Self-Loading Film : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Film & Processing : One Thread

Hi Again!

Are you tired of me yet? What can I say I've caught the bug.

Does anyone have experience with self-loading their 35 mm film.

It seems like it could be an economical approach, but is it laborious and cumbersome. Is it a quick procedure?

Since I'd like to have more control through development, I believe I should reduce the number of unique images per roll to say 1. That way I could pick an image and bracket it over the entire roll.

Does my plan make sense? Or, am I better off purchasing rolls of 24 for approximately $2.5 and only using the frames that I need.

Thanks in advance.

-- David Sinai (, September 05, 2001


I have bulked loaded off and on for years, many of my students also self roll. It really itsn't a big deal. you need to be sure your loader is kept clean and dust out before using , same thing with cassettes, but it is a simple task.

-- Ann C lancy (, September 05, 2001.

If you are really looking to control development of individual images you are a candidate for large format using sheets (or roll film adapters with individual adapters for different development times).

That said, bulk film for 35mm is fine. Keep everything clean, and prepare to waste a couple of extra images at either end of the cassette for frames exposed in the loading process.

-- Charlie Strack (, September 05, 2001.

Loading is not the problem, BUT the developer will be more active if you are using shorter rolls, since it does not exhaust itself the same way as with a long roll. You will have to recalibrate your system, since developing will get shorter when you use one shot developers which have a higher dilution. This might also affect the contrast. Despite this I also load bulk film. Find a loader that works without a felt light trap.

-- Volker Schier (, September 06, 2001.

I haven't bought 35mm in individual cassettes for years. I get 17 or 30 meter bulk reels and load from Computrol, Watson, or (my favourite, but now, sadly, no longer made) Fulfix loaders. The early Computrol loaders are quite good, but the later ones are really plasticky and nasty. The Watson is a similar design, and there's not much to choose between them. My advice would be to look for a 2nd hand loader, the older ones really were much better in quality.
The advantges of bulk loading, apart from a cost saving are, as you say, that you can load non-standard length cassettes, and also that you're assured of film consistency from cassette to cassette. The bulk loaders I've mentioned are all easy to use, and require only the addition of some reloadable cassettes and a roll of masking tape (to hold the film to the cassette spool).
Loading takes about two minutes, and is fairly foolproof. Good luck in finding a decent loader!

-- Pete Andrews (, September 06, 2001.

I have started bulk loading not too long ago. I am saving $1.5 on a roll of Kodak TMY and $2 on a roll of Agfa Optima II(c-41).

One advantage is also not saving a few pennies, but be able to use Pro film at less than Kodak Gold's price.

The only problem I have come across is CVS 1hr wouldn't take my hand roll Agfa because I don't have the Bar code(not the DX code). But I have no problem anywhere else Pro lab, highend consumer lab, wholesale lab, mail order lab, even the Wal-mart and Target 1hr. They all come out beautiful.

I now have the bar code for the Optima. and printed out a few barcodes so If I "Have to" goto CVS. I am ready! The next batch of optima is going to have nice looking color labels w/ codes on my cans.


-- Alex Siu (, September 10, 2001.

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