First Lets Start With a Visual How To
Pre Step: Make sure you have your film, a canister to load it in, a bulk loader ( I am using a Western Loader) painters tape, and scissors!
Step 1: Move the gate to closed.
Step 2: Grab your tape, I split mine into two thinner pieces.
Step 3: Grab your empty film canister, tape one side just like this.
Step 4: Now pop open the loader and connect your film, always double check the gate is closed before opening your door!
Step 5: Now wrap the tape around just like this, press it down so it is as flat as possible.
Step 6: Stick it into the loader.
Step 7: Set your counter to 0.
Step 8: Open the gate!
Step 9: Start winding.
Step 10: I labeled which way to turn the actual loader.
Step 11: Once you are all loaded up (I usually load back to the 5) open up the gate!
Step 12: Pop open the lid.
Step 13: Cut your film!
Step 14: Label it! I use Gaffers Tape so it blocks the DX code. And now you are ready to go!
WHy Load your own film?
Its saves you money! (sometimes). Check out this spreadsheet I made based on Freestyle's prices!
When I started bulk loading I was shooting mostly Ilford, however after looking into buying some TriX I noticed Kodak film seems to be more expensive to buy 100ft than to just buy individual 36 exposure canisters. It seems the amount you save (when you do save) seems to be quite a significant chunk of change.
Bottom line, do your research, see what is cheaper. I shoot primarily Ilford so it makes sense for me. If you shoot Kodak or mostly color film, maybe this isn't the best option for you!
Personally the feel of loading my own film brings me that much closer to my own photography. Being able to load my film, shoot it, take it home develop and scan my own film just gives me so much more control than I could ever ask for. If you want to feel closer to your photography this is the way to go!
Leave a comment if you have any questions!