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How do you reuse 35mm canisters?
Old 01-30-2007   #1
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How do you reuse 35mm canisters?

After a couple of months i have amassed a large amount of 35mm canisters. I also have quiet a bit of bulk film given to me and i was wondering if any of you have figured out a way to open the canisters (without damaging them) so i can respool them?

It seems such a waste not to use them again

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Old 01-30-2007   #2
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I appreciate your desire to re-use your canisters instead of just trashing them. As I don't load bulk film the canisters don't do me much good. However, I save them while developing and a couple of times a year haul the lot down to my local photo processing shop. They have bins to recycle the canisters and the plastic canisters in which some rolls are sold. You might check with your local store for options.

Just a thought. Good luck!
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Old 01-30-2007   #3
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If you have the bulk loading canisters you can just knock the end that sticks out on a table and the bottom should pop off. Dont use a can opener like a normal canister that will bend the bottom.

A simple slam on the table of the protruding end should knock the bottom of it off. I believe you can reuse them about four times before you should trash them.

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Old 01-30-2007   #4
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If your canisters are from say a photo lab, there is normally a small "tongue" of film left sticking out of the canister. The bulk film is simply spliced to the tongue with tape and then wound into the canister with out opening it.

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Old 01-30-2007   #5
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Just remember that with each re-use, your chances of catching something abrasive between the felt "lips" of the cassette increase, even if you're fairly scrupulpous about things. When I used to bulk-load, I'd buy reloadable casettes by the boxload and rotate them out on a regular basis, marking each cassette for number of times reloaded. Being too much of a tightwad can backfire rather badly.


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Old 01-31-2007   #6
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What Wayne said. Use regular Scotch tape (you are from NZ so that is Sellotape down there?) and attach on one side then wrap round so that the film is firmly attached to the remaining tongue in the cassette. I use each cassette a couple of times; that makes three times total and I think that is enough. No problems so far.
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Old 01-31-2007   #7
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Hmm, you guys must be smarter than I am. Although I've tried numerous times, I just can't get the bottoms popped off a 35mm canister without bending them. Are some brands easier to open than others?
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Old 01-31-2007   #8
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I'm with you Peter, I can't do it without making dents in my quality Ikea furniture and even then I can't get the damn things opened.

But I bought a canister opener for a few pounds and everything is now good.
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Old 02-01-2007   #9
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I also try to re-use cassettes. If I knock one end off, I have so much difficulty getting it back on that now I don't do this. Instead I ensure that I end up with a short tongue as Peter and Wayne. I tuck in a centimeter of bulk load film into the cassette over the tongue and then tape them together on the emulsion side. This overlap helps to stop the film jamming when trying to rewind in the camera. I use them around 4 times.
I also found that using the plastic bulk load type in my bottom loaders (Zorki1, Zorki5) and even some in where the back comes off, causes very stiff winding or even locking up. A "real" cassette is fine in these cameras.
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Old 02-01-2007   #10
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i have to agree with you fellows....ive tried so many times to remove the bottom i end up with a bend and cant get it back on.....ive seen a tool on the net but there has to be a easy way of doing it
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Old 02-01-2007   #11
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I don't think there is an easy way - Ilford, Kodak & al. don't expect the cassette to be reused so they close it up as best they can to stop it popping open accidently.

I get a bend end cap most times, then it's a matter of bending it into some form of flatness and slapping it back on - it's not that much hassle once it's been done a few times.
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Old 02-01-2007   #12
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I find that some cans are easier to open than others. For example, I can't open the original Ilford FP4 cans without bending them, but the Adox CHM125 cans, with the same film inside, are easily opened and resealed.

In general I think it's not worth the bother. I got about thirty reusable plastic cans with my bulk loader and since then haven't felt the need to reuse metal film cans.
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Old 02-01-2007   #13
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Ive been working on a little tool which will act like a scissors which basically when put over the end of your long roll (the bit sticking out of the Bulk Loader), it will cut the shape of the tounge as is the same as the Fuji Neopan rolls, thery being; you can poke the film back into a closed cannister and hook it back onto the spool without having to open the cannister!
Getting the thing made is costly though as it has to be machined from two pieces of steel.
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Old 02-01-2007   #14
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I talk to the local supermarket and they give me the empty 35mm film cans that they are ready to bin. I also attach the bulk film to the tongue like Wayne and peter. I re-use each one only once. No problems so far.
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Old 02-01-2007   #15
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The commercial cassettes are a good source of velvet felt trap for internal baffling of cameras rather than using foam... and spools for Kievs...

Bulk loading concentric cassettes, available for Leicas, early Contax (pre'62), Kiev, Nikon rgfdrs and F and F2 SLRs, some FSU bottom loaders Zorki 2 and 5,... avoids scratches and is CO2 friendly.

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Old 02-01-2007   #16
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I use them as decoration.
That's also a reuse, right?
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Old 02-01-2007   #17
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I keep coins in them which always gets a smile when I bring one out to get change.
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