measure the entire length of the film at once, I can do add up a few lengths and leave it out in the bag. Whilst I do need to be careful of not scratching it, it's perfectly possible to do, I've read about several that has done it.
So, any suggestions as to what I actually need? I think I wrote a list earlier of what I think I need, but I may have missed something obvious. :)
 

ann

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frankly i have to disagree, it isn't easier in a changing bag. the film can twist and turn and do all sorts of strange things.

However, you have made up your mind that this is how you wish to do this action. I would suggest you buy an out of date roll or film, may be 50 feet on ebay and do some practice rolls before committing to the real thing. That way the learning mistake won't be as costly.
 

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