100 feet of Pan-X

100 feet of Pan-x film

Toronto. I mentioned a while back that bulk film loads saved money. You spoolled just what you needed in 24 or 36 frame increments using new, used, or special cassettes – and a bulk film loader plus a reel of bulk film.

100 feet came in a sealed light tight metal can 4 inches across and 35mm deep. The reel of film was encased in a light tight black paper bag and secured with a strip of paper forming a ring around the reel.

Some colour films, like Anscochrome, were pre cut in 36 frame lengths with special template cuts marking off each 36 frame length of film. Other films, like Kodak’s Pan-X or other Kodak and Ilford black and white negative film came in simple spools of 50 or 100 feet.

Some makers like Leitz sold special cassettes while users could buy new empty cassettes or save up used cassettes and ignore the “single use” caution (these cassettes used felt light traps which might trap dust and dirt making “tram tracks”along the film strip as each new frame was moved in place in the camera).

I used all three varieties of cassettes over the years with no apparent difficulties. Leitz cassettes where heavy brass and used a special light tight door which opened wide once the cassette was loaded in their Leica cameras. Their cassettes started out cheap but near the the end sold for about $100 each retail!

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