I have a big roll of 35 mm film and like to roll it onto a smaller roll so I can use my bulk loader.

Concretely I have a 76m roll of Kodak Vision 3. Since I do not have any empty cores I am wondering how I can roll up 30.5m smaller rolls.
What are the dimensions of the cores of the rolls?


1 Answer 1


Without empty cores, you're pretty much done before you start.

The only real option I see is to take the bulk loader into the darkroom and hand roll a quantity of film that will fit into the loader's supply chamber and thread it in. It'll still work in the loader (I think), though you may find the remjet gets scratched up as it rides on the film's back surface inside the loader chamber.

If you know anyone else who bulk loads, you may be able to bum some empty bulk spools to roll onto.

On potential option that just occurred to me is a method I've heard others talk about, but haven't tried myself. Since a 36 exposure roll of 35 mm is about 150 cm long, you could just (in the dark) pull the end off the big roll with one hand, run the other hand down the film to your full arm span, and hold the film there to be cut. Then hand roll the strip into a cassette (and don't forget to capture the new end of the big bulk roll and protect it before switching the lights back on).

There is a small risk here of getting a strip that's too long to fit in a developing reel, but you could use a reference stick or notches on the edge of the darkroom counter for a length reference to prevent this.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you have the dimensions of the cores? maybe they can be 3d printed. Seems like overkill but it is one option. \$\endgroup\$
    – A.Dumas
    Mar 25, 2020 at 12:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ For that matter, a heavy core from, say, a receipt printer could also stand in. Cut to 35 mm length and check fit in the empty bulk loader and tape the film on -- except I recall loader spools having a flange to guide the film, and this wouldn't have -- making an off-axis wind virtually certain. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Mar 25, 2020 at 12:11

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