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Short End Spooling

Fred Finn

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I bought 200 feet of short ends and it came on a spool that I can't identify in the dark... It feels to be a small side less spool. I haven't shot on a bolex since college and just got a Rex2, but now I'm not sure if I need to respool this, or if I can just throw what I think is an uptake spool into the camera. Thanks in advance for the info.

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I bought 200 feet of short ends and it came on a spool that I can't identify in the dark... It feels to be a small side less spool. ...

If there are no sides it is probably on a core instead.


If you are careful and have rewinds in the dark, you can wind it on to a reel or spool, and then wind it back again on to the final spool, to be oriented the right way round to fit the camera. If it is really 200 feet you will have to divide it between two 100' spools. If you are not experienced with handling core loads you should likely use a split reel, to stop the film roll from spilling, and also to convert from the 1" inside diameter of the core to the 5/16" diameter rewind shaft.


A camera spool normally holds 109 feet, to give an extra 6 feet for loading and 3 for unloading. So one spool might wind up being full length and the other not. If using an HFC geared rewind, 109' corresponds to about 46-1/2 turns of the crank handle.


While rewinding, you will of course be subjecting the film to possible static marks, picking up dust which will photograph on the film or maybe lodge as hairs in the camera gate, and fogging if the room is not totally dark.


Empty camera spools can generally be had at no charge from your friendly local film lab. Check for bent flanges so the film doesn't catch and cause a film jam. Cheers,

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This is going to be a reel for camera testing. I ended up making cardboard splitreels and then threw that on a pen with the film, 300', in between. Then I put a daylight reel in the camera and just rewound it using the rewind crank on my bolex. It wasn't until after that I realized your crank turn references weren't referencing the bolex. But ah well, it worked. Then I just hand wound the film onto another daylight spool so that it would line up. I definitely ended up with less than 100' on the spool, but it will be fine for testing purposes.


Now I just need my light meter to come in.


That's 46 1/2 turns on the rewind on a 8:1 shaft, and not the 1:1 right?
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That's 46 1/2 turns on the rewind on a 8:1 shaft, and not the 1:1 right?...

No, you are confused. As I said, this is specific to an HFC 2000' rewind crank, not to a camera. The HFC has an odd ratio, I calculated it once but forget, something like 4-1/7 to 1 or thereabouts.


The Bolex 8-frame shaft moves 8 frames per turn, if you are going through the sprockets, and there are 40 frames per foot, so this would need 545 turns to crank through 109 feet. This is a lot more cranking than using a rewind.

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  • 6 months later...

The large long rod rewinds I have it takes about 41 turns to wind up 100'. I do exactly as mentioned otherwise. Carefully set the core on one of the rods (shaft) on the right rewind and an empty daylight spool on the left. I wind to the left for 41 turns then cut the film off. Place the film back in it's bag and can then load another empty 100' spool on the right rewind. Wind it all backwards keeping an eye out for static flashes. Don't get in a hurry and wind too fast. After that load is wound onto a spool, I tape it down and put it in a Kodak 100' box and tape the seam.


I have made my own Kodak labels up with the film type, processing info and space to write "exposed" and other notes on. The lab I have been using, ColorLab in MD has been very gracious in sending me half a dozen spools free every time I send in rolls for processing. As I have about 17 400' cans in the fridge, this has been a great help getting me down to 100' daylight loads. They don't seem to mind as I keep sending them more and more film that way. I always send them a nice note thanking them too.



Edited by Sean McHenry
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