Alternatives to ABLON
Old 03-15-2013   #1
Steve George
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Alternatives to ABLON

I know this has been asked before, but not for a while. I'm currently cutting my film leaders by hand with scissors but I'm lazy and like the idea of a template, a knife, and a neater cut. I'm not Ł50 lazy though which is the price they tend to go for on the auction site. Does anyone know of any alternative? If I had a workshop I'd make my own as there's enough info online I think but I don't have a workshop unfortunately. Yet anyway.
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Old 03-15-2013   #2
burancap
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Google: PRINZ ABLON

These copies used to be cheap, as in <$10USD. Unfortunately, that no longer seems to be the case -but you might get lucky!
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Old 03-15-2013   #3
KoNickon
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And you actually don't need to trim the film at all if you insert a business card in front of the takeup sprockets before loading the film. Set the shutter to T so you can make sure the film is fully inserted. It really works.
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Old 03-15-2013   #4
FrankS
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Just keep using scissors and eye-balling it. This way you are not dependent on an unnecessary gadget.
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Old 03-15-2013   #5
pete hogan
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FrankS +1

The shape cut is not so critical. I start the cut between perf 24 and 25.
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Old 03-15-2013   #6
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I got one of the cheaper copies on eBay, seems to work fine. I did not know the business card trick though, maybe I'll try it.
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Old 03-15-2013   #7
Simon Bruxelles
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankS View Post
Just keep using scissors and eye-balling it. This way you are not dependent on an unnecessary gadget.
The danger with scissors is it's very easy to make a tiny nick which turns into a tear when you wind on. If a bit of film breaks off it can lead to ruined film, a jammed shutter and a pricey repair. I know, I've been there.
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Old 03-15-2013   #8
Ljós
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I would also agree that you do not need to angle for an ABLON if your main purpose is to trim the leader of film that comes in normal ready-for-use-canisters.
For loading FILCA or IXMOO cassettes in total darkness, the ABLON really comes in handy. I do not want to be reminded of :-) what I paid for mine, but everytime I use it to load IXMOOs I am glad I own it ;-)

The suggestion above to look for "Prinz" cutting templates is good, but beware of "moon" prices from some sellers, which border on ABLON territory.
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Old 03-15-2013   #9
burancap
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ljós View Post
The suggestion above to look for "Prinz" cutting templates is good, but beware of "moon" prices from some sellers, which border on ABLON territory.
Agreed. Fortunately, I got mine prior to the "hike."

To be honest, I didn't really care that much for it and even modified it to remove the tongue portion. I found that it was awkward to use otherwise. When I have to cut the tongue for a cassette -I just 45 it.

And on that remark ... yes, I typically just cut the leader itself manually by counting out 24 sprocket holes and cutting after the 22nd.
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Old 03-15-2013   #10
thegman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Bruxelles View Post
The danger with scissors is it's very easy to make a tiny nick which turns into a tear when you wind on. If a bit of film breaks off it can lead to ruined film, a jammed shutter and a pricey repair. I know, I've been there.
This happened on my first roll, the film snapped, but I got it out in one piece without any damage I could see to the camera. After that, I ordered my ABLON copy, and it worked fine with a sharp modelling knife.
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Old 03-15-2013   #11
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I admit it is very appealing and there is even something snobbish in using an ABLON, but come on, is it really necessary? I now have a bottom-loader nearly for 3 years, shot a few dozen of rolls and always trimmed film not too precisely. It faulted only two times: one it was inherent camera malfunction, the other - I mishooked film leader to a spool
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Old 03-15-2013   #12
Roger Hicks
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Although I have a real ABLON, I find it no more use than the scissors on my Swiss Army knife. Less, in fact. I'm not even sure where it is. But the scissors are better than piddling around with business cards: it's a LOT quicker to trim the ends when you're loading your cassettes.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 03-15-2013   #13
Mr_Flibble
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As long as you cut without nicks or sharp corners, and don't cut through a sprocket hole you'll be fine.
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Old 03-15-2013   #14
Classique
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I found a neat way to insert film into barnacks without cutting or using the card trick. Actually learned it from a Korean blogger who used barnacks for a long time.

1. Insert film end into the spool clip and pull out enough to insert into the body (no cutting, stock film end)
2. Fully insert the canister side while for the spool side, let it hang near the cavity (basically spool is slightly inserted but not all the way)
3. When the film canister is fully inserted, fully insert the spool side
4. Close the bottom cover and shoot one or two blank shots and it is ready to go.

Now at first I was not completely sure if it worked so I checked with the shutter on T mode. When I checked, it was perfectly inserted!

He also has a video on the process here towards the bottom of the post:
http://blog.naver.com/einpark?Redire...&from=postView

It loads slow but maybe it will be easier to understand when you see how he does it.
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Old 03-15-2013   #15
KoNickon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Flibble View Post
As long as you cut without nicks or sharp corners, and don't cut through a sprocket hole you'll be fine.
Well that's just it -- practice makes perfect, to be sure, but I find making the cut just right takes time. And I have had happen to me what someone else mentioned, where a small extra nick becomes a tear. The credit card thing is a lot quicker.
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Old 03-15-2013   #16
Peter_Jones
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When I had a Barnack, I almost always used the business card method. Quick and easy. Kept a card in the case, and a couple in my wallet.
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Old 03-15-2013   #17
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I simply do the loading as recommended by Leica et al. The thread comes up every six months so here is my previous answer . . .

"Trimming the leader helps avoid getting the edge caught in the gate/pressure-plate and then tearing or jamming. The Leica (and Zorki) recommended method involves simply having the film cut correctly - this works fine without removing the lens or farting about with cards etc. The card included with early cameras was, according to the instruction booklet with my camera, intended for exposure notes and can indeed often be found covered in smudged pencil marks.

As you drop in the take-up spool and wiggle the cassette in to place, turn the take-up spool slightly backwards (towards the cassette) so that the springiness of the film lifts it over the sprockets. Doing that makes it completely painless.

The actual film trimming is conveniently done with a pair of small nail-scissors and for the twenty perforation measurement you can check which of your fingers is the correct length, or put a couple of pen marks on the case, or tiny bits of tape as markers inside the baseplate etcetera, etcetera. Simple to do when you have a working method organised, but there is perhaps a 'shock' reaction at first . . .
"
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Old 03-15-2013   #18
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Photax made one too
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Old 03-16-2013   #19
Erik van Straten
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Classique View Post
He also has a video on the process here towards the bottom of the post:
http://blog.naver.com/einpark?Redire...&from=postView
Did you see what a wonderful hood this guy has on his Elmar? It seems to have f-stop control too!

Erik.
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Old 03-16-2013   #20
Thomas78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ljós View Post
I would also agree that you do not need to angle for an ABLON if your main purpose is to trim the leader of film that comes in normal ready-for-use-canisters.
For loading FILCA or IXMOO cassettes in total darkness, the ABLON really comes in handy. ...
I cut the film ends for my FILCA casettes free hand (about 45 ° angle) in the dark, the exact angle is not that critical for the fixation at the spool.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Flibble View Post
As long as you cut without nicks or sharp corners, and don't cut through a sprocket hole you'll be fine.
+1


You can do the cutting without any time pressure at home at your desk - IMHO much better than fiddling with a business card or removing the lens in the field...
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Old 03-16-2013   #21
John Lawrence
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If I remember correctly, a few years back Ffordes Photographic in Scotland were selling exact replicas of the ABLON. No idea about price, or if they still have any though.

John
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Old 03-16-2013   #22
David Hughes
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And I think R G Lewis made one, they did a lot of bits and pieces for Leicas.

Regards, David
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Old 03-16-2013   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
Did you see what a wonderful hood this guy has on his Elmar? It seems to have f-stop control too!

Erik.
Erik,

That may be a Cooke and Perkins item. I have the remains of one somewhere, if I can find it I will post a pic. It has aperture control and also comes apart to accept filter glasses.

C&P also made a very good Contax to Leica adaptor. Haven't seen one for years.

Michael
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Old 03-16-2013   #24
Classique
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dralowid View Post
Erik,

That may be a Cooke and Perkins item. I have the remains of one somewhere, if I can find it I will post a pic. It has aperture control and also comes apart to accept filter glasses.

C&P also made a very good Contax to Leica adaptor. Haven't seen one for years.

Michael
I believe it's actually a custom hood manufactured by a repair shop in korea.
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Old 03-16-2013   #25
Erik van Straten
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Classique View Post
I believe it's actually a custom hood manufactured by a repair shop in korea.
Do you have some more information about this? A website?

Thank you very much if you do and share it with us.

Erik.
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Old 03-16-2013   #26
Rob-F
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I have had perfectly good results cutting by hand with small scissors. Never felt the need for an ABLON.
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Old 03-17-2013   #27
Rico
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob-F View Post
I have had perfectly good results cutting by hand with small scissors. Never felt the need for an ABLON.
Never felt the need for an ABLON, either, but I bought it anyway. GAS is like that!
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No Ablon needed
Old 03-18-2013   #28
Tadeyev
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No Ablon needed

There is no need at all for an Ablon, although it is fun to own I suppose.
Cock the shutter, put it on 'Zeit' and open the shutter.
Unscrew the lens.


Just cut the slightly rounded end of the film off square, insert it into the clip of the roll as usual, and place the film gently inside, making sure the film roll and take-up roll descend into the camera at the same rate.


Look inside. If necessary, gently use a finger to make sure the film has engaged the leader teeth correctly. If OK, put the lens back on and advance the film as usual. Voila !

I got this from a guy in YouTube and it works for me every time without fail.
Easy and fast also. Has saved me a lot of headaches.

Ciao,
Theo
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Old 03-18-2013   #29
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Tadeyev: sounds complicated... I for my part precut my rolls with a scissor. 20 perforations, slightly rounded at the end.
That's it. No futzing around with open shutters, putting your fingers inside the camera or cards.
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Old 03-18-2013   #30
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I was lucky to get an ablon cheaply long ago and it is nice but the scissors on my Swiss Army knife work just as well. Joe
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Old 03-18-2013   #31
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I bought one of those "PRINZ" film trimmers on Ebay for $10.00 plus shipping a few years ago. Now, I think the same seller is trying to sell them for as much as $100.00.

I use it by preparing a few rolls before I take the camera out, but have had just as much luck just fiddling the film into the camera without trimming it.
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Old 03-18-2013   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tadeyev View Post
There is no need at all for an Ablon, although it is fun to own I suppose.
Cock the shutter, put it on 'Zeit' and open the shutter.
Unscrew the lens.


Just cut the slightly rounded end of the film off square, insert it into the clip of the roll as usual, and place the film gently inside, making sure the film roll and take-up roll descend into the camera at the same rate.


Look inside. If necessary, gently use a finger to make sure the film has engaged the leader teeth correctly. If OK, put the lens back on and advance the film as usual. Voila !

I got this from a guy in YouTube and it works for me every time without fail.
Easy and fast also. Has saved me a lot of headaches.

Ciao,
Theo
Dear Theo,

Good grief! How often do you load your camera?

Cheers,

R.
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Old 03-18-2013   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by literiter View Post
I bought one of those "PRINZ" film trimmers on Ebay for $10.00 plus shipping a few years ago. Now, I think the same seller is trying to sell them for as much as $100.00.

I use it by preparing a few rolls before I take the camera out, but have had just as much luck just fiddling the film into the camera without trimming it.
This works until it doesn't; until a film chip breaks off and lodges in the bowels of the camera.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 03-18-2013   #34
Tom A
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The only time I use the ABLON device is to cut the V shaped end of a roll to feed into the IXMOO cassette. The leader I just trim with a pair of scissors - being careful not to cut through a sprocket as that tends to jam the advance - or pull off a chip that will keep wandering around in the camera. For large volume IXMOO loading I made a brass plate with a couple of pins to register the film, a V shaped end and a small bar across to hold the film in place. It is much quicker than the rather fiddly ABLON. For LTM cameras I just double the leader lengths - and trim it. At home I use the scissors - in the field a quick "bite" with the teeth and tearing it off seems to work well too.
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Old 03-18-2013   #35
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Quote:
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Dear Theo,

Good grief! How often do you load your camera?

Cheers,

R.
I assume you are implying that it is too much effort?
It might sound like a lot of work, but it only takes less than one minute

That being said, I suppose if you are shooting a lot of film and can prepare in advance with an Ablon, or trimmed leaders, then you might shave it down to half that time.

My only point was that an Ablon (or cutting the leader for that matter) is not an absolute necessity - which is what I always thought until i tried this out.

Cheer,
Theo
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Old 03-21-2013   #36
Steve George
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Thanks all for the tips, tricks and advice. Many of which I've been trying with varying success.

In the end I've got a Prinz one coming from the USA for significantly cheaper than people seem to be buying them for here in the UK. If it could bring some California sunshine over with it that'd be much appreciated too.

Got my FILCAs, got my trimmer, am good to go :-)
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Old 03-21-2013   #37
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Mark Hama, the repair tech in Georgia, USA, used to sell Taiwan-made ones for $10. They work good w/ a safety razor blade.
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Old 03-21-2013   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
This works until it doesn't; until a film chip breaks off and lodges in the bowels of the camera.

Cheers,

R.
Do it carefully. The only chips I had, fell away from film I trimmed by hand then with that PRINZ film template.

If I could get my hands on a real ABLON template I'd be much happier. I just can't seem to get my head around paying the $80+ dollars it seems to be going for.
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Old 03-21-2013   #39
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in the field a quick "bite" with the teeth and tearing it off seems to work well too.
I'm gonna try this!
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Old 03-21-2013   #40
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For the bottom loaders I've had, I used small scissors and trimmed a few rolls ahead of time.
What I also did at the beginning was to draw the trim line with a sharpie marker and cut along that. After a bit of practice, I didn't need to draw the line. It helped me quite a bit to get consistent results.

Rob
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