Film Handling - Antique and Vintage Cameras
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Until the standard-size 35 mm cassettes came into use (Agfa 1932, Kodak 1934) film was supplied in many different forms - paper backed, paper leader and trailers, or in cassettes fitting a particular camera. Where cassettes were used they might be re-loadable in daylight or the darkroom from pre-cut refills or loadable from bulk film which had to be cut to length and trimmed at each end to fit the cassette. Both Leitz and Zeiss supplied templates to trim the ends of the film, other accessories included winders, used in the darkroom, to wind the film on to the cassette's core. Later 'daylight loaders' were available where the cassette could be loaded from a large spool of film.

Different forms of cassette were used:

  • In one form the cassette consisted of two parts of a cylinder able to rotate relative to the other, in one position a wide opening would be formed through which the film could travel, in another position the opening closed making the cassette light-tight. The Leica and Contax cassettes are of this type.
  • The arrangement that was to become most commonly used had a permanent slit with velvet light traps through which the film could be pulled. The early Agfa and Kodak 135 cassettes were of this type.1
  • The cassette for the early model Robot camera had a one-part case with a light trap consisting of a spring-loaded bar that was pushed open as the camera back was closed.2
  • Mostly film was wound on a central core in the cassette, exceptions were the Agfa Karat (1937) and its predecessor the Ansco Memo (1927) where the film was simply pushed into the take-up cassette, the earlier Amourette also used this type of cassette.

References & Notes:

[1] IG Farbenindustrie (Agfa), BP 405093/1934.

[2] Heinz Kilfitt, BP 410071/1934.

Film Trimming Template

1931

E. Leitz G.M.B.H.

Wetzlar

Germany

For trimming the end of the film to fit the take-up spool.

Code Names:
ABLON.

Film Winder

1936

E. Leitz G.M.B.H.

Wetzlar

Germany

For winding film on to the cassette spool. This replaced the earlier ASPUL model which could not be used with Leica 250 cassettes.

Code Names:
AFLOO.

Film Cutting Knife

1936

E. Leitz G.M.B.H.

Wetzlar

Germany

For cutting the film while still in the camera, the exposed portion could then be removed and developed.

With:
Pouch.

Code Names:
ABCOO.

Leica Cassette

1925

E. Leitz G.M.B.H.

Wetzlar

Germany

Code Names:
FILCA.

Agfa Patrone

AGFA

Berlin

Germany

Plastic re-loadable cassette containing Agfacolor film.

Shirley-Wellard Universal Cassette

Type C

Shirley-Wellard Instrument Co. Ltd.

Croydon

England

Image of Shirley-Wellard Universal Cassette

Re-loadable cassette.

With:
Instructions, box.

A very popular cassette that would fit most 35 mm cameras of the period. A film loader (similar to the model from Leitz) was also available.

References & Notes:
BP 662407/1949. AP 1/7/1953, p. 39. BJA 1955, p. 187, BJA 1959, p. 191.

Reloadable Cassette

Three plastic re-loadable cassettes.

Shirley-Wellard Cassette Loader

Shirley-Wellard Instrument Co. Ltd.

Croydon

England

Image of Shirley-Wellard Cassette Loader

This is a winder used in a darkroom to load the Shirley-Wellard Universal cassette.

Notes:
The instructions carry the patent number of 26821.

With:
Cassette. Instructions. Box.

Sommor Cassette Loader

Image of Sommor Cassette Loader

To load 35 mm cassettes from a roll of bulk film, used in daylight. For 30 feet film.

With:
Instructions.

References & Notes:
BJA 1939, p. 130. BJA 1951, p. 242. Minit&Cine 1938, p. 253.

Füllfix Cassette Loader

Image of Füllfix Cassette Loader

To load cassettes from a roll of bulk film, used in daylight.

Wasp Cassette Loader

R.F. Hunter Ltd

London

England

Image of Wasp Cassette Loader

To load cassettes from a roll of bulk film, used in daylight.

With:
Box marked 'The Hunter Series'.

References & Notes:
BJA 1950, p. 247.


Company Details:

Hunter, R.F.

Camera Accessories

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