How to bulk load your own 35mm film and save.

Step 1: Stuff

Here is a list of the things you well need:

- Film Bulk Loader, here I am using a vintage Daylight unit, or you could get a new one from places like FreeStyle Photo who stocks all the various items required as well as many good independent photo shops.
- Film canisters, these have to be a special type intended for reloading.
- Film, the film comes in large 100ft. rolls designed to fit into the bulk loaders.
- Masking tape.
- Scissors.
- Film cans are also useful for storing rolls of undeveloped film.

As mentioned you can get all of these things from a good local photography shop, in the Portland Oregon area Pro Photo Supply comes to mind, or online outlets like Free Style photography out of California, their address is: http://www.freestylephoto.biz/e_main.php, look under bulk loading supplies and film. You can also find things like the bulk loader and film canisters at garage sales, antique shops or on craigslist or ebay.

Where do you buy the bulk film reel? Are they still made?
I'm glad to see film is still alive. I have a darkroom set up and bulk loaders that I haven't used and want to start up again with B/W. I have a tip you may have heard. Before the one hour photo shops all became extinct I would get the empty film cartridges they would throw away. there is a tail end of the factory film sticking out to use to splice the bulk film to with scotch tape. Then just load and wind it up. Also I don't have a scale for amount of exposure winding, but use a rule of thumb of one exposure for revolution. I love my old range finders and Canon A1 and there is nothing like a hand print over a digital image (my opinion).
Whoa! Flashbacks! &quot;<em>I love the smell of D76 in the morning -- I smells like DARKROOM!&quot;</em><br/><br/>I still have my <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.freestylephoto.biz/sc_prod.php?pid=4667">Watson</a> bulk loader stashed in my garage, along with years and pages of Plus-X and Tri-X.<br/> <br/>I cannot tell you the last time I saw metal 35mm canisters too, but they are almost as old as your Canon TLb. I recently gave away my first SLR -- a Minolta SR-1 (fully manual - lightmeter required) to a teenager I spotted shooting 35mm a year ago.<br/><br/>I keep around my 26 year-old Canon A-1 SLR (the 1st camera to have a genuine <strong>LED </strong>readout of shutter speed and f-stop in the viewfinder)<br/><br/>BTW, I'm in PDX; I suspect you are also. And so the rain begins....<br/>
I have a supply of METAL reloadable cannisters, excellent condition, along with a couple of Lloyd's bulk loaders and changing bags that I can part with if anyone is interested. Let me know !
Do you still have? How much?
I actually live in Salem but I go to school at PSU so I hop on the street car and ride down to pro photo and powells. The TLb was actually my Dads, he gave it to me when I took photography in high school I also have an FTb that I recently picked up but I still need to tinker with the light meter some to get it working.
About how many exposures can you get out of a 100' roll?
With most 100' rolls, you can get about 18 rolls of 36 exposures if you count your &quot;cranks&quot; accurately when rolling the film.
Oh! And I'm sharing this on facebook! :)<br />
Works for me :D Glad it helped you, I&nbsp;just saw that Freestyle was selling their Floyd reproductions about 2 weeks ago. What film are you going to load in it, I have the Arista pro in mine right now which is supposed to be Kodak but when that runs out I&nbsp;want to get some of their reboxed Fuji, although&nbsp;I&nbsp;have another loader so I might just get some iso 400 for it.<br />
Haven't baught any film yet - buying the loader today. I'll be running Fomapan Action 400 iso in it. It's very close to the feel I got using Agfa APX 400. Nice grain and quite silver heavy. Old School! I shoot in very poor lighting conditions on a regular basis, so I need the forgiving qualities of this film. I also overdevelop by a half stop, using Fomadon Excel (&quot;X-Tol&quot; in powder form) diluted 1:1. 11 1/2 minutes in 20&curren;C. Gives nice grain and the right punch. And I scan the film.<br /> <br /> Love:<br /> Fomapan 400<br /> Tri-X 400<br /> HP5+ 400<br /> Fp4+ 125<br /> Like:<br /> T-Max (all)<br /> Fomapan 200/100<br /> Dislike:<br /> Fuji Neopan (Very unforgiving)<br /> Hate:<br /> All Delta films. Cannot for the life of me get them to work!<br /> Miss:<br /> Agfa APX. Very much. I've got a block of APX 400 120 in the freezer. It's been there for 5 years. Saving it for a very special occation!<br /> <br /> I tried attatching a full size jpeg straight from the scanner. It's a shot that would have been impossible if it weren't for the forgiveness of Fomapan 400. Might have worked on Tri-X, but I wouldn't be shooting this stuff on anything else, I think. It's a very thin negative, but there is something even in the darkest areas.<br /> <br /> Anyway... it was resized by instructables, so you can check it out here instead:<br /> <a href="http://cyboy.deviantart.com/art/Illustrating-fomapan-400-160894019" rel="nofollow">cyboy.deviantart.com/art/Illustrating-fomapan-400-160894019</a><br /> <br />
Very nice step-by-step! I actually got a hit off google when searching for info on the pro legacy Lloid loader, to see if it would be a good match for me, and this closes the deal! Thanx!<br />
i will just had that you should tape the end of the film to the spool much firmly. I had films detaching from the spool in my camera and it was a nightmare, it will never happen again :) I use a much longer and larger piece of tape and get all around the spool to get the film end on both sides :)
Good point, I usually use more tape and get it around to both sides like you say, for some reason when I was taking pictures I just stuck a small bit on there.
Thanks for this! I just got the same loader delivered today from a purchase on eBay. I have about a dozen different 35mm cameras (SLR to point-n-shoot to pinhole) and I quickly figured out that bulk loading was the way to go. I haven't been able to find instructions for the Lloyd's, so this was a HUGE help to me.
Yeah, I just bought another 100 ft roll of film from Freestyle the other day to start bulk loading. Their Arista Premium is Kodak film BTW and a great value at $30 for a 100 ft roll. As mentioned by someone else make sure your loader is clean and free of dust before loading the roll.
I might point out that the style of bulk film loader (A Lloyd Loader) you show needs to be kept very clean. The fuzzy stuff in the film gate can get micro bits of dust that will scratch your film. After trashing several rolls of film with one of these type loaders, I switched to the other variety (The Watson Type...also not without their foibles). In addition, Lloyd loaders can have another problem, with static discharge, if you crank 'em too fast (and depending on the weather). You don't find out this has happened until you develop the film and discover all these little "lightning bolt" type marks where the static discharge exposed the film. (I've had this happen as well).
Good to know, I well definitely make sure it is clean the next time I load it. For the static problem would you think wearing an anti-static band well help, I have one if so?
I dunno about the static band. Since the internal workings of the loader aren't metal, would the static discharge through it? I lived in Alaska when I had mine, and the dry air during the winter might have had something to do with it. Watson loaders do have an advantage, but you have to remember to open/close the film gate between rolls. Forget to open it, and you will scratch the film way worse than a dirty Lloyd loader. Forget to close it, and you fog your film. ...and, just as a little tidbit of info. When you do scratch film, there is a way to minimize the effect when printing. This only works on the base side of the film, not the emulsion side. Anyway, take your finger and rub a bit of the skin oil from the side of your nose, then rub it onto the base side of the film. It will ill in any scratches. I know, sounds crazy, but it works. Of course there are a couple of drawbacks. You need to carefully clean the "nose grease" off afterwards, since it is a dust magnet. Printing with a cold light head also cuts down on dust/scratches (and supposedly minimizes something called the "Callier effect" as well. )
I have used behind the ear oil before :D
Thank you, this will give me courage to start DIY loading myself later in 09. At the moment I'm still getting to grips with developing my own films.
Great stuff. I loved your blue tape idea, I ruined (thank god unexposed) one roll because the cap fell open. Sadly I don't have time for B&W, and I sold all my 3 bulk film loaders last week, and last 30m roll of bulk film (Provia) tonight. This is the cheapest way to do film photography, you can find expired B&W bulk film if you are patient enough (Last year I grabbed 10 boxes of 50 meter expired Agfa APX-400 for £5 each, gave away to friends, resold them on ebay, great stuff). Expired film is fine as long as they are kept in fridge for their whole life.
That's pretty neat! I'd never seen a refillable canister before, let alone a bulk loader. It's nice that you don't have to have a light-tight bag or something to use it. In this era of everything going digital it's nice to see some "old-school" gadgets getting use.
Yeah once you load the bulk film roll into the loader, which has to be done in total darkness for obvious reasons, you can just sit there and churn out rolls of film.

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