Bulk Film: 101

What is bulk film and why should you use it: A guide to saving money while shooting more film!

If there’s one thing film shooters know, it’s that film is expensive. It’s not as much as buying a Phase One medium format DSLR, but it’s still far more expensive than it used to be in the days or yore. Of course developing your own film at home can save you heaps on lab processing fees, but what about saving on actual film?

One of the easiest ways to save money when shooting 35mm film is to invest in bulk loading equipment. While it may technically be possible, bulk loading 120 film would not be practical for multiple reasons, particularly spooling and backing paper. However for 35mm, the process is quite simple and helps you get a lot more bang for your buck.

What is bulk film?

Bulk film is a massive roll of 35mm film that you load into empty cassettes and cut on on your own. It usually comes in 100 ft rolls, allowing you to spool between 18-20 rolls of 36 exposure film. The actual number of rolls you get from a bulk roll will depend on the type of loader you have.

So just as an example, as of February 2016 a 100ft roll of Ilford HP5 Plus 400 runs around $69. If we go on the lower end and divide by 18 rolls, that means you pay $3.83 per roll of 36 exposure. Currently, Ilford offers a 5-pack for $29.99 or $5.99 per roll, and single rolls at $8.99. Now let’s look at a 100ft roll of Ultrafine 400 black and white film, which currently sells at $35.95; again on the low end of 18 rolls you’d now be paying $1.99 per roll of 36 exposure. That’s literally cheaper than film was in the 80s and 90s - no joke.

As you can see the savings add up quickly with bulk film, even after taking into account the supplies needed to to it.  A home darkroom or complex equipment isn’t necessary to load your own bulk film. The process is surprisingly easy and economic, which is why it’s such a great option for saving money if you shoot a lot.

Here’s what you need to roll your own bulk film:

To take the above price comparisons further, let’s say you buy a set of empty cassettes for $19.95 and a bulk film daylight loader for $59, plus two 100 ft rolls of the aforementioned Ilford HP5 Plus 400, you’re still only paying $6 per roll and that will continue to go down the more you shoot since you already have the loading equipment. (Side note: you can also use a regular bulk film loader with a dark bag or a light-proof room if you happen to have one.)

Canister vs. Cassette

There can be some confusion for new film shooters between canisters and cassettes, particularly because both are available in bulk. Cassettes, pictured above, are the metal containers that hold the film. You’ll absolutely need these to roll your bulk film and put it in your camera. Canisters, however, are the plastic containers that hold your film cassettes. They can be practical for storing your film, protecting from moisture and organizing. While they are recommended, they are not essential for rolling or shooting bulk film.

Black and White Vs. Color

While it used to be possible to find some types of color film available in bulk, most have been discontinued. Black and white is far more common - making it both easier to find and easier to deal with. If you get your black and white film developed in a lab, they can keep your cassettes and return them to you with your negatives and contact sheets (or scans.) If you do manage to find some bulk color film, more power to you!

Have a look at this awesome video from Matt Day on How To Load Bulk Film:

*Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase through those links, ISSF receives a small commission. This in no way affects our editorial decision making process.


🐱 Here, kitty kitty! 🐱

I’m so excited about this haul– it’s my first one ever! Happened over the course of two days. I think I was a lil too ballsy (probably should have avoided Target because now I feel really sussed out) but thankfully I have some decent karma. Pusheen is honestly my fave (and ultra popular at Claires, Hot Topic, etc) so I’m glad that I loaded up.

🐱 Claire’s 🐱
Pusheen Pencil Case – 16.99
Pusheen Plush (3) – 29.97
Sterling Silver Moon Earrings – 12.99
Sterling Silver Hoops – 19.99
Mini toiletries kit (with scissors that work SO WELL for cutting off tags) – 7.99

🐱 H&M 🐱
Pusheen PJs (not pictured) – 14.99
Tights 2 pack – 9.99
Socks 2 pack – 7.99

🐱 Urban Outfitters 🐱
Grey Dress – 59.99
Toning Mist – $12
Candle – $12

🐱 PacSun 🐱
Phone Case – $20
Velvet Romper – $35.95

🐱 Barnes and Noble 🐱
Citizen – $20
Milk and Honey – $14.99
Green Moleskine – $19.95
Dorian Grey – $7.95

🐱 Michaels 🐱
Art Markers – 14.99
Sketch book – 19.99
Micron Pens – 9.99

🐱 Target 🐱
Eyeliner (2) – 15.98
Neutrogena Mascara – 7.59
Floral Socks – 5.99
Shampoo – 7.99
Undies – $5

🐱 Hot Topic (Not Pictured) 🐱
Crystal – $3
Squirtle Wristband – 2.99
Pusheen Pin – 5.99
Dragon claw barrettes – 8.99

✨ TOTAL ✨ – $431.22 :):)



I ordered the Adventure Vault to test drive Dungeon Crate, and I was not disappointed. The sample box included a chest (to put your gem tokens in or to use as a prop in game), the gem tokens, which could be used for treasure found or as tokens for players to use for a free re-roll, two 5e mini dungeons from Adventure a Week (one written by a friend of mine), a full adventure called Greenskin Diplomacy (Nord Games), and some Dungeon Crate stickers.

The two mini Dungeons Carrion Holme (four characters lvl 4-8) and Summoner’s Remorse (4-6 Characters lvl 5-6).

Greenskin Diplomacy is a scaleable adventure for any level and has a link to downloadable characters from Nord Games.

The Adventure Vault cost $20 and was worth the money. The subscription is month to month for $35.95 (recurring). I will be ordering a trial subscription and let you know what I receive.

small but shiny ✨💎

velvet romper-$35.95
blue sweater-$36.50

victoria’s secret:
velvet bralette-$44.50
velvet high waisted panties-$25
shiny panties-$16.95

total: $158.90

the pacsun romper is actually the cutest thing i’ve ever seen in my life and i look adorable in it 10/10 would reccomend

New “My Little Pony: The Movie” Twilight Sparkle & Songbird Serenade Festival Friends Figure Set $35.95 available here: http://amzn.to/2xRxLcy

Details below:

  • Includes Twilight Sparkle and Songbird Serenade figures
  • Included accessories to help imagine friendship stories
  • Includes 2 figures and 7 accessories
  • Imagine stories between the Twilight Sparkle and Songbird Serenade figures in the My Little Pony Festival Friends Set!
  • Pretend Twilight Sparkle is helping Songbird Serenade practice or sitting in the front row as she rocks out on stage.
  • The set includes a microphone and other accessories for creating movie-inspired stories.
  • Also look for My Little Pony: The Movie Pinkie Pie and Princess Skystar Party Friends and Rarity and Capper Dapperpaws Styling Friends sets to act out more favorite movie scenes. (Each set sold separately. Subject to availability.)
  • My Little Pony and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.
  • Product Dimensions: 2.6 x 10 x 9.2 inches
  • Item Weight: 1 pounds
  • Ages 3 years and up
  • Inspired by My Little Pony: The Movie

Post SAT Haul:
- Big Shampoo: $27.95
- Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner: $35.95
- Dark Angles: $13.95
- Strawberry Bombshell lip balm: $9.95
- Earrings for my friends: $32x3 ($96)
- Free Your Mane: $18
-Opal Bite Lipstick: $24
- Urban Decay Lipstick: $17
🙊 Drug Store:
- NYX jumbo eye pencil: $5
I also got a swim suit from brandy for my friend and a bunch of vs undies but I’m too lazy to total them.
Total: approx. $311

I asked people to send in / tweet #ScienceValentines and man did they deliver. Here’s a few from around the internets:

Are you an ionized halogen? Because I’m positive we should bond.
- Flirting With Psychology

Our bond is so strong, it don’t need oxytocin.
We’re woven together like a corpus callosum.
The love we impart, though it’s felt in our heart,
Is more of a limbic-type notion.
- Joe Hanson, host of It’s Okay To Be Smart

I dig you like Curiosity digs Mars.
- Bobak Ferdowski, Systems Engineer at NASA JPL via Science Friday

Is it just the negative delta H, or is it getting hot in here?
- Debbie Mitchell’s student

You are the transcription enhancer of my love exons.
- Jason Anthony Tetro, @JATetro

A mathematician from Rye
Said please be the X to my y.
Simultaneous equations
Unlike conversations
Are not just Pi in the Sky
- Alison Richards, my radio editor

Boy, are you a prairie chicken? ‘cuz you’re making my heart go boom-boom.
- Emily Graslie, host of thebrainscoop

May our atomic orbitals overlap for I would love to bond with you. Be my valence valentine.
- my friend’s grandpa

You’re so hot, you make the Triassic seem like the Quaternary!
- Erik Hankin, via the American Geophysical Union

If we were bacteria under selective antibiotic pressure – I’d totally give you my plasmid.
- @twisteddoodles

My love for you is like dark matter: you can’t see it but it’s always there.
Symmetry Magazine (more here)

And many of the floral pigment variety:

Roses are red, Violets are [read the rest of this article for $35.95]
- Sylvain Deville, @DevilleSy

Betelgeuse is red
Rigel is blue
You’re Siriusly hot and
I’m starstruck by you.
- Chella Quint, @chellaquint

Exhaust plumes are red
Bright skies are blue
If you were a barge
I’d land my 1st stage on you
- @ROCKETDRAG Do you get this one? If not, click here.

Harmful algal blooms are red
Mussels are blue
During this romantic seaside escape
Lets not get paralytic shellfish poisoning
- Alice Anderson, @alicechristinea

Here’s my favorite effort:

Roses are Red
Violets are Blue
Most poems rhyme
- Hischak’s student, @NBCphysics


Thought I’d also share disneys new “Mega Figurine play set” collection.
I have a feeling this may be a new line (perhaps they are running out of ideas or maybe they are listening to their customers finally haha!)
This set seems more detailed (-the old Anna and Elsa which is exactly the same) hans and kristoffs paint job seems much nicer.
The other sculpts and paint jobs look beautiful! Big fan of Anna coronation and Kristoff as a child.
For the trolls and the King and Queen, Mr. Weasel and Ookan appear in the set, they seem to have almost every character in the set other than the henchmen.
It retails at £35.95.
€45.90 for Europe.

It’s a nice set and is very large! The box is nice also, just be careful to pick a set that has the figurines placed nicely if you don’t plan to debox, my store had a lot stocked so shouldn’t be hard to get this set!