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08-06-2016, 10:01 PM   #1
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Bulk loading!

So one of my favorite films is Agfa 160 XPS portrait, which unfortunately at this point is discontinued for about a decade. I've snagged rolls here and there but the price keeps rising. I've come across some refrigerated/frozen bulk rolls and I'm ready to take the plunge. I have no idea where to take said plunge, what equipment is good/not good, and any tips you guys can give me would be great. Thanks.

08-06-2016, 10:11 PM   #2
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If you are in Los Angeles head up to Freestyle Photo on Sunset east of Western. You can get the changing bags, bulk loader, film cassettes and just about everything else you need include bulk film.
08-07-2016, 12:20 AM   #3
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Freestyle photo is very good. I've ordered lots of stuff from them. Must be nice to live not too far away. Shipping on some of the chemicals sucks.....

Good Luck!
08-07-2016, 04:54 AM   #4
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I order film and chemicals from Freestyle often. Shipping is reasonable and fast.
Their prices are sometimes a few pennies more, however I prefer to support
a retailer that has demonstrated a continued commitment to film photography.

Freestyle will ship ORM-D chemicals, e.g. Kodak HC110 developer.
FWIW B&H sells ORM-D chemicals in store but will not ship them.

Chris

08-07-2016, 06:39 AM   #5
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I also buy most darkroom supplies from Freestyle - good selection and service.
For bulk loading I've used a Watson 66 daylight loader for 50 years, and they often turn up on eBay. The Watson works with all common film cassettes, and also the special Leica, Contax, Canon, Nikon cassettes for the old rangefinder cameras that I use most. (And it works with the special Pentax reloadable cassette if you stumble across one.)
Get a good, large changing bag or tent for loading the bulk film into the daylight loader, and for opening cassettes to load onto reels. I've used Nikor stainless tanks also for 50 years, but changed to Hewes stainless reels, which are the easiest to load. A small (250 ml) Nikor tank fits one 35 mm reel, and uses half the liquid as most tanks for economical chemical use.
The chemistry I used for decades is no longer available, so now I use Rodinal as it is single-use, dilute as you need it, and keeps forever.
08-07-2016, 07:31 AM   #6
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Freestyle can supply you all that you need, including advice. Call them. They're friendly people. 800-292-6137
08-07-2016, 09:25 AM   #7
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I was going to recommend Kodak Portra 160 but I see the 100 ft. roll is discontinued.
A Web search turns up little C-41 color negative film still available in 100' bulk rolls.

I did find a good deal on some recently expired Konica stock:
Konica 35mm x 100 Ft Professional 160 Color Pro Film PERFED - Konica Color Print Film

I have ordered from seller Photo Warehouse in the past without incident.

Chris
08-07-2016, 10:22 AM   #8
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I wouldn't expect optimum results from 10 year expired color negative film.

08-07-2016, 12:58 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
I wouldn't expect optimum results from 10 year expired color negative film.
I assume you refer to OP's older Agfa stock. The description of the Konica 160 film states:

"Dated 01/2010 or better, Quality Guaranteed, Cold Stored, Shoots Perfect, Looks GREAT."

$49.99 for 100 ft. is a pretty good deal. If I used a lot of C-41 color negative film I'd bite.

Chris
08-07-2016, 02:18 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
I assume you refer to OP's older Agfa stock. The description of the Konica 160 film states:

"Dated 01/2010 or better, Quality Guaranteed, Cold Stored, Shoots Perfect, Looks GREAT."

$49.99 for 100 ft. is a pretty good deal. If I used a lot of C-41 color negative film I'd bite.

Chris
Background radiation will eventually fog your film. And C-41 color was never known for a long lasting film.
08-07-2016, 02:35 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
Background radiation will eventually fog your film.
True, but I'm not throwing away my last 50 feet of expired original AGFA APX100.
You'd be surprised at the excellent results so many get with long expired film.

QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
And C-41 color was never known for a long lasting film.
It's good enough for the majority of users. And what's the alternative?
Kodachrome is gone forever...

Chris
08-09-2016, 12:12 PM - 1 Like   #12
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Original Poster
I've used Konica 160 from them before. It needs to be shot at 80. Nice pastel faded colors. Name:  Image1470769147.857698.jpg
Views: 132
Size:  80.2 KB Thats me on Konica 160 with a K105 f2.8. Name:  Image1470769861.263820.jpg
Views: 137
Size:  220.8 KB and this is one my friends on Agfa 160 with K50 1.2.
08-09-2016, 03:32 PM   #13
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Bulk loading is very easy when you have a Lloyd loader and a changing bag. You will need a pair of scissors and some masking tape, along with some empty cassettes. The best part is being able to choose how many exposures you want - I like to go out for a walk and use a film and develop and scan it the same day. 24 exposures suits me better than 36, so that's what I do.

BTW, I heard today that Fuji have discontinued some more film stocks, including my favourite cheap colour film. So I went to a Canadian site to buy up what I could, which turned out to be all of their Fujicolor 200 and Agfa Vista 400. Prices there, in Canadian dollars were:

Kodak Portra 160 5 pack $60.99 = $12.20 per film
Kodak Ektar 100 = $12.59 per film
Agfa Vista 400 = $5.49 per film
FujiColor C200 2 pack $7.29 = $3.65 per film

For 10 measly Canadian cents a shot, that Fuji film is (or was) quite a bargain!

Chris
08-10-2016, 03:55 PM   #14
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My favorite bulk loader is the Alden 74, made by Queen City Plastics in Cincinnati.
This model is fairly common on eBay, often in like new condition, at reasonable cost.
There are cheaper models, but this one works very well and has never let me down.

Reusable 35mm film cassettes do wear out after multiple uses. Always examine
the light baffle flocking where the film passes out of the cassette for dirt/wear.
These are getting harder to find, so when I see a good deal on eBay I stock up.
Start saving your old plastic film cans now to store your bulk-loaded film.

Use strong tape to fasten the film to the spindle. Masking tape has failed me at the
end of a roll; then the camera could only be opened only in a changing bag.
I prefer quality electrical tape, like 3M Scotch Super 33+, which has never broken.
It adheres tenaciously yet can be peeled off before development leaving no residue.

You will need a changing bag to install the master spool inside the bulk loader.
After that everything can be done in daylight, preferably subdued of course.
Don't skimp on the changing bag. Buy new. Minimum size should be ~27-30" square.
You may eventually start developing film; loading the daylight tank requires more room.

Chris
08-24-2016, 05:33 PM   #15
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IF you have access to a darkroom you can also get away without the bulk loader.
Simply turn off all the safe lights, close the door, and stretch out your arms. The length between them will be about 32-40 exposures worth. It's a little harder to tape and spool, but not too bad. In one of my classes one time we all did this about once a week, and set up a crank like this - load bulk - to do the winding.
It avoids both putting the film through another potentially scratchy felt AND the cost of a loader, plus the ends of your films aren't fogged.
Just a thought, but something that worked out well for me.
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