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Plastic Film Cassettes

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From established stores I have only been able to buy plastic film cassettes, they seem to have slightly less diameter than my old metal ones. This is a problem with my B&J bulk loader, it has a bar on the lid for holding the cassette in place, but using one of the plastic cassettes yesterday, twice it wrapped film around the cassette not in it. solved the problem with a piece of cardboard slightly higher than the existing bar. I also wonder if the less diameter will subject the film to scratching. So I am looking for metal cassettes, saw some on E**y but would rather have a more dependable source. Checked Adorama, B&H and Freestyle with no luck.

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I had used some plastic cassettes (screw top) years ago in my Watson 66 loader without problems, but preferred the metal ones. I bought about 20 metal cassettes a couple years ago from a smaller photo shop that were DX coded (both 400 & 100) to use with my R8. Searching now I can't find that source, and you are right - it seems the snap top metal cassettes have disappeared from all sources. Last year I still saw boxes of new ones on eBay - but not now.

What camera are you using? I still use mainly Leitz cassettes in my ltm and film M cameras, but during the M6 production they modified it so the newer ones won't take the IXMOO. (My M6 is early and still works with it.)

As I recall, even in the 1960s Kodak film still came in cassettes where the top just snapped on and could be re-used. But since then all film cans seem to be crimped on. Too bad.

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If you were in Thetford England rather than USA I would say look out for some Jessops plastic cassettes. I have used them for many years and though Jessops closed down a few years ago you can occasionally find an unopened pack of ten for sale on e bay. I think they are slightly larger than metal cassettes though they fit in a screw Leica which I think is the tightest fit for cassettes compared to more modern film cameras with a fully opening back.

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Found some metal ones at Freestyle, then came the links. The order was worthwhile 'cause my meter decided to fall apart (Gossen Scout 3) and I ordered a new one with the cassettes.

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The weak link with re-usable cassettes is the velvet light trap (OK, not with old Leica metal cassettes!) The velvet comes unstuck, or gathers some dust and then makes scratches. So I buy cheap plastic cassettes and then use them only two or three times and discard before I lose a film to light leaks or scratches.

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I reuse my commercial film cassettes, by getting the leader out with an appropriate tool and then cutting this off, which is much easier than doing it in a bag. Then in the bag/dark wind the film straight on to the reel from the cassette, when it gets to the end leave around 1cm and cut it off there (I usually put it between my fingers and cut along them).  You can then tape the film from the bulk loader to this and load as normal.  I only use them a couple of times just in case the felt becomes contaminated etc but never had a problem yet.  In addition you can use the DX coding if it fits the bulk film or cover it with a plain label if not. 

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