Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2001/02/24

[Author Prev] [Author Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Author Index] [Topic Index] [Home] [Search]

Subject: [Leica] Re: felt lips and loading reels
From: Jim Brick <>
Date: Sat, 24 Feb 2001 09:23:47 -0800
References: <> <>

To all who actually do your own film processing,

This thread should have never started. Those who process more than one roll
at a time and use a darkroom more than once a year, have, I'm sure, figured
this all out by now. But I will explain it carefully anyway!

And while you are reading this, wonder why Leica, Nikon, and others made
touchless cassettes that open in the camera to let the film out, and open
again in the darkroom to let the film out. Touchless.

If your film does NOT make that "one more trip" through the felt lips, then
it is guaranteed that any grit in the lips CANNOT scratch the film. It is
not a matter of cleaning everything, not putting film in your pocket or
beach bag, it is simply AVOIDING the POTENTIAL problem all together. AVOID
THE POTENTIAL PROBLEM. Why make extra useless work attempting to avoid a
problem when not doing this extra useless work, and DOING THE JOB

How many experienced darkroom workers, pro's pro labs, etc do you know that
pull the film back out through the felt??? In my fifty years of photography
and darkroom work, the ONLY folks that I have ever known who pull the film
out through the felt lips are the HAPPY SNAPS folks. The one hour labs in
the malls where the machines are daylight loading, hire high school kids to
run, and because of no darkroom, cannot open the cassette and remove the
film as everyone with a darkroom does.

Serious photographers, pro's, etc., do not always have the luxury of
storing film in a sanitary environment. In a situation that the light is
changing quickly or your subject is changing quickly, you rewind, rip out
the old, throw in the new and keep on shooting. This scenario has happened
to me thousands of times. And Ted. And Harrison. Etc... Where does the film
go? Pocket, thrown five feet into an open bag, etc. Leaving the leader out
and marking the cassette "exposed" with a Sharpie... not a chance. Wind the
leader all the way in. AVOID PROBLEMS! And the film you are using... who
has time and space, in these situations, to keep your new film in its
cartridge? Not me. Not anyone I know who is a serious photographer and
working a situation, whether a riot, a parade, or a fading sunset. It comes
out of, and goes into, my pocket. Or open bag.

The very best practice is to simply follow the guidance of those who make
their living at photography, the pro labs, and those who are serious
photographers and do their own darkroom work.

Use a church key, rip open the cassette, take out the film, throw the
cassette away, wind the film onto a reel, cut off the spool and throw it
away, put the reel into a tank, repeat for n rolls, and process.

The advice of someone to fish the leader out of the cassette and load reels
by pulling the film back out through the felt lips is amateurish and will
eventually bite you in the ass with scratched film, not to mention the
absolute hassle of attempting to load reels this way. Especially if you
have more than one roll. I processed twenty last Monday. I can not remotely
imagine fishing and pulling and dealing with that damned cassette banging
around. Good f***ing grief!!! I would not do it. It is simply stupid with a
capital "S"!



At 09:46 AM 2/24/01 -0500, Dan Post wrote:
>Mark (and Marc!)
>I have always kept the little film cans- I even have some of the metal ones
>left, and keep my film in it before and after it goes through the camera.
>Since I had for years, and still occasionally reload my own cartridges, and
>re-used them, I spared no effort to keep the felt clean and even today, blow
>out the cartridge and the felt lips before I reload, and have never, so far
>(and knock on wood) had a scratching problem.
>When working in the lab, since our machines drew the film from the cassette
>directly, I would also warn my customers to keep the film insde thcan when
>exposed, and that it would be less likely to pick up grit and dirt from the
>bottom of a camera bag or pocket!
>I have seen a few rolls of photos to the beach and Disney World scratched
>because the camera or film was idly tossed into a beach bag, and the felt
>picked up enough grit to make very noticable scratches on the film!
>Also- since film can be sensitive to hydrocarbon fumes- very prevealent
>around the cars we use, the airtight can serves another purpose as well!
>Dan (right down to the real nitty-gritty!) Post
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Marc James Small" <>
>To: <>
>Sent: Friday, February 23, 2001 5:37 PM
>Subject: Re: [Leica] Tricks to loading reels
>> At 11:30 AM 2/23/2001 -0800, Mark Rabiner wrote:
>> >
>> >One more trip through the felt which has been in my pocket so there could
>> >grit in it.
>> >
>> Mark
>> I'm surprised you don't carry your spare film about in your navel, so that
>> the felt light-traps can get gummed up with lint ...
>> Marc
>>  FAX:  +540/343-7315
>> Cha robh bas fir gun ghras fir!

Replies: Reply from Dan Cardish <> (Re: [Leica] Lense testing...)
Reply from "Dan Post" <> (Re: [Leica] Re: felt lips and loading reels)
In reply to: Message from "Austin Franklin" <> (RE: [Leica] Tricks to loading reels)
Message from Marc James Small <> (Re: [Leica] Tricks to loading reels)