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Elementary questions on film handling.



 
 
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  #11  
Old November 5th 05, 10:37 AM
Richard Knoppow
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Default Elementary questions on film handling.


"Liopleurodon" wrote in
message ...
Hi all,

I'm just starting out on the B&W develope and process
road, and am slowly gathering the gear to start a basic
darkroom.

Everything I've read states that unexposed film (I'll be
using B&W 35mm) needs to be handled in complete darkness,
you can't even use a safelight with it. So I have to
practice loading the bulk film loader and then the
developing tank in complete darkness.

My two questions a

Has anyone found a way of not doing this in complete
darkness, eg. night-vision, infra-red or special safelight
filter?

When handling the film, how important is it to keep your
fingers off the actual film face? Obviously handling on
the edges would be better, but in complete darkness with
my clumsy fingers, I can imagine when loading the
developing reel I'm gonna grab the film face at least
once.Would this ruin that patch, or is it ok as long as
the touch is light?

With thanks.


--
Richard "Productively wasting time"

If replying directly, remove "aqua".


Bulk film holders are not too difficult to load. I use
the Alden 74, which is sold by most of the larger suppliers
and comes with pretty good instructions. The film comes in
100 foot spools with a plastic core. Its nearly a drop in
load. The film path and method of loading will be obvious
when you inspect the inside in the light.
Loading cassettes is simple and is done in the light, the
loader has a light tight compartment. Bulk loading leaves a
couple of inches of fogged film at each end. It makes no
difference at the beginning of the roll since that will be
fogged in loading the camera but you will loose 1 or 2
frames at the end. It is possible to avoid this by loading
the cassettes in the dark but its a bother.
The method of loading a developing tank depends on the
tank. I use quite old stainless steel tanks which I find
easier to load than plastic tanks. Load some scrap film in
the light to get the feel for it. For 35mm film its
necessary to cut off the tapered leader, easy with a pair of
small scissors. It also sometimes helps with any type of
tank to trim the corners. For SS reels the film is fastened
to a clip at the center and wound onto the tank by cupping
it slightly with your hand. There are loading aids which
guide the film, I have a couple but never use them.
I agree with those who suggest starting out with packaged
film but it won't take much to get comfortable with loading
the tanks.
Bulk loading saves a lot in film cost. The bulk spools
have a long shelf life. A 100 foot spool is approximately
equivalent to 20 36 exposure rolls of 35mm film. It is
sometimes useful to make up short rolls, especially for
testing. The Alden loader has good instructions for using
the frame counter. You will need some empty cassettes, some
masking tape, and a pair of scissors.
Make sure you label the loader with the type of film in
it and the date it was loaded. If you load cassettes of the
same length consistently its also helpful to mark a tape
showing how many you have loaded.
I find it very handy to have a good changing bag. You can
get plain bags for not too much and also very fancy "tents"
but the plain bag is good enough and not too expensive. They
are also useful for dealing with jammed cameras, etc.
There is not much problem with touching the film. When
dealing with 35mm about the only parts of the film you will
ever touch are at the ends of the spools where they are not
going to be used for images anyway.


--
---
Richard Knoppow
Los Angeles, CA, USA



  #12  
Old November 5th 05, 10:47 AM
Richard Knoppow
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Elementary questions on film handling.


"Francis A. Miniter" wrote in
message ...
Gilbert wrote:

Has anyone found a way of not doing this in complete
darkness, eg. night-vision, infra-red or special
safelight filter?


Yes. Look at this thread :
http://www.apug.org/forums/showthrea...night+vi sion
snip

Gilbert


The only light that I have heard to be safe during
development of panchromatic is in the following situation.
When developing sheet film (don't try this with 35 mm
film, it is too small to inspect properly), after the film
has been in the developer bath for about 3/4 of the
allotted time, you may hold it up briefly in front of a
dim, dark green safelight for purposes of inspection of
the degree of contrast obtained.

Francis A. Miniter


This is based on the fact that the dark adapted eye is
most sensitive to blue-green light so the light can be the
dimmest possible. Also, most panchromatic dyes have a dip at
about the same color, some modern films, like T-Max, do not.
The use of the light during development also counts on the
fact that the emulsion is substantially desensitized by the
development process. Nonetheless only very weak light can be
used for a few seconds without danger of fog. That's why
Kodak wants you to wait until development is three quarters
done.
I believe that IR light with IR goggles are used in some
film manufacturing plants, mainly for trouble shooting. Most
panchromatic films have little or no IR sensitivity. This is
really not practical for home use.
The first film I ever developed, some 55 years ago, was
orthochromatic, probably the old Verichrome. It was done
under a "ruby lamp" a small red light bulb. Those starting
out now will never know the thrill of seeing the image come
up on the film (it seemed to take forever) because there is
little ortho film made now.


--
---
Richard Knoppow
Los Angeles, CA, USA



  #13  
Old November 5th 05, 11:27 AM
Liopleurodon
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Elementary questions on film handling.

To all,

Many thanks for all your replies, been informative reading them all.

My main reasons for using a bulk film loader a
The ease of opening the cassettes and extracting the film for the developing
tank. I've read and looked and knowing how I best deal with things, I know
I'll waste more film practicing opening a commercial canister and extracting
the film off the spool, then if I already know how it's attached and so on
with a bulk film loaded canister. Summary- If it's something I've already
put together, it'll be easier for me to take apart in the dark.

When first developing film, I can use 10 or 15 exposure lengths, using less
film than a 24 or 36 commercial can, as I learn the best develop, stop, fix
times etc.


My main concern regarding fingerprints as been allayed now, I initially
thought the film had to manually pushed onto the spiral all the way by hand,
I now see that once the end has been inserted, you just twist the reel ends
back and forth and it drags the rest of the film in itself.

I'll pop into a couple of local shops later and see about obtaining some
cheap out of date film to practice with.

Once again, many thanks to all who took the time to reply, much appreciated.

--
Richard "Productively wasting time"

If replying directly, remove "aqua".


  #14  
Old November 5th 05, 02:14 PM
Claudio Bonavolta
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Elementary questions on film handling.

Liopleurodon a écrit :
To all,

Many thanks for all your replies, been informative reading them all.

My main reasons for using a bulk film loader a
The ease of opening the cassettes and extracting the film for the developing
tank. I've read and looked and knowing how I best deal with things, I know
I'll waste more film practicing opening a commercial canister and extracting
the film off the spool, then if I already know how it's attached and so on
with a bulk film loaded canister. Summary- If it's something I've already
put together, it'll be easier for me to take apart in the dark.


I *never* open a canister, I always felt unconfortable with a full
135-36 film (more than 1.60m or 5 feet and a half) unloading down to the
ground ...

I just retrieve the film leader (there are specific cheap tools for
this, look at B&H or Adorama under "film leader retriever"), cut the
leader and make a small champfer on the film's corner. All this done in
daylight.
Then, in the dark, I load the reel by extracting from canister/loading
on reel 10-20cm (4-8") per time until I reach the end of the film.
At the end, you just cut the film close to the canister and that's it.
Some will probably tell you this way the film passes twice on the felt
and may be scratched, but in more than 25 years, it never happened to me.

When first developing film, I can use 10 or 15 exposure lengths, using less
film than a 24 or 36 commercial can, as I learn the best develop, stop, fix
times etc.


My main concern regarding fingerprints as been allayed now, I initially
thought the film had to manually pushed onto the spiral all the way by hand,
I now see that once the end has been inserted, you just twist the reel ends
back and forth and it drags the rest of the film in itself.


In 35mm, films are rigid enough that I just push them in the reel by
hand (holding them by the edges) without needing to move alternatively
the flanges of the reel.
All you need is clean, dry reels and dry hands. Its mainly moisture on
the gelatin side that makes the film difficult to load.
You can use an hairdryer to remove any moisture before loading.

I'll pop into a couple of local shops later and see about obtaining some
cheap out of date film to practice with.


Just buy the cheapest 135-36 roll film available. You need the 36
exposures as, usually, it's the last part of the film to be difficult to
load.

Once again, many thanks to all who took the time to reply, much appreciated.



Have a nice start,
--
Claudio Bonavolta
http://www.bonavolta.ch
  #15  
Old November 5th 05, 04:56 PM
Rod Smith
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Elementary questions on film handling.

In article ,
Rob Novak writes:

I personally find
Paterson/JOBO-type plastic spiral reels (where you crank opposite
sides to load the film in) easier to load than stainless ones - it's
way too easy to misload the metal versions if you're not careful.
Once the plastic spirals are started, it's almost impossible to
misload them.


This is definitely a matter of personal preference. My own is the opposite
of yours. Although plastic reels are easy to get started, in my experience
they usually develop increasing friction as you move past about half of
the roll, and on occasion this friction is so great that I've been unable
to get the film on entirely. I've tried all sorts of things to get past
this problem (being extra careful about drying the reels, trimming the
leading edge in a curve, etc.), but I've never really licked the problem.
Maybe it's humidity in the room or some unusual wear pattern on my reels
(I've used both Paterson and AP). I readily admit that not everybody has
this problem, but a Web search will turn up other similar reports, so I'm
certainly not alone.

My Hewes stainless steel reels, by comparison, are a breeze to load. The
only tricky part is getting the film hooked on the sprockets at the center
of the reel to begin, and that's not all THAT hard. A big caveat, though:
I'm talking about new Hewes reels, which use sprockets to center the film;
most stainless steel reels use clips, which are trickier to use. Also, if
a reel is dropped or otherwise abused, it may get bent out of shape, which
will mess things up completely. I've got a couple of generic used
stainless steel reels that are almost impossible to load correctly.

--
Rod Smith,
http://www.rodsbooks.com
Author of books on Linux, FreeBSD, and networking
  #16  
Old November 5th 05, 05:22 PM
Rod Smith
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Elementary questions on film handling.

In article ,
"Liopleurodon" writes:

My main reasons for using a bulk film loader a
The ease of opening the cassettes and extracting the film for the developing
tank. I've read and looked and knowing how I best deal with things, I know
I'll waste more film practicing opening a commercial canister and extracting
the film off the spool, then if I already know how it's attached and so on
with a bulk film loaded canister. Summary- If it's something I've already
put together, it'll be easier for me to take apart in the dark.


Getting film out of a cartridge isn't like opening a computer and
adjusting hard drive jumpers; light is not required, or even all that
helpful. Two approaches are common:

1) In the light, use a film leader retriever (they're inexpensive) to pull
the leader out of the catridge. Alternatively, if you've got a
manual-rewind camera, don't rewind the film all the way -- just enough
to get it off the takeup spool but not fully rewound into the
cartridge. Either way, this leaves you with an exposed leader, which
you can trim. You then turn off the lights and load it onto the
developing spool without opening the film cartridge. When you've pulled
out all the film, cut it at the end. This approach has the advantage
that it minimizes the risk of your touching the emulsion or getting the
film dirty if you drop it. If you bulk load some, but not all, of your
film, you can re-use the commercial cassettes by taping your bulk film
to the stub of film that remains on the commercial cassette. This
method of developing reel loading has the disadvantage that if there's
any dust in the felt trap, it can cause scratches on the film.

2) In the dark, use a bottle opener to pry off one end of the film can,
remove the film spool, trim the leader, and load the film onto the
developing spool. When you reach the end, cut the film. The bottle
opener can be the type you'd have in your kitchen or a special opener
made specifically for film cartridges. I've used the bottle opener
attachement on a pocket knife without problems. This approach has the
advantages of not needing a film leader retriever and of minimizing the
risk of scratches because of dust in the film cartridge's felt light
trap. It has the disadvantages of greater risk of fingerprints or other
contamination on the emulsion and of essentially destroying the film
cartridge, so it can't be re-used for future bulk loading.

Neither approach is particularly difficult. When using bulk-load
cassettes, you'd probably use a minor variant of #2, in which you unscrew
or pull off the cap of the cartridge without the help of a bottle opener.
The bulk cartridge can then be re-used.

Overall, learning to use the bulk loader will probably be harder than
learning to unload a commercial cartridge onto a developing reel. This
isn't to say that bulk loading isn't worthwhile. I bulk load most of my
B&W film. I do it for the cost savings, though, not to simplify loading my
developing reels; that simply isn't an issue.

When first developing film, I can use 10 or 15 exposure lengths, using less
film than a 24 or 36 commercial can, as I learn the best develop, stop, fix
times etc.


Be aware that you're more likely to see surge marks and other developing
artifacts with very short rolls. I've not noticed any problems with
24-exposure rolls, but when you get down to under 10 exposures or so,
development may become uneven. This can make judging the proper
development times difficult.

My main concern regarding fingerprints as been allayed now, I initially
thought the film had to manually pushed onto the spiral all the way by hand,
I now see that once the end has been inserted, you just twist the reel ends
back and forth and it drags the rest of the film in itself.


With plastic reels, yes. Stainless steel reels are loaded from the inside
out. You touch the edges of the film to guide it into the reel. Either
way, touching the emulsion is unnecessary (with the possible exception of
a bit at the beginning), but can happen by accident, particularly if you
remove the film spool from its cartridge.

--
Rod Smith,
http://www.rodsbooks.com
Author of books on Linux, FreeBSD, and networking
  #17  
Old November 5th 05, 07:57 PM
Liopleurodon
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Elementary questions on film handling.

"Rod Smith" wrote in message
news
Be aware that you're more likely to see surge marks and other developing
artifacts with very short rolls. I've not noticed any problems with
24-exposure rolls, but when you get down to under 10 exposures or so,
development may become uneven. This can make judging the proper
development times difficult.

This is why I feel talking to people is important, the books don't mention
this.
What causes this? I would have thought there was more danger of developer
not getting round all the film with the reel fully loaded with say 36ex
because of less space, than with a 10ex?
--
Richard "Productively wasting time"

If replying directly, remove "aqua".

-----


  #18  
Old November 5th 05, 08:31 PM
Jean-David Beyer
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Elementary questions on film handling.

Rod Smith wrote:
In article ,
Rob Novak writes:

I personally find
Paterson/JOBO-type plastic spiral reels (where you crank opposite
sides to load the film in) easier to load than stainless ones - it's
way too easy to misload the metal versions if you're not careful.
Once the plastic spirals are started, it's almost impossible to
misload them.



This is definitely a matter of personal preference. My own is the opposite
of yours. Although plastic reels are easy to get started, in my experience
they usually develop increasing friction as you move past about half of
the roll, and on occasion this friction is so great that I've been unable
to get the film on entirely. I've tried all sorts of things to get past
this problem (being extra careful about drying the reels, trimming the
leading edge in a curve, etc.), but I've never really licked the problem.
Maybe it's humidity in the room or some unusual wear pattern on my reels
(I've used both Paterson and AP). I readily admit that not everybody has
this problem, but a Web search will turn up other similar reports, so I'm
certainly not alone.

My Hewes stainless steel reels, by comparison, are a breeze to load. The
only tricky part is getting the film hooked on the sprockets at the center
of the reel to begin, and that's not all THAT hard. A big caveat, though:
I'm talking about new Hewes reels, which use sprockets to center the film;
most stainless steel reels use clips, which are trickier to use. Also, if
a reel is dropped or otherwise abused, it may get bent out of shape, which
will mess things up completely. I've got a couple of generic used
stainless steel reels that are almost impossible to load correctly.

I presently use Jobo 2500 series plastic reels, and they work most of the
time, but sometimes I must remove the film and start over because it just
will not go in. On good days, I can just push the film in without wiggling
the sides.

The easiest SS reels to use I ever found were the Honeywell Nikor reels.
These have no clip or anything. You just center the film the best you can in
the gap in the core and load the thing. I have a clip in the 120 size reel,
and that is more problematical because if you get the film in wrong, it will
never load right. Fortunately I hardly ever shoot 120. (If I have to take a
tripod and camera out there, might as well use the 4x5.

--
.~. Jean-David Beyer Registered Linux User 85642.
/V\ PGP-Key: 9A2FC99A Registered Machine 241939.
/( )\ Shrewsbury, New Jersey http://counter.li.org
^^-^^ 14:25:00 up 27 days, 13:48, 5 users, load average: 4.40, 4.29, 4.17
  #19  
Old November 6th 05, 05:46 AM
Richard Knoppow
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Elementary questions on film handling.


"Liopleurodon" wrote in
message ...
"Rod Smith" wrote in
message news
Be aware that you're more likely to see surge marks and
other developing
artifacts with very short rolls. I've not noticed any
problems with
24-exposure rolls, but when you get down to under 10
exposures or so,
development may become uneven. This can make judging the
proper
development times difficult.


This is why I feel talking to people is important, the
books don't mention this.
What causes this? I would have thought there was more
danger of developer not getting round all the film with
the reel fully loaded with say 36ex because of less space,
than with a 10ex?
--
Richard "Productively wasting time"

If replying directly, remove "aqua".

-----

I think the problem here is due to excessive turbulance
when agitating. I must say that I use short rolls to test
cameras and have not had this difficulty but it probably
depends on the tank and method of agitation. Short rolls are
sometimes useful but waste film because there is a certain
amount of film used up for leaders and lost at the end and
that stays the same regardless of length.
Again, the bulk loader is simple to use and tanks just
take some practice, which you can do in the light.
A note about cassettes: Kodak cassettes have crimped tops
which can not be removed without damage (a bottle opener
takes them off). Most other cassettes have tops which will
pop off when pressure is put on the long end of the spool.
They pop back on when reloading by compressing the cassette
sides a little. Kodak did this to prevent bulk loaders from
selling film with Kodak labels on it. The cassettes can be
reused by using a film retriever, as others have mentioned,
and cutting off the film so that there is a little tongue of
film left to which the new film can be taped. Empty
cassettes for bulk loading are available from large photo
suppliers like Calumet, Freestyle, B&H, etc.;they are cheap
and can be reused many times.


--
---
Richard Knoppow
Los Angeles, CA, USA



  #20  
Old November 6th 05, 04:58 PM
Mike King
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Elementary questions on film handling.

The sharp end of a "church key" (older readers will know what I mean!) type
can opener works better than a bottle opener. The hook that grips the edge
of the cassette lid has a better shape (you can round over the pointy piece
with a file or grinder a bit).. You can still find them in housewares or
check in sporting goods for a stainless steel model that won't rust.

And as far as the loading bit I always tell people that after the first
thousand rolls or so they'll have a lot more confidence. It just takes a
little practice (but I still managed to screw up the first roll I loaded on
a stainless steel reel).

--
darkroommike

----------
"Richard Knoppow" wrote in message
k.net...

"Liopleurodon" wrote in
message ...
"Rod Smith" wrote in
message news
Be aware that you're more likely to see surge marks and
other developing
artifacts with very short rolls. I've not noticed any
problems with
24-exposure rolls, but when you get down to under 10
exposures or so,
development may become uneven. This can make judging the
proper
development times difficult.


This is why I feel talking to people is important, the
books don't mention this.
What causes this? I would have thought there was more
danger of developer not getting round all the film with
the reel fully loaded with say 36ex because of less space,
than with a 10ex?
--
Richard "Productively wasting time"

If replying directly, remove "aqua".

-----

I think the problem here is due to excessive turbulance
when agitating. I must say that I use short rolls to test
cameras and have not had this difficulty but it probably
depends on the tank and method of agitation. Short rolls are
sometimes useful but waste film because there is a certain
amount of film used up for leaders and lost at the end and
that stays the same regardless of length.
Again, the bulk loader is simple to use and tanks just
take some practice, which you can do in the light.
A note about cassettes: Kodak cassettes have crimped tops
which can not be removed without damage (a bottle opener
takes them off). Most other cassettes have tops which will
pop off when pressure is put on the long end of the spool.
They pop back on when reloading by compressing the cassette
sides a little. Kodak did this to prevent bulk loaders from
selling film with Kodak labels on it. The cassettes can be
reused by using a film retriever, as others have mentioned,
and cutting off the film so that there is a little tongue of
film left to which the new film can be taped. Empty
cassettes for bulk loading are available from large photo
suppliers like Calumet, Freestyle, B&H, etc.;they are cheap
and can be reused many times.


--
---
Richard Knoppow
Los Angeles, CA, USA





 




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