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Barnack film loading, a long leader idea
Old 10-07-2017   #1
sreed2006
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Barnack film loading, a long leader idea

There have been lots of discussions about loading film into a Barnack, especially discussions about how to shape the film leader.

It seems to me that the best option is to have a long film leader. One way to get that long leader is by cutting the film either freehand or with a tool, such as the Leica ABLON. I don't have an ABLON, and my scissor skills are not good enough to get a smooth curve that ends up between sprocket holes near the canister. (A brain surgeon I am not.)

How about this? Get some scrap 35mm film, cut a length 4" long, then cut that down the middle length-wise. Use double sided tape to attach a strip of that film onto the leader sticking out of the film canister (being careful to line up the sprocket holes and make sure there are no loose ends). Put you fingers all over any exposed sticky tape till the sticky is gone, and then you've got a long leader ready to load.

And since a picture is worth a thousand words:


Long film leader idea.
by sreed2006, on Flickr
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Old 10-07-2017   #2
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Great idea! Have you tried it yet? How many pictures did you get on a roll?
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Old 10-07-2017   #3
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Have you tried this with 36 exp. film?

Isn't the extra film length too much for the total diameter on the take-up spool? If not, nice solution!
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Old 10-07-2017   #4
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I just made the extender this morning, and have not put it in my IIIg yet because it already has film in it.

When rewinding the film, I always leave the leader sticking out (stop rewinding when the film releases from the take up spool). So there won't be a problem with winding too much film into the canister, since none of the leader will go into the canister.

It might even be possible to re-use the scrap film leader. So this is a pretty cheap solution.
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Old 10-07-2017   #5
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If you have, or know someone with, a 3d printer there are also two designs to help...

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:462016

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1951048

Something kind of great about 3d printing a part for a Barnack.

I've used the film cutting tool design, going to try printing the ABLON design now. Don't really need it for my Nicca 5l but the end would be handy for FILCA cassettes.

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Old 10-07-2017   #6
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Shawn, those are cool. Thanks for the links.

I looked for an ABLON for sale. I'm cheap, so I still don't have one.

I am thinking that if you extend the film leader with scrap film, there is no loss of film from the canister to create a leader.
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Old 10-07-2017   #7
Bill Clark
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Nice idea.

I cut the film free hand and it works for me.

I'd be worried that some of the glue on the tape could get on to the shutter curtains, either advance or rewind.
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Old 10-07-2017   #8
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Nice idea, thanks for passing it on. I now insert a thin business card vertically behind the film gate, and then load an uncut, normal film behind it, then gently withdraw the card. Works fine. Quick and easy.
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Old 10-07-2017   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Clark View Post

I'd be worried that some of the glue on the tape could get on to the shutter curtains, either advance or rewind.
Good point. The implementation could use a few improvements, especially to make sure it doesn't cause jams or get glue where it doesn't belong. This was my first pass - the alpha version.

I'll play with it a little more, and run some test rolls.
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Old 10-07-2017   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lynnb View Post
I now insert a thin business card vertically behind the film gate, and then load an uncut, normal film behind it, then gently withdraw the card. Works fine. Quick and easy.
Ditto this!

Here's a video (by one of our members?) that shows how its done.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyKZycxK5eU
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Old 10-07-2017   #11
Richard G
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The business card worked with my II and III but the IIIf seems to be fussier. I'm doing it by the book. I too would worry about any adhesive going past the shutter curtains.
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Old 10-07-2017   #12
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Camera needs to be serviced by knowledgeable person and manual needs to be read once. If it is not done, then...
Quote:
Originally Posted by sreed2006 View Post
There have been lots of discussion about loading film into a Barnack, especially discussions about how to shape the film leader.
...
Here is no problem to cut film as in the manual or shown at the camera shutter crate bottom. With scissors.
And if Barnack camera is serviced right here is no card needed to load the film. I have no problems with IIf. At all.

But idea in OP is good idea. Too much film wasted for leader with Barnack type.
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Old 10-07-2017   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
Here is no problem to cut film as in the manual or shown at the camera shutter crate bottom. With scissors.
More rolls of film have been severely damaged by me with a pair of scissors than I care to recall. I just cannot seem to get that curve near the cassette correct. There's extra nicks in the film where it can hang up and rip, or the film still won't load and wind on properly. I'm almost like, "How to make a 36 exposure roll into a 24 exposure roll in 8 painful steps."

The business card solution looks pretty good. I will try that, too.
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Old 10-07-2017   #14
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very eager to try the business card trick on my Ig
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Old 10-07-2017   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sreed2006 View Post
I just cannot seem to get that curve near the cassette correct. There's extra nicks in the film where it can hang up and rip, or the film still won't load and wind on properly.
Fortunately, the curve doesn't have to be exact. There is no need to make the cut edge parallel with the edge of the film. I just do it with scissors, freehand, cutting in between the sprocket holes and then curving it slightly to head downhill at an angle to re-join the factory leader. As long as it clears the film rail inside the camera, its good.

I should post a picture.
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Old 10-07-2017   #16
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I'm with Lynn. On my III and IIIf I insert a Sydney transport card that you put through the turnstile gate and put the film behind that.
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Old 10-07-2017   #17
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Hold the film leader lengthwise between your index and middle finger. That's basically the length of leader you need. You should be able to cut the film along your finger with a pair of scissors without injuring yourself. Now cut inwards from the edge between two suitably-located sprocket holes at about 45deg until you meet your first cut. Job done.

No need for an ABLON. No need to stick random scraps of film together. No need for business cards.
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Old 10-07-2017   #18
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As long as your cuts begin and end between the sprocket holes, that is the main thing to worry about. I don't have an ablon, but Prinz made a version of the tool, and I don't much care for it, so I free-hand the trimming. I end my cut 20 sprocket holes from the start.

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Old 10-07-2017   #19
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I use this when I cut a roll of 36 down and want to save 3 exposures.

U se strong tape, not scotch clear made for paper. Quality masking is OK. Watch the rewind to be sure film is advancing.

When they went to short leader in the 60`s, film stayed the same length. No need to add extra.

There is a knock off ABLON that have the correct leader profile, but missing the point profile to go into the film spool on Leica cassettes which you may never use. They are worth $5 at most. Use a razor knife to trim.
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Old 10-07-2017   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sreed2006 View Post
if you extend the film leader with scrap film, there is no loss of film from the canister to create a leader.
Interesting idea, and apart from the cutting the film with scissors issue this is a good point. A couple frames is a couple frames.
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Old 10-07-2017   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lynnb View Post
Nice idea, thanks for passing it on. I now insert a thin business card vertically behind the film gate, and then load an uncut, normal film behind it, then gently withdraw the card. Works fine. Quick and easy.
I used to use a single thickness of litho film or sheet film. It always worked perfectly.
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Old 10-08-2017   #22
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Another vote for the business card. A thin plastic card works best. Using a card makes loading a Barnack almost as easy as manually loading any camera.
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Old 10-08-2017   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sreed2006 View Post
Shawn, those are cool. Thanks for the links.

I looked for an ABLON for sale. I'm cheap, so I still don't have one.

I am thinking that if you extend the film leader with scrap film, there is no loss of film from the canister to create a leader.
I've got an Ablon that I'm not using. But yeah they're not cheap..
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Old 10-08-2017   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
I've got an Ablon that I'm not using. But yeah they're not cheap..
Out of curiosity, why do you not use the ABLON?
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Old 10-08-2017   #25
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Possibly the easiest way to get a smooth curve that ends up between sprocket holes near the canister is to start there. That's my method anyway, although I love your idea of simply slapping that extra piece of film on there and getting on w/ it.
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Old 10-08-2017   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farlymac View Post
As long as your cuts begin and end between the sprocket holes, that is the main thing to worry about. I don't have an ablon, but Prinz made a version of the tool, and I don't much care for it, so I free-hand the trimming. I end my cut 20 sprocket holes from the start.

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As the man says: not a worry even for a klutz like myself. I count 21 sprocket holes and draw a line with a pen that terminates between the 21st and 22nd holes.
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Old 10-08-2017   #27
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I trim the film leader with a normal pair of scissors. I usually cut 20 holes space. Sometimes the curve I cut out looks like the great wave off kanagawa, but never had problems.
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Old 10-08-2017   #28
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I appreciate all the comments on this subject. Apparently I have been having more troubles than your average bear not destroying film.

While methods of getting film loaded into a Barnack easily have been well explained, because I went to the trouble of making a test roll I thought I might as well test it.

Results of the experiment so far: Before loading the roll shown in the picture above into a IIIg, all of the exposed double-sided tape was thoroughly rubbed off with a paper towel so that there was not any adhesive exposed. That double sided tape is very sticky, and would be bad for the camera internals. I think using masking tape is a better idea (thanks Ronald M). A 4" long additional leader is too long. A 3 1/2" long additional leader would be better. The film loaded fairly easily (once the take-up spool was rotated enough to take up the slack from the leader being too long). The film advanced fine, and the rewind knob rotated just like it should when advancing the film. I advanced 3 frames and set the frame counter to 0. And that's how it sits at the moment.
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Old 10-08-2017   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sreed2006 View Post
Out of curiosity, why do you not use the ABLON?
I keep forgetting I have it...



(I hardly ever use my 1F)
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Old 10-09-2017   #30
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I'm with lynnb, and others who use a card. Old railway tickets (in GB, anyway- other countries may have different shapes and sizes) work perfectly. No need at all to reshape the film leader.
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Old 10-09-2017   #31
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It helps me to use the right scissors. I use the tiny one on my Swiss Army Victorinox "executive" knife. The tiny size makes it easier to cut neatly between the sprocket holes.

Even with the added leader removed before processing, the film will be longer than normal owing to the two or three extra frames shot on film that is normally trimmed off before loading on the developing reel. That would make it too long for my Nikor stainless reels.
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Old 11-12-2017   #32
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There have been lots of discussions about loading film into a Barnack, especially discussions about how to shape the film leader.

It seems to me that the best option is to have a long film leader. One way to get that long leader is by cutting the film either freehand or with a tool, such as the Leica ABLON. I don't have an ABLON, and my scissor skills are not good enough to get a smooth curve that ends up between sprocket holes near the canister. (A brain surgeon I am not.)


sread2006,
I recently bought a prime condition Leica IIIG and found trimming the leader to be a little tedious. I looked for an ABLON on Ebay and the sellers are pricing what is a cheap piece of hinged plate at rather expensive prices. I was lucky enough to find a used Japanese ABLON knockoff for very little money.
Just like the ABLON, it has sprocket dimples, a hinge and a built in trim template. Keep looking and maybe you will be lucky too.
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Old 11-13-2017   #33
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Interesting idea, l use the scissor technique, however, l saw someone online, (youtube), use his teeth to start the cut for a leader,the orthodontic approach is not recommended in my humble opinion
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Old 11-13-2017   #34
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I wonder why the FSU camera manufacturers, FED, KMZ, didn't make ABLON knock-offs. They made plenty of similar bottom loading cameras.
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Old 11-13-2017   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Evidon View Post
I recently bought a prime condition Leica IIIG and found trimming the leader to be a little tedious. I looked for an ABLON on Ebay and the sellers are pricing what is a cheap piece of hinged plate at rather expensive prices. I was lucky enough to find a used Japanese ABLON knockoff for very little money.
Just like the ABLON, it has sprocket dimples, a hinge and a built in trim template. Keep looking and maybe you will be lucky too.
Does an ABLON (or knockoff) travel well in a camera bag? Or is it something that is only used at home, and not taken along on trips?
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Old 11-13-2017   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by webOSUser View Post
I wonder why the FSU camera manufacturers, FED, KMZ, didn't make ABLON knock-offs. They made plenty of similar bottom loading cameras.
Because the pre-loaded film cartridges came with a longer leader, perhaps?

On the other hand, I've never needed an ABLON or similar guide when pre-cutting the leader for my Leicas. It really doesn't need millimeter precision
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Old 11-13-2017   #37
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Quote:
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I wonder why the FSU camera manufacturers, FED, KMZ, didn't make ABLON knock-offs. They made plenty of similar bottom loading cameras.
Because they were made by plenty of other people at the time (and appear on Ebay).
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Old 11-13-2017   #38
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Old 11-13-2017   #39
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I have done a straight cut from the farthest hole to the leader, it didn't load any different than a ablon-style curved cut.
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Old 11-13-2017   #40
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I've always just trimmed the leader and the film loads properly.
Interested in the additional film leader idea of the OP.
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