My consumption rate of 35mm 36-Exposure film is gradulally increasing. Espeically after I got Leica M3 in addition to EOS1V, EOS7s and GR1V, even I consume over 30 rolls a month, if the month include vacation period with high frequent usage of analogue camera.
To save cost, I start to use bulk film (100feet roll) and film loader.
The advantage of bulk film is that you can adjust the number of exposures for a roll. Normall one roll has 24 or 36 exposures. But in case of bulk film, you can sent at any optional exposures for example only 5 shots a roll, when you implement some test shots.
If the negative point exist on bulk film, it must be riks of film exposure by leak light during loading operation of bulk film into film loader.
In my case, I would like to try the loading operation of bulk film by myself, since we have great cost saving.
As the 1st trial, I went to Yodobashi Camera in Shinjuku, Tokyo, and purchased 100ft bulk film of Kodak TRI-X 400.
The price was 5,980JPY. From one 100ft bulk film, I could rewind 18 rolls (36 exposures) + 1 roll ( 31 exposures).
On the other hand, the price of one roll package (36 exposure) at Yodobashi Camera is 480JPY.
Therefore, as far as the cost of one exposure is concerned, the cost down level by the usage of bulk film is about -34%.
The aging limit of the bulk film, which I purchased at Yodobashi Camera this time, is Dec. 2014. Considering the consumption pace of my film usage, it is sure that I will finished to use 18 + 1 rolls by the aging limit.
To open the package of 100ft bulk fim and to set up the bulk fim into film loader, it is ncessary dark bag or dark room to avoid the leakage of light completely. In my case, I do the operation of film development and enlarging operation for printing by wet process in occasional dark room in weekend at the bathroom at my home. So I did the two opeartions for film at the occasional dark room.
The inside of the package of the bulk film is as follow photo. There is a steel can. And in the steel can, 100ft film is protected by the black color film. Of course I can’t take photo of 100ft film itself. Because the exposure happen by light, I can’t use the film any more.
It was my 1st time to open the package in dark room to avoid the leakage of light completely. I must implement the operation by feel. I couldn’t notice the 100ft film is protected by steel can and the black film until I come out from the dark room.
To rewind the film to the film cartridge, film loader is necessary. In my case, I could find out the old model produced by LPL at Yahoo’s auction site, which was never used, just like dead stock. Fortunately the contract price was only 1,000yen.
The follow photo shows my film loader after I set up the 100ft film inside. As yoh can see, the surface at grooves and corners is covered by black color parmacell tape to avoid leakage, although I may be worrying unduly. Actually the coverage might be not necessary……
The inside of film loader is as follow photo. Since it was the 1st time for me to set up the 100ft film in the film loader in the dark room by feel, it was no so easy to do. Especially passing through the film at left-up corner of film loader, whcih has gear and roll with relatively complicated structure, was a little bit diffcult.
But I believe I will be able to do the operation gradually more well, whenver I repeat the operation to rewind the film from now.
Once the 100ft bulk film is set up in the film loader, the remain operation to rewind into each film cartridge can be done at light place.
You can buy empty film cartrige for film loader to rewind the bulk film. But in my case, to save the cost more, I recycled the remained empty cartriges of KODAK, FUJI and ILFORD, which I used once in past time.
In case of recycled cartrige, I compbine the end portion of remaing film of cartrige with the end of 100ft film with tape as follow photo.
During rewinding operation, the film counter is moving at the back side of film loader. So you can understand how many exposures rewind up timely. It is easy. After rewinding, I cut the end part with scissors.
In my case I put the 18 + 1 rolls in slealed plastic bag. Then I store the bag in sealed box in refrigerator to avoid the degradation of film until I use each roll.
The number of digital camera users are growing and growing. The user of bulk film must continue to decrease. But I intend to continue the usage, if I can purchase as far as it is available in the market.
When I went Yodobashi Camera last time, the stock of bulk film of ILFORD Deleta 400 Professional. So I asked the shop to import it. Continue the usage.