Bulk Film Loader (Bulk Loading Film)
Bulk Film Loader
Computrol 35mm Bulk Film Loader
Reusable 35mm Film Cassettes (Bulk Film Canisters)
Advantages of Bulk Loading Film
The obvious answer of course is cost (in addition to my Leica M6 issue mentioned above!). Buying bulk film works out much cheaper per roll. The exact saving varies by film manufacturer and also by what length of bulk film you purchase. The more film you buy the cheaper it is. Many manufacturers sell bulk film in 100ft or 30.5m lengths such as Ilford film and prices in the UK are around £65-£70 (example price rather than average/norm). Foma make a 30.5m / 100ft Bulk Fomapan 100 roll for under £40 which is one of the cheapest options I have seen when buying new. The 100ft/ 30.5m length of film roll to my knowledge is manufactured for a target audience of still photo photographers. Kodak however also manufacture 400ft and 1000ft bulk film rolls (example lengths) of motion picture film for cinema and TV such as Kodak Vision3 500T which is the film CineStill modify before rebranding it as CineStill 800T (Please see my followup Kodak Vision3 blog post to come for more details).
Bulk Film Rolls
Kodak Vision3 vs Kodak Portra – Cost
Buying 400ft of film offers excellent value for money if you think you will use that much film. A 100ft bulk film roll is said to equate to about 18 rolls of 36 exposure film and so a 400ft film roll will give 72 rolls of 36 exp film. Quite a lot of film but if you were previous buying for example 35mm Kodak Portra 160 /400 film at say £6 a roll you can now buy Kodak Vision3 bulk film for less than £1 a roll! A crazy cheap price for professional colour film. (AGFA Vista 200 Plus colour film can be bought in the UK for £1 a roll but I would argue that Kodak film gives ‘better’ results)(better being grain structure/latitude/skin tones – for my taste*).
Blog post to follow to show results I obtained using ECN-2 Kodak Vision3 500T film and Kodak Vision3 200T in my Leica M cameras and Hasselblad XPan. I bought a bulk roll of each! If you want to see previous example photos using the Kodak Eastman Double-X black and white film see the link below.
- Vision3 500T film and Kodak Vision3 200T – to follow*
- Developing C41 and ECN-2 Colour Film
- Kodak Plus-X 125 Bulk Film (in Poland)
- Kodak Eastman Double-X B&W Film
- AGFA Vista 200 Plus Film
21 thoughts on “Bulk Film Loader (Bulk Loading Film)”
thank you for the info !
Thanks Victor, no problem! Sorry for the lack of posts recently. More soon!
Always love to read your posts and to browse your portraits !
Very cool! How are you processing the movie film?
See my latest post 😉
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Just found this blog. Brilliant and very useful information. I must have a go at this.
Thanks Geoff, you should it’s great fun! 🙂
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I also toy with the idea of buying kodak visio3 film for still photography. However, I wonder whether you could provide insights into how you managed to cut your 400ft film into equally long 100ft rolls for the bulk loader. Since it has to all happen in complete darkness, I feel it might be quite challenging to achieve. Any hint would be helpful. It is the only thing that keeps me from getting a role myself.
Hi Daniel, sorry for my slow reply. I use a super basic loader so I dont need 100ft lengths, any length will do. As such I bipass that issue and just pull off any length of film in the dark to load. Maybe Google as there must be a proper way to do it. Sorry I can’t help. Matt
Do you know if most new cassettes fit the Leica M5? I’ve heard there are issues but haven’t actually tested any yet.
Hi Joseph, sorry for the delay. I don’t own an M5 so would not like to say but I can confirm for the M2,M3,M4P,M6 all film cassettes seem to fit no problem. Thanks Matt
thank you for this info, but how to do rolls with bulk 400ft.
Have you a big bulk loader ?
Hi Martial, ah yes good question. I just pull of X amount of film from the 400ft roll and roll it onto an old 400ft centre spool or if not just round my fingers then guess say 10x 35exp worth (extreme guess), then load that film into the bulk loader to then cut down onto cassettes. Yes these loaders can fit an off the sheflt 100ft roll like Fomapan but not 400ft straight out the tin. Hope that kinda makes sense. Thanks Matt
Does this film have a remjet layer like the color variants?
Hi Jacob. Are you asking about Kodak Double-X 5222? If yes then this does not have RemJet. Only the colour Vision3 Kodak films. Matt
Hi Matt, thanks for the article! Really interested in bulk loading Kodak Double-X 5222. 400ft for £200, so £2.66/roll when Cinestill BWxx is £10/roll.
I am just trying to figure out how to go from a 400ft roll to the 100ft that most bulk film loaders will take. How do you do it?
Hi Phil, sorry for my late answer. I sit in the dark and pull arm lengths off the 400ft and count them then cut after approx 15 rolls of film and load into loader and it does whatever the length is then I repeat. Not accurate but works for me. I don’t have dark room to use.
No need to apologise, that is super helpful. If that works, that is a super simple way to do it, thanks! Really loving your videos about the voightlander lenses. Quite tempted by the 50 1.2 and the 35 1.4!
Thanks Phil, Yes I often tend to take the basic approach ha. You can see the bulk loader and film in last night’s YouTube video. And yes there are some great Voigtlander lenses, the 35.14 is a nice size.