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07-22-2010, 07:52 PM   #1
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What is bulk loaders for?

I see these neat bulk loaders, and it sounds pretty cool too. But... what exactly is it?

Sorry for the mistake in the title, should be *are*.


Last edited by NecroticSoldier; 07-22-2010 at 07:58 PM.
07-22-2010, 07:58 PM   #2
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You load it with bulk film (say a 100 foot roll) then use the loader to fill your own film cartridges.

It also used to be possible to get film backs for certain cameras that would accept a 100 ft. roll directly for shooting events where changing rolls would be inconvenient.
07-22-2010, 08:06 PM   #3
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I have a bulk loader. I roll my own rolls of Ilford HP5+. Just more convenient and a bit more cost effective. A bulk roll goes for about $50. It only really makes sense to use bulk rolls if you develop film on your own.
07-22-2010, 08:24 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nachodog Quote
I have a bulk loader. I roll my own rolls of Ilford HP5+. Just more convenient and a bit more cost effective. A bulk roll goes for about $50. It only really makes sense to use bulk rolls if you develop film on your own.
Oh... okay ;/ I don't develop my own film... so doesn't really seem like I could use it then. Thanks for the answers guys ;D! I really appreciate it!

07-22-2010, 09:19 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by NecroticSoldier Quote
Oh... okay ;/ I don't develop my own film... so doesn't really seem like I could use it then. Thanks for the answers guys ;D! I really appreciate it!
The problem with sending your bulk loaded film to the processors is that you don't get your canisters back. Other than having to do your own processing, bulk loading is pretty cool. You can get about 20 35-exposure rolls per 100' of bulk. My loader is currently full of Legacy Pro 100 at $23 per 100' ($1.15 per roll). That compares pretty favorably to the same film at $1.99 per roll single packaged. For Rollei Retro 80s the difference is $2.00 vs. $4.00. In general bulk loading saves you 1/3 to 1/2.


Steve


(In case anyone was wondering, I load 35 exposure rolls so that an entire roll will fit in a single negative sleeve page.)
07-22-2010, 10:05 PM   #6
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I'd add another nice feature about a bulk loader is you can load a reel up with as many frames (up to max of course) as you want. Right now, for example, I've finally started to shoot some old 135 Pan-X film that I've had forever. I loaded a roll up of 24 frames and after almost three weeks I still haven't shot the roll up. So the next roll I'm only going to load 12 frames so I won't have to wait as long to develop it. The film is rare so I'm not going to waste it on shooting anything.
07-23-2010, 08:32 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
I'd add another nice feature about a bulk loader is you can load a reel up with as many frames (up to max of course) as you want. Right now, for example, I've finally started to shoot some old 135 Pan-X film that I've had forever. I loaded a roll up of 24 frames and after almost three weeks I still haven't shot the roll up. So the next roll I'm only going to load 12 frames so I won't have to wait as long to develop it. The film is rare so I'm not going to waste it on shooting anything.
Oooo...Pan-X....

I was wondering how long it was going to take for you to shoot your cache of the good stuff. I am looking forward to the photos. Back in the day, I used to soup Panatomic with FG-7 at twice the box speed. The combination gave great tonal range with very fine grain.


Steve
07-23-2010, 09:00 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Oooo...Pan-X....

I was wondering how long it was going to take for you to shoot your cache of the good stuff. I am looking forward to the photos. Back in the day, I used to soup Panatomic with FG-7 at twice the box speed. The combination gave great tonal range with very fine grain.


Steve
;((( I WASN'T BORN THEN! LOL. Darn where did all the film go? ;( musta missed it by a good few decades.

I do have a few questions though, I know that when you get the canister developed you have to take off the lid at the bottom right? Is there a special bottom that associates with this bulk loader?

Thinking of making my own dark room... but the enlarger is probably going to be mighty expensive.

07-23-2010, 09:39 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by NecroticSoldier Quote
;((( I WASN'T BORN THEN! LOL. Darn where did all the film go? ;( musta missed it by a good few decades.

I do have a few questions though, I know that when you get the canister developed you have to take off the lid at the bottom right? Is there a special bottom that associates with this bulk loader?

Thinking of making my own dark room... but the enlarger is probably going to be mighty expensive.
The roll-your-own film canisters are physically the same as the one that come with film preloaded. They are made so the caps can be removed and installed again whereas the preloaded ones the caps are pressed on and its not as easy to remove the caps without damage. But if you are really careful you could actually reuse a preloaded film canister but I don't think it's worth it.

You could also invest that enlarger money into a good film scanner and just get your prints done that way as an option. If you want to post your film results online, you'll most likely end up going that route anyway.
07-23-2010, 09:52 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
The roll-your-own film canisters are physically the same as the one that come with film preloaded. They are made so the caps can be removed and installed again whereas the preloaded ones the caps are pressed on and its not as easy to remove the caps without damage. But if you are really careful you could actually reuse a preloaded film canister but I don't think it's worth it.

You could also invest that enlarger money into a good film scanner and just get your prints done that way as an option. If you want to post your film results online, you'll most likely end up going that route anyway.
That's true, but I think I'm going to have to get both... because I really like using the enlarger (like the ones at my school). It's probably easier to scan it then print it on my printer though haha.

And... oh okay, yeah we use a can opener to open the film preloaded ones and it sorta just bends the cap and I don't think I can put it back on. Hmm sounds like an interesting investment.
07-25-2010, 08:25 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by NecroticSoldier Quote
;((( I WASN'T BORN THEN! LOL. Darn where did all the film go? ;( musta missed it by a good few decades.

. . .
Actually, you missed it by about 8 years. I started using digital for work stuff in lat '01 but still relied on film for the tough stuff.
07-25-2010, 09:59 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
Actually, you missed it by about 8 years. I started using digital for work stuff in lat '01 but still relied on film for the tough stuff.

I just trashed a huge pile of photo mags from 1998 and 1999 and film was completely dominant, though a few of the pros (most prominently Galen Rowell) were moving to the early digital systems. Scanning film to digital was VERY big at the time. I was surprised to see ads for the "new" 645D and the "new" FA 35/2. Both products were very well received at the time.


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07-26-2010, 10:09 AM   #13
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Side note to those rolling their own: the shop I take my film to has always returned my DIY film canisters. Maybe you just need to ask? Maybe I need to appreciate my local shop more? The caps seem to get loose over time so maybe limiting them to a certain number of cycles isn't a bad idea.
07-26-2010, 10:45 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by B Grace Quote
Side note to those rolling their own: the shop I take my film to has always returned my DIY film canisters. Maybe you just need to ask? Maybe I need to appreciate my local shop more? The caps seem to get loose over time so maybe limiting them to a certain number of cycles isn't a bad idea.
My only local shop would do that except they currently only do c41 for 35mm and 120/220.
07-26-2010, 02:38 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by B Grace Quote
Side note to those rolling their own: the shop I take my film to has always returned my DIY film canisters. Maybe you just need to ask? Maybe I need to appreciate my local shop more? The caps seem to get loose over time so maybe limiting them to a certain number of cycles isn't a bad idea.
Ehh... the local shops are like the commercial ish ones, I doubt they would return it... but it wouldn't hurt to try. Anyways... Black and White developing totally empties my wallet. It's around 15$ here for 24 exposures normal print size. I wished I had my own darkroom ;/.
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