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 #film-loader #make-your-own-film-cartridge #b-w #save-money #select-what-this-tipster-is-about #lab-rat #bulk-film-loading #film #select-type-of-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

  • 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
  • Perfect Combination for a Hazy Day: Lomo LC-A and a Pushed Ilford HP5+

    written by sirio174 on 2015-05-06 in #gear #reviews
    Perfect Combination for a Hazy Day: Lomo LC-A and a Pushed Ilford HP5+

    In this article, I'll show you how the Lomo LC-A loaded with the versatile Ilford HP5+ can make the most out of a hazy morning. To capture the whirlwind of a bicycle race, I pushed the film to ISO 800. The legendary Minitar 1 lens and this classic Ilford film are a perfect combination if you love black and white photos.

    1
  • 'Aniki-Bòbò': A Tribute to Manoel De Oliveira

    written by sirio174 on 2015-04-08 in #world #lifestyle
    'Aniki-Bòbò': A Tribute to Manoel De Oliveira

    This article is a tribute to the great Portuguese film director Manoel de Oliveira, who died last April 2. With an old Praktica loaded with a roll of black and white film, I captured so enthusiastically his city Oporto (Porto) with its famous Ribeira district, the most characteristic of the Lusitanian town. It was here that more than 70 years ago, Manoel De Oliveira created a timeless masterpiece: "Aniki-Bòbò"!

    1
  • Shop News

    Colorsplash your World!

    Colorsplash your World!

    At 30% off you can now color your analog images with 12 different color gels. Experiment with 35mm slide film and play with the built-in color flash for the most intense colors!

  • 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!

  • Shooting Squares with the LC-A 120

    written by pripri2000 on 2015-04-22 in #gear #news
    Shooting Squares with the LC-A 120

    Capture the world and all its contours in vibrant, wide-angled photographs any time, any where! The LC-A 120 is an adventure of its own with lots of exciting functions to experiment with, like seamless long exposures or full ISO control. It's also super-fast and ultra-compact - perfect for your everyday. If you're worried about the Medium Format film, don't be! You are free to use any 120 Film you want and there are plenty to choose from. In fact, that's what makes this camera so versatile! Scroll through this gallery for a little taste of the glorious shots this nifty invention is capable of.

    1
  • 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!

  • Shop News

    Shoot recognizable images with the Petzval

    Shoot recognizable images with the Petzval

    You want your subject be the center of attention? Petzval lens photos are recognizable for sharpness and crispness in the centre, strong color saturation, wonderful swirly bokeh effect, artful vignettes and narrow depth of field that will make your subjects stand out!

  • Valeriie Liin and The Cameras She Brings

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-07-03 in #world #lifestyle
    Valeriie Liin and The Cameras She Brings

    There are things that artist Valeriie Liin can't leave the house without: her earphones, two notebooks, keys to her home in Taiwan, and a little color palette for painting. It's not always that she can paint, though, so for those times she turns to her cameras.

  • Street Typography on LomoChrome Purple

    written by Kwyn Kenaz Aquino on 2015-07-03 in #world
    Street Typography on LomoChrome Purple

    This film is made to shift colors and cast a layer of nostalgia to casual scenes. But as community albums reveal, LomoChrome Purple can also be a graphic match to worded signs and logos.

  • Lomography Goes to Rockaway Beach

    written by givesmehell on 2015-07-03 in #world #news #events
    Lomography Goes to Rockaway Beach

    Lomography warmly invites everyone to join us on a trip to Rockaway Beach on Saturday, July 25. We will be conducting a couple of workshops to make sure you're well equipped onyour summer beach escapades.

  • Shop News

    Fisheye No. 2 Gold

    Fisheye No. 2 Gold

    Snap dazzling 35mm fisheye shots at the push of a button with this shimmery blue lightweight beauty.

  • PYHOF: Karaoke Hits

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-07-03 in #world #lifestyle
    PYHOF: Karaoke Hits

    Turn the volume up and sing along to these tunes. You know you want to.

  • Modern_nmt is our LomoHome of the Day!

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-07-03 in #world #news
    Modern_nmt is our LomoHome of the Day!

    From everyone here in Lomography, congratulations to modern_nmt for winning Home of the Day!

    4
  • The World According to Herr Willie: Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

    written by wil6ka on 2015-07-03 in #world #locations
    The World According to Herr Willie: Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

    Singapore, like Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong, is a likely stopover when you fly far. The city is a tiny urbanized hub but it's very favorable if you know some high-spirited locals. I was lucky to hook up with king kimbo (@hakimbo), who showed me around. He took my lame limbs to the Gardens by the Bay, an amazing place which was visually striking. I was hugging some artificial trees there when I found a baby—a very big baby.

    2