Just arrived: AP Bobinquick Jr, a small review
Old 1 Week Ago   #1
Takkun
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Just arrived: AP Bobinquick Jr, a small review

My latest Freestyle order just arrived, with bulk rolls of Delta 100, an old favorite, and Silvermax, which I hope to replace Neopan with, some Perceptol and Fomapan to play with, and so on. I think I'm good on film for the next year.

I also picked up a Bobinquick Jr loader. For a few years now I've been bulk loading with a garage-sale Watson 100, which while i've saved money with, had a few issues with holes falling off the counter sprocket, film wastage, and the chamber door popping open when I'm not careful.

My local shop sells the Lloyd's loader, which I've heard much of—praises of its simplicity (no counter) and denouncements for its felt light traps. I'd seen plenty of pictures of the Bobinquick (and clones, such as the Konica), but not much about it. Curiosity got the best of me.

First, it does in fact have a felt light trap—but one that retracts once loaded and the crank inserted. The felt clamps down on the film while the canister chamber is open, but a series of interlocks open it up when both the chamber lid is closed AND the crank is inserted, detected by sensing pins.
However, on mine, the light trap appears to be the sort of foam used in camera seals, which does concern me slightly with disintegration. On the plus side, film does not contact it while spooling.I checked this by holding the pins down with screwdrivers and shining a light through the aperture...I needed three hands for that!

Second, the film path itself is a bit difficult to get to from the bulk chamber. Before loading the spool on the spindle, the crank must be inserted to open the light trap, and the film loaded through a slot in the top and over the counter sprocket. After practicing with scrap film, it wasn't difficult to master, but requires more finesse than the Watson, especially in a changing bag.

There's a tiny knob for feeding the film while taping the spindle, which helps immensely to minimize exposed film at the tail. The counter knob rotates both ways, aiding in getting back to zero quickly. The dial start point is essentially at "-5," starting before zero itself for leader/tail. The short film path, however, minimizes exposure at the end of the roll.

The remaining bulk film counter was what most intrigued me about this model. Interestingly, the dial moves around the needle from 100 feet to zero. It's geared to the film counter knob, counting down as it counts up, with a reset button to the side. This is less convenient if you switch stocks mid-roll as I occasionally do, but I can't imagine how else it might work. A follower measuring the diameter of the roll wouldn't take film thickness into account.

There's a spot for it, but no ISO reminder dial like some past versions I've seen had. I stuck a P-Touch label with the appropriate info on the side. There is, however, a small space under the lid for the crank. Build quality is superb and solid, and the roughly cubic form factor fits into my freezer shelf nicely.

I'm very pleased with the product, much more so than the Watson! I know us film shooters are in the minority, and roll-your-own shooters even a smaller subset, but it's nice to see a more modern loader that's a little more thoughtfully designed and functional than what's been around for decades.

The big benefits are the automatic, no-contact light trap, and the chamber interlock. The Watson has a few physical stops to prevent accidental opening, but I've seen it done before in the process of opening the trap. The Bobinquick lid has a hole which the crank must go through, simultaneously locking the lid and opening the trap.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #2
Larry Cloetta
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Thanks for the thorough review.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #3
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Some photos, since while I was researching this I never saw anything but straight product images. None of the inside, since I have it loaded up.


When open, the film is held in the light trap with low enough tension that it can be pulled out to load the cassette.


I've seen an ISO reminder dial here on the Konica and Telesar copies. Not sure why A-P omitted it.


The controls. The small knob moves film in and out as needed while threading bulk film. While taping the cassette, it gives you just enough leader needed without yanking it out of the machine.
The frame counter starts before zero, so the final number is effective usable frames.
That gizmo just below spins around as film is advanced...I guess it's to let you know it's working? It's not labeled in the manual.
Big dial is remaining film.


Interlock with the lid: crank spindle goes through here, locking lid in place. A flaw with the Watson I've seen is if the gate is partially open, the loading chamber lid can still pop open with some force (or not be seated to begin with), and you have a fogged roll. Hasn't happened to me...yet.


Nice little place to keep the crank, which I can imagine gets lost easily. Freestyle sells them loose, and I've seen printed ones on Shapeways.


You can see the film gate here, tipped in felt/foam which opens slightly. The drilled out area has a pin detecting the lid's closure, which then allows the crank to be inserted. A second pin in the hole opens the gate.


No wasted film! Just the minimum to get the spindle taped, and then cranked back into the loader slightly to seat the cassette.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #4
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I'll have to go look this thing up on the net. I wonder what it looks like.

Currently, I have a rather cheap bulk loader. Can't remember the brand, but its common. Its pretty darn flimso, but it seems to work. It can load a FILCA, which is nice. But did I mention its rather flimsy and cheap?

Of course, all that don't matter if I don't have any bulk rolls. I used up my last bulk roll some years ago. I think it was Ilford Pan-F. And while its off topic here, that stupid roll was old and every film from it had a kind of reticulation when developed. Took me a while to figure it out, but it was a function of the film being old and not refrigerated for a portion of its life. Errrg.

I don't know if Fomapan 100 comes in bulk rolls. Does it? That's what I would get if I start rollin my own again.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #5
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Oh. you posted some pictures while I was writing...
Thanks.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #6
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It doesn't have ability to open a FILCA, does it? Doesn't look like it...
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Old 1 Week Ago   #7
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I recently purchased the Lloyd's from Freestyle and was less than impressed with it. A loose film door which would've definitely resulted in leaks and overall was just not a good product. Returned that and opted for the Watson 66C which is a bulky and wonderful device. If I hadn't have gone for that, I would've definitely considered this one.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rfaspen View Post
It doesn't have ability to open a FILCA, does it? Doesn't look like it...
I had to look up how exactly Leica canisters open (and still haven't figured it out, but hey, if I get my hands on them, my M5 will take them...), but I think you might be out of luck here.

From this link:

"A Weston [sic] does it best, but several others still sold new can as well. If you look inside you see that the knob in the loader that connects with the top of the cassette has holes that the knob on the cassette fits in to. After you wind the film onto the spool, you turn the outer knob on the loader and it turns that inner disc, which turns the knob, which closes the cassette."

The Bobinquick has no knob opposite the crank, so it looks like no way to open/close the cassette.


But you are otherwise in luck; Freestyle does stock Fomapan 100, 200 and 400 in bulk.

Re: the Lloyds, I played with one in person last week. Half the price of the Bobinquick, but just awful build quality. Whatever money you save with bulk loading is negated if you fog or scratch up the whole roll..

The model pictured here is plastic, but solidly built and held together with machine screws. I can't beat the $10 I paid for my Watson, but I'd say this one is worth the money.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #9
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My favourite loader but an ixmoo won't even fit inside, let alone open and close.

I load film onto ixmoo spools and then transfer the spool into the cassette within the dark bag. Not ideal as the tension in the film is released when you remove the crank.

It's doable though. Dunno about filcas as I have none.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #10
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I still have two of those AP loader but stopped using them when starting to use IXMOO/FILCA/NIKON reloadable film canister. I use two WATSON 66 B for that purpose, much easier to load and use from my experience
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Old 1 Week Ago   #11
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Since we are on the subject of the Watson loaders - what is the difference between a Watson 66 and the 66b? Or are they the same?
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Old 1 Week Ago   #12
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Always wanted that kind of loader (I have 3 Computrolls https://www.profilmdirect.co.uk/comp...der-1978-p.asp), but was discouraged because of the prices.....too much, at least the ones I would locate on eBay.


I am fairly happy with the ones I got, they do the job, but they do waste a bit of bulk-film just from loading.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #13
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I never bother with a loader as all my film is 400feet rolls, just measure using my arms length from finger tip to finger tip and its always around 34-37 frames with no wasted film for the leaders.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #14
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I wish the Bobinquick, or some modern-made loader, would handle FILCA and IXMOO cassettes. I have two Alden 74 loaders, which appear to be identical to the Watson 66/66B, and they generally work - except the flimsy 2-piece plastic part that's supposed to close the cassette, doesn't. After cranking in the film I then turn off the lights, remove the door, cut the film, eject the cassette, and close it up outside of the loader body. Not the smoothest operation, but it works. Of course, one can dispense with the daylight loader altogether but I like loading directly into the assembled cassette.
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