Miserly camera testing

Discussion in 'Film, developing & other non-digital stuff' started by billowens, Sep 30, 2016.

  1. I may have mentioned at some point in the past that we have a lot of film cameras. On the order of three dozen at this point, of which probably two dozen can be reasonably expected to be functional with varying amounts of effort. Most of them are 35mm. Out of those we've actually put film through six or eight and the rest are waiting for attention. In particular I want to test our Nikonos dive camera because Maddy has a class assignment for doing a shoot around a pond, and it would let her take pictures *in* the pond if she wants.

    Most of the film we shoot is Arista from Freestyle, it's decent and cheap - a 36-exposure roll is about 12 cents a frame since we develop it ourselves. Despite all that, I'm so cheap that I'd rather not put a whole roll in a possibly-broken camera before finding out that it works. Even more than the money, I want to take a few pictures and see what's up, rather than spending a bunch of time and possibly ruined photos.

    So the question is, has anybody tried splitting a roll of film? I know @moroseduck does bulk loading, but this is more like individual loading; I want to put a fresh roll in the dark bag with one or two empty cassettes, pull some film out and wind it by hand onto another spool to make a 12 or 18 exposure roll. Caveats - I don't have any reusable cassettes (though I could get some for this project) so I'd be using empties that I opened very carefully with the lid lifter and can snap back together. Also, I've never done any of this before! Does it sound insane? Should I do it anyway? ;)
  2. Sounds perfectly sane to me :) The only suggestion to make life easier that I keep making to anyone who'll listen is get an Ilford Film retriever, that way you can get film off rolls without cracking them open and leave yourself enough film to tape on some new. When I wanted to do redscale I just taped the end of the roll of film I wanted to use onto the little bit I'd left on a developed roll, shoved it into a dark bag and wound from one to the other.
    billowens likes this.
  3. That makes perfect sense to me! I'll do my next roll of film that way and try splitting another roll using your technique.

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  4. I haven't cracked open a roll of film since getting the retriever - i like to be able to start it on the reel before the lights go out, less opportunity for mess ups. I really ought to make some short rolls, it's such a pain trying to get through a full roll in my usual work week, especially if I have limited confidence in the camera. Mind you, going through the rigamarole of developing, especially colour, for a handful of shots might prove irksome.

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