35mm Film Parsimony
Old 05-12-2019   #1
Russell W. Barnes
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35mm Film Parsimony

Am I likely to eke two or three more frames out of my films by putting them in my camera in a dark bag? I generally fit a film in daylight then wind on a few frames until I start shooting at index 0.

I've just fitted a film in the dark bag and I'm only asking to save me finding out myself by trying to expose images on what may be an exposed film leader as manufactured. I guess I'm really asking how much of the leader is exposed when the film is manufactured?
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Old 05-12-2019   #2
Freakscene
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With most 35mm films and a Leica M I can get 39 frames without a dark bag. Just load with the shortest leader you can, wind on and go. The distance from the canister to the film gate is short enough that the first frame doesn't fog. So yes, probably, depending on your camera.

Don't blame me if your intimate clear portrait of a sasquatch, alien, or chupacabra is ruined by this.

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Old 05-12-2019   #3
drewbarb
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Take a look at the front of the roll next time you pull one out of a developing tank, or if you don't process your own film, ask the lab not to cut it but return it intact. You'll find that only the part you pulled out of the canister to load it has been exposed. Once you close the camera it should all be clear except what was exposed normally through the shutter. Pull out just enough film to reach across the gate and engage properly with the take up spool, and make sure the sprocket holes are seated properly on the teeth, then close your camera. Take up a little tension, the watch your rewind crank or knob and make sure it is winding out as you advance, and you're all set.

If you advance several frames and don't start shooting until your counter shows "0"or "1" you'll lose a few frames. Some folks don't like to have images before the frame marked "1" on the roll, but I am not among them. If you're careful with how you load your film, you should find you get 38 or 39 frames from a standard factory loaded 36 exposure roll routinely.
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Old 05-12-2019   #4
kangaroo2012
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Alternatively you can do what I did for a wedding shoot and not ensure the sprockets are engaged.
At 40 exposures I started to worry and of course when I opened the camera back, all the exposures were on the first frame. I suggested to the bride that she dress up again the next weekend and I would try again. She was not amused.
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Old 05-12-2019   #5
Freakscene
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kangaroo2012 View Post
Alternatively you can do what I did for a wedding shoot and not ensure the sprockets are engaged.
At 40 exposures I started to worry and of course when I opened the camera back, all the exposures were on the first frame. I suggested to the bride that she dress up again the next weekend and I would try again. She was not amused.
I think I'd prefer to lose a shot of the sasquatch/yowie.

Always look at the rewind knob to ensure the film is actually progressing through the transport . . .

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Old 05-12-2019   #6
brbo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell W. Barnes View Post
I guess I'm really asking how much of the leader is exposed when the film is manufactured?
None (beyond what is obviously sticking out of the canister).
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Old 05-12-2019   #7
CharlesDAMorgan
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I find getting more than 36 a total waste of time. My scanner takes batches of 18, so the 1 or 2 left over needs another go, and they are mostly filler to get the film ready for developing.
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Old 05-13-2019   #8
brbo
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My shots are so boring that the quest for 40 shots per roll is actually the highlight.

If I cock the shutter a little bit less than half a frame before loading film there is zero waste of film and I once got 40 full frames of nothing worth looking at!

(and, yes, using dark bag is cheating!)
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Old 05-13-2019   #9
Russell W. Barnes
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Thanks for those replies; good to know. I can get 13 off a 120 film in my Mess-Baldix and usually 37 from my Pentax MX, but was just curious. I'll eke a couple of buckshee frames from my next roll and get a warm glow of satisfaction.


I checked my sprockets and wind-on crank for tension and we're all good. Been there; done that, Kangaroo2012, but not for a wedding: phew!
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Old 05-13-2019   #10
Rob-F
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For me, getting extra frames creates a storage problem. I use the archival plastic sleeves. I prefer the ones that hold seven strips of five frames each. So if I shoot 36 pictures, I wind up with one single frame that has no place to go. So I have to look through the roll before cutting to see if there is one frame that can be discarded.

If I use pages that have six strips of six frames, then I can shoot 36 frames; but if there is a 37th frame, then I will have the same problem.

The five frames by seven strips pages fit better in file folders.

Leaving a blank frame at the end of the roll gives me enough space for film clips when drying the film. So I stop at frame 35.
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Old 05-13-2019   #11
lynnb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob-F View Post
For me, getting extra frames creates a storage problem. I use the archival plastic sleeves. I prefer the ones that hold seven strips of five frames each. So if I shoot 36 pictures, I wind up with one single frame that has no place to go. So I have to look through the roll before cutting to see if there is one frame that can be discarded.

If I use pages that have six strips of six frames, then I can shoot 36 frames; but if there is a 37th frame, then I will have the same problem.

The five frames by seven strips pages fit better in file folders.

Leaving a blank frame at the end of the roll gives me enough space for film clips when drying the film. So I stop at frame 35.
Rob, I get Print File 7 strips of 6 frames.
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Old 05-13-2019   #12
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On my Leica M cameras, I half cock the shutter, load film, close it up and wind on making sure the rewind knob is turning. Gets me an extra exposure usually. Care in loading is always important whether you are an old timer or new to film. Joe
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