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Price rising, do you still shoot film?


Einst_Stein
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Bulk loading is pretty straightforward Graham - though like most things with film, "once you get the hang of it". You'll need a changing bag to take the roll out of its wrapping and into the bulk loader but once that's done you can do everything else in daylight or with the lights on. Cartier-Bresson apparently used to bulk load at night after a day's shooting and found it quite therapeutic. I've done it in front of the TV - and it is quite a pleasant thing to do once you get used to the process.

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9 minutes ago, stray cat said:

Bulk loading is pretty straightforward Graham - though like most things with film, "once you get the hang of it". You'll need a changing bag to take the roll out of its wrapping and into the bulk loader but once that's done you can do everything else in daylight or with the lights on. Cartier-Bresson apparently used to bulk load at night after a day's shooting and found it quite therapeutic. I've done it in front of the TV - and it is quite a pleasant thing to do once you get used to the process.

Thanks Phil.  That's interesting, I thought I might need to do each roll in the change bag.  Good to know it's just the initial part .

I'll look forward to it .  $7.72/roll is a nice motivator 

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2 hours ago, grahamc said:

Thanks Phil.  That's interesting, I thought I might need to do each roll in the change bag.  Good to know it's just the initial part .

I'll look forward to it .  $7.72/roll is a nice motivator 

Graham, you will also need reloadable film casettes. I recommend you practice loading in daylight with a blank film. It is definitely worth the effort.

Initial loading of the bulk loader can easily be done at night in a room with the light off Actually easier than a dark bag. Again, practice loading a piece of film into the loader in daylight so you can see how it must be done, ultimately by feel.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, grahamc said:

Hi Phil

Now I've saved myself over 30% by making the switch .... I can do the same again by loading bulk (Just under $8/roll bulk-loading HP5 versus $11 per roll buying singles).  

So thanks for the heads-up on that pricing although I'm a little intimidated by the loading process - is it difficult? I notice DM have a loader available .  I assume this takes place in a dark bag (I don't have a dark room).

Is there much room for error or is it fairly easy to get the hang of ?   

The bulk rolls with tri-X didn't make much sense (Price differences versus buying rolls wasn't much) but now I'm planning to be reasonably committed to Ilford B&W then I'm sure bulk-loading will be the next step for me at some point . 

Thanks 

Graham 

 

Loading the long roll is easy. You can order used canister from Ebay for much lower price than the dedicated self-load canister. It would be useful to buy the film tong retriver when you order the loader.  

Edited by Einst_Stein
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9 hours ago, Einst_Stein said:

Loading the long roll is easy. You can order used canister from Ebay for much lower price than the dedicated self-load canister. It would be useful to buy the film tong retriver when you order the loader.  

I am assuming you refer here to the Leica self loader. Not necessary. Reloadables are readily available for about $2 each. The end cap just twists off which avoids the need of the film tong retriever, which is a real PITA to use anyway.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, erl said:

I am assuming you refer here to the Leica self loader. Not necessary. Reloadables are readily available for about $2 each. The end cap just twists off which avoids the need of the film tong retriever, which is a real PITA to use anyway.

 

Edited by Einst_Stein
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23 hours ago, erl said:

Methinks the price of film (B&W) appears to vary considerably from country to country. Fomapan (referred to above) is actually dearer than Ilford here in Australia. Importing it from B&H which I used to do years ago is not a good option any more. There was a time when any film I bought from B&H, including shipping cost, was significantly cheaper than buying locally.

The difference in costs seems to be not significant between brands, at least not worth risking an 'unknown' performer just to save a few dollars. By unknown I mean something I have not tried, not meaning to impune any product. I will stick with my tried and proven Ilford films for the present. I won't (can't) change my shooting style to save money, but I will load up less frequently, filling the gaps with digital.

My casual observation is that Kodak are clearly the most expensive for B&W, which worries me not as I don't favour it, but do prefer Kodak colour film.

Erl, check out blanconegro.com.au. Rolls of Fomapan 36 exp are around $8 - 8.25 and 30 metre tins $100 or so. They have a comprehensive range of Fomapan products including 120 film and for the darkroom....Cheers.

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22 hours ago, erl said:

Graham, you will also need reloadable film casettes. I recommend you practice loading in daylight with a blank film. It is definitely worth the effort.

Initial loading of the bulk loader can easily be done at night in a room with the light off Actually easier than a dark bag. Again, practice loading a piece of film into the loader in daylight so you can see how it must be done, ultimately by feel.

 

 

4 hours ago, alan c. davis said:

Erl, check out blanconegro.com.au. Rolls of Fomapan 36 exp are around $8 - 8.25 and 30 metre tins $100 or so. They have a comprehensive range of Fomapan products including 120 film and for the darkroom....Cheers.

Thanks guys, all sounds great - I regret buying my latest 10-pack now. !

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Posted (edited)

A couple of months ago I bought a Watson 66B film loader from ebay, and, from various UK online dealers, a dozen or so Leica FILCA and IXMOO brass film canisters at around £10 each*. I have just loaded one set of canisters from a 30m roll of Delta 400; no real problems doing so, but some lessons learned:

Yes, the canister loading from the bulk loader is intended to be done in daylight, but by doing so you lose a short length of film to exposure at either end of each film canister. This is not a problem at the leader end, because you would lose that when you put it in the camera. Losing it at the other end is more problematic, as you don't always know exactly when you are coming to the tethered end of the film. Unless you are very disciplined in loading technique and watching the film counter as you take them, you are always likely to lose the last couple of images on the roll. Next time, I intend to load the canisters from the bulk loader in the dark: more fiddly, but I won't lose that last great exposure on the roll.

You have to cut the end of the bulk film to feed into the canister spool slot. This is not a problem in daylight, but I will have to work out how to do it by feel in a changing bag; I think there are expensive Leica templates out there (the counterpart of the ABLOO), but I shall make my own. 

 

* I don't claim this is the cheapest option for bulk film loading, but I like using these mini feats of Leica engineering.

Edited by LocalHero1953
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Posted (edited)

Good luck finding the right side of the spool slot in the dark to slip the tapered end into, especially as the two halves of the cassette shell have to be assembled before you load it, unlike the Contax/Nikon cassettes. Occasionally the grip in the spool doesnot grip. You can take it apart to clean but it is quite small and fiddly or tape the film to the spool as I did the other day for one that refused to grip.

Check your cassettes in the loader before you start. As I mentioned before, some of the spools have a fatter cross bar in the end that doesnot fit between the prongs of the Watson winder handle or slips off it. For those cassettes I end up winding the film onto a reloadable plastic cassette and then transferring it to the Leica cassette. I could just use it in the plastic cassette but that is missing the point.

when you have finished the film and are loading it into the developing tank, tear the spool off the end of the film but make sure you have a small piece of film left on the negative  roll side of the spool grip, so that you have something to hold and push through to release the grip’s grip on the bit of film inside the spool if there is not enough to hold and pull on on the pushed through end. If that makes sense?

 

Edited by Pyrogallol
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  • 3 weeks later...

Kodak Vision 3 is almost a solution to cut 35mm color film cost, almost, but not really.

400 ft 35mm movie film costs about $400 (after tax and shipping), about 5$ per 36 exp, almost half the price of Kodak Ektar  100,. The problem is the ECN-2 chemistry costs, Using 8-12-roll kit costs about $4 per roll (vs. 1$ if Rollie C41 80 roll kit)., it offsets the film saving.

There is 5L kit that costs much less, (about 2$ per roll), but the package on purpose can not be divided into multiple 1L batch. You have to use up the 80roll quantity in. 1 or 2 months, not practical for most users. If you have a group to share that quantity, it might work. 

I wish some vendors could offer 5L or 10L in multiple 8or12 roll batches with the discounted price like the 5L big batch.

 

Edited by Einst_Stein
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Two points I can make.

1. I have just used/processed my first roll of Kodak Pro Image 100. Less than half the price of my favourite (accurate) Portra 400. Trouble is, my first impression is that it is only half as good! Flat looking and low saturation. OK, I can compensate to some degree in post processing, but that is not entirely satisfactory IMO. Further research is slated.

2. I use Tetenal 5L kits, but I divide it, by weighing the powder materials accurately (not difficult) and make up 1L quantities which I then bottle into multiple 150ml bottles. That way, processing only one film at a time (I am shooting a lot less now), the bulk of the dev etc is not 'oxygenated' but kept sealed in filled (tiny) bottles. I have been told it won't work, but it does and is not difficult. I should explain that I practice 'One Shot' processing in a JOBO Autolab 1500 processor.

Interestingly, I am currently gravitating to B&W film usage, but that is another story.

Edit: See my correction in post below. I confused powder chems with liquid chems.

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There are liquid form C41. It might be a little more convenient than powder form, but may not be as travel friendly.Either one is much more friendly than ECN-2, and cheaper too. The total costs of film and developer are close (c41= 10+1=11/36 exp; ECN-2 = 5+ 4= 9). 
 

You can get easily 120 and 135 format in C41, but ECN-2 is practically 135 format only. .

You might argue they are not apple to apple.

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55 minutes ago, erl said:

Two points I can make.

1. I have just used/processed my first roll of Kodak Pro Image 100. Less than half the price of my favourite (accurate) Portra 400. Trouble is, my first impression is that it is only half as good! Flat looking and low saturation. OK, I can compensate to some degree in post processing, but that is not entirely satisfactory IMO. Further research is slated.

2. I use Tetenal 5L kits, but I divide it, by weighing the powder materials accurately (not difficult) and make up 1L quantities which I then bottle into multiple 150ml bottles. That way, processing only one film at a time (I am shooting a lot less now), the bulk of the dev etc is not 'oxygenated' but kept sealed in filled (tiny) bottles. I have been told it won't work, but it does and is not difficult. I should explain that I practice 'One Shot' processing in a JOBO Autolab 1500 processor.

Interestingly, I am currently gravitating to B&W film usage, but that is another story.

Regarding point 1., did you over or underexpose the Pro Image?

I have some but have yet to shoot it. Portra 400 is also my favourite (closely followed by Ektar), and I find i prefer shooting at box speed than overexposing, to preserve saturation. 

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First point: My post above referred to mixing powder chemicals. Currently the Tetenal chems are liquid. A lot easier, and more accurate, to divide.

Second point:I pushed the Kodak Pro Image 100 to 200iso, but I am not convinced that  is the cause of dullness or low saturation. I could be wrong. The processed negs have good density.

Third point: The video clip in Einst_Stein's clip above makes me skeptical about promotional Post Processing. Carefully chosen subjects of colour, and I bet not straight OOC. Yes, I am a confirmed skeptic. I trust tests I conduct with my 'known' subjects and being cognizant of what I 'contributed' to the final look.

Conclusion: I must test further if I am to believe the 'real' outcome.

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