Bulk Film Loading, or How To Roll Your Own Joint

3

In hard economic times, using film can be expensive. Fortunately for people who love black and white photography, there is an answer!

However much we love film, it can be an expensive business. But for lovers of black and white photography, home development has always been a way to make some savings. However there is another device, which you might find online, or behind some boxes in a garage or in an attic. They are usually very cheap to buy and, can offer you incredible savings over and above home development. It’s called a bulk film loader.

Isn’t it pretty? Like a giant plastic slug. In fact they come in different shapes and sizes. What you will need to begin working with this device is very simple, and will start making you savings in minutes

What you will need:

  • Bulk film loader
  • Darkroom bag
  • Reloadable film cartridges (can be bought or recycled)
  • Bottle opener (to take end off film cartridges)
  • Scissors
  • Bulk roll of film (I’m currently using 100ft of Orwo, you can also buy Ilford)
    *Tape

Take the bulk film loader of your choice and open the top part. Inside you will see a spool to place the roll of film on, and you will notice the lid slides up and down to create a little gate and shut it again at the side of the loader. Beyond this gate will be some sprocket wheels and a wind on lever. Familiarise yourself with all this by touch in daylight. Then place it and a sealed roll of bulk film inside your darkroom bag. Working by touch, open the bulk loader, open and take out the bulk roll of film, place your bulk roll of film inside, untape the end of the film, and then feed the loose end through the gate and towards the sprocket wheels. Place the lid back on the bulk loader, make sure it is completely sealed, and then you can remove it safely from the darkroom bag. The lid should also be turned at this point so that the gate is ‘shut’ at this stage, thereby stopping any light entering the loader.

Now, in daylight, to create your own film cartridge, you first unclip the area where your loose end of film is lying over the sprocket wheels, and remove the bottom plate.

You will now see the film lying over the sprocket holes. I’ve added a bit of tape here to keep it in position when this compartment is closed. Make sure to keep it in line and engaged with the sprocket wheels.

Take your cartridge, it is pretty obvious at this stage from the crank handle where it needs to be inserted. Keep the pointy end of the cartride pointing away from the crank handle in the same way as you keep it towards the bottom of your camera when inserting a cartridge in your camera. Think of the crank here like the rewind knob on your camera, except it’s going to work in reverse and load rather than unload your cartridge.

Disassemble the cartridge, tape the end of the film to the spindle, and reassemble the cartridge around it again, making sure the metal ring clips back on tight. Insert the cartridge in place at that point into the loader and push the crank leaver into the cartridge. NOW RESEAL THIS COMPARTMENT. With the compartment completely resealed, turn the lid of the loader to ‘open gate’ so that film traverses smoothly over the sprockets as you turn the crank.

Turn the lever to pull film into the cartridge. On the loader I have, each ‘click’ signifies a frame. You can now make your own film cartridge of whatever length you like-four frames is a minimum and 36 is a maximum, but if you ever wanted a 12 or 16 frame cartridge, now’s your chance. When finished, turn lid to CLOSE the gate, open that compartment again, snip off the loose film, and remove your cartridge. Cut a leader on your loose tip of film and you’re done. The savings made by this process can be considerable. A 100ft roll of B&W will give you up to 684 shots, working out at about £2.10 for every roll of 36 exposures. You will be making savings within minutes compared to store or even conventional online buying. All that remains to be done is to pick a good camera and :

Shoot!

written by alex34 on 2012-09-25 in #gear #tipster

3 Comments

  1. sixsixty
    sixsixty ·

    I want this!!!!

  2. neanderthalis
    neanderthalis ·

    You are a true renaissance man

  3. du3ky
    du3ky ·

    Interesting title.... haha

More Interesting Articles

  • Abandoned Spaces by Alex Luyckx

    written by jillytanrad on 2014-03-08 in #lifestyle
    Abandoned Spaces by Alex Luyckx

    Budding photographers are everywhere, but not everyone can excel in the craft using both analogue and digital mediums. When you look at Alex Luyckx’s body of work, however, you realize that there masterfully skilled and gifted people out there who can shoot staggering regardless of what camera or what medium there is. And if that wasn't fascinating enough, this talented gentleman with an obvious devotion for film also develops and prints his own images.

  • A Political Rally in Como

    written by sirio174 on 2014-08-18 in #lifestyle
    A Political Rally in Como

    In the week preceding the elections for the European Parliament, several political rallies were held in Como. As with all other public events in my city I documented one of these rallies, this time using a Russian film camera Zorki 6 loaded with a black and white film roll. Take a look!

    1
  • December 14th Advent Offer: Take Advantage of our Festive 3 For 2 Film Deals (Online Code: 3FOR2HOLIDAYFILM)

    written by jacobs on 2014-12-14 in #news
    December 14th Advent Offer: Take Advantage of our Festive 3 For 2 Film Deals  (Online Code: 3FOR2HOLIDAYFILM)

    Seeing that we love to spread the cheer around here, we're giving you another chance to load up on our awesome film with today's Advent deal! Choose a classy black and white film, like our Lady Grey, or get creative and colorful with one of our Redscale films. We're certain that no matter what you choose, you'll have a great time making memories with tons of lovely analogue photos this year!

  • Shop News

    Capture your Special Moments in lovely Circles

    Capture your Special Moments in lovely Circles

    See the world through 170⁰ of fabulous Fisheye distortion. Browse them now and find selected editions discounted up to 30%!

  • Why do you love film photography?

    written by plasticpopsicle on 2014-03-12 in #news
    Why do you love film photography?

    It's such a simple and straight-forward question that every film photographer gets asked, but the answers can be a bit different yet interesting per analogue-loving individual. Whether you're a total beginner, an intermediate shooter, or an expert snapper, we want you to tell us why you keep shooting with film!

    14
  • Lomography x Zenit New Petzval Lens: Wandering Through The Big Apple

    written by jillytanrad on 2014-05-06 in #news
    Lomography x Zenit New Petzval Lens: Wandering Through The Big Apple

    There’s something about New York that attracts people, something that makes both visitors from the most bucolic places and tourists from the most cosmopolitan of cities fall in love. Countless movies and television programs have been filmed in New York, and so many songs have been written in reminiscence of the place. It’s not just the Empire State Building, Times Square or Broadway; there’s something special about the streets and the people who walk on them that make spectators stop, look, and listen.

  • A Quick Chat With Lindsey Lee

    written by cheeo on 2014-03-26 in #lifestyle
    A Quick Chat With Lindsey Lee

    There can never be an age that's too young or too old for film photography. That’s what photographer Lindsey Lee proves when it comes to her commercial work in film. Check out what she said in our quick chat with her after the jump.

  • Shop News

    the perfect surprise for every analogue loving enthusiast

     the perfect surprise for every analogue loving enthusiast

    Let your loved one pick the gift of their dreams. Lomography Online Shop Gift Certificates are the perfect present for every analogue devotee on your gift list

  • Lubitel 166+: Lubitel is for Lovers+

    written by adi_totp on 2014-09-05 in #reviews
    Lubitel 166+: Lubitel is for Lovers+

    Lubitel for lovers+. You're probably wondering, "Why is there a '+'?" It's to describe and expand a whole new definition of the Lubitel - in this case, this camera is not only for lovers literally, but also for anyone who loves to shoot portraits, street scenes, objects, and the skies. Do you love to take photos of your lover, your dear friend, your lovely family, your pet, or at the streets? This camera can be used in ALL situations. You can shoot everything that you love with it!

  • Trending LomoHomes of February 2015

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-02-27 in #world #news
    Trending LomoHomes of February 2015

    So, what does it take to have a "trending" LomoHome?

    1
  • Trending Photos of February 2015

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-02-27 in #world #news
    Trending Photos of February 2015

    These lomographs were the talked of the town this month of love. Have a look and see if your favorites made it to the list!

    1
  • Shop News

    A Very Special Portrait Lens

    A Very Special Portrait Lens

    Photos shot with a New Petzval lens are immediately recognizable for their super-sharp focus areas and wonderful swirly bokeh effect. Each New Petzval lens is crafted from brass (just like the original Petzval lens) and features premium glass optics. Together with Lomography, the lenses have been designed and constructed by a team of optics specialists at the Zenit factory in Russia. Zenit are master lens manufacturers and have the skill to build the Petzval lens for use with today’s SLR cameras.

  • Top Shoutbox Users of February 2015

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-02-27 in #world #news
    Top Shoutbox Users of February 2015

    Filled with juicy conversations, the shoutbox is definitely a fun place to chat with fellow lomographers across the globe!

    1
  • Friday, Feed and Friends

    written by recurving on 2015-02-27 in #world #news
    Friday, Feed and Friends

    Today we've put two beloved features online again: the feed and your friends. How does it work? You follow other photographers here and every photo they share is then shown in your feed. That's it.

    5
  • Trending Albums of February 2015

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-02-27 in #world #news
    Trending Albums of February 2015

    Ready for an enticing visual treat? In this month's recap, we are running down the best albums that caught the community's attention.