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Nick Norton

How to use A-minima loads on the ACL

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Quote from Mike Welle here on the forum:


"If you look at the manuals the Eclair ACL was originally designed to use 200 foot mags. And the great thing about it is you can use A-Minima loads. I have used them before. Its important to have several standard spare cores on hand because the replacement core in the A-Minima load does not have a slot (it's non-standard). You need to remove the flanges in a black bag or tent by turning them counter clockwise. Load it exactly the way it shows in the ACL I manual."


This is the first time i have heard of this, but does anyone else have experience using 200ft A-Minima loads?


I love the 200ft mag because of the size, but i just had a 400ft mag serviced by Bernie because i hated changing 100ft rolls all the time. A consistent ability to load 200ft loads in the smaller magazine would help me enormously!




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Some 200ft mags will not take A-Minima loads. You must check to see whether yours can handle them before splurging on a bunch of A-Minima loads.


Also, I remember reading here somewhere a post by Nathan Milford claiming that the focus can be off when using A-Minima loads as the film curves opposite to how the regular loads do. Apparently, enough to cause some issues there, as it is not pressing completely flat at the gate, although this seems a contested claim. I think Tom Hepburn was getting ready to test his 200' mag with an A-Minima load a few months back. He may have a better insight as to how it worked than me.


I have seen damaged reversal film (warped by water in storage) go slightly out of focus at the gate (permitting focusing only either at the edges or in the center) when run through a projector, so what Nathan claims is entirely possible.

Edited by Saul Rodgar

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I believe the standard pressure-plate force of 80 grams (plus or minus 10 grams) per square centimeter (Eclair ACL) is more than sufficient to overcome any film warp or twist. Double-over a piece of pretty fresh green rawstock, go back 4 perfs and press it against the pressure plate center. The film should start to buckle in the center when the pressure plate starts to retract. That's not a featherweight force.

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Hi Nick,


As Saul said I have used the A-minima loads in my 200 ft. mags without a problem. You just thread them on the feed side so they will turn counter clockwise. I would also advise that you just buy one and make sure that it works with your mags. FYI, I have two 200 ft magazines and they are both French.


Hope that helps. It's nice to have that extra 100 feet.



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