The Ricoh 16mm cassettes were large and they are all fairly easy to reload.
  1. Memorize these instructions since you can't refer to them in the dark; better yet, run through the steps with the lights on with scrap film.
  2. Gather all your items together -- 16mm film, cassettes, scissors, 1/2" black tape, and film template.
  3. Wash your hands thoroughly, or use film gloves (obtainable at most camera shops) in order to avoid getting oil or dirt on the film.
  4. On the cassette, you'll notice that there is a film-takeup end -- which has a hole in it to engage the film advanceing gear.  There is also a film-feeder end which is solid and does not need this hole. The caps are not interchangeable, so you'll have to keep the film-feeder parts and the film-takeup parts segregated.  
  5. Remove both caps and COMPLETELY take apart the cassette.
  6. Remove any film from the film-takeup spool.
  7. Completely check the cassette for any loose dirt or film scraps.
  8. Turn off the lights.
  9. Cut a 19" length of film, using a template, ruler or whatever you can device. A yardstick with a notch or piece of tape at 19" will work fine. (Any type of 16mm film, regardless of perforations, will work with any Ricoh camera, but on single-perforated film you might notice that you get slightly more image if the perforations are on one side or the other. Make note of this for future loads.  On double perf film, you might notice that the perforations cut into the image on one side with some cameras.)
  10. Wind the film tighly into a roll and pull out a 1-2" leader. Make sure that the emulsion in wound in toward the center of the roll.
  11. Slip the leader through the film outlet. Then drop the roll of film into the film-feeder end of the cassette. This can be difficult to find in the dark, so you may need to practice with the lights on with a scrap piece of film.
  12. Place the cap back on the film-feeder end of the cassette.
  13. Turn on a dim light.
  14. Check to make sure that the film is loaded correctly -- emulsion toward the lens.
  15. Depending on the type of cassette you have and its overall condition, you might want to seal the film-feeder cap with 1/2" black tape.
  16. Some Ricoh/Steky cassettes have a little film-catch on the take up spool.  If it's in good condition, you can use this, but otherwise cut a 2 1/2" length of 1/2" black tape to hold the film to the takeup spool.
  17. Line up the leader of the film with the film takeup spool. Most take-up spool have a gear slot on both ends so you can't put it in the cassette in the wrong direction.
  18. Slip the film leader into the film-catch or tape the film to the spool so that the tape loops around the spool and attches to the film on both sides of the film.
  19. Slide the film into the takeup film slot while slipping the takeup spool into the cassette.  With the film attached it can be difficult to get the bottom of the spool lined up correctly on some cassettes.
  20. Place the cap back on the film-takeup end of the cassette. You might need a ball point pen or scissor tip to get the gear aligned correctly.
  21. Depending on the type of cassette you have and its overall condition, you might want to seal the film-takeup cap with 1/2" black tape.
  22. Make sure that ends or kinks of tape are not protruding around the cassette.
  23. Place the reloaded cassette in a protective case and tape shut with black tape.
  24. Mark the outside of the case with the type of film.
  25. When you load the film in the camera make sure that the gear on the cassette and the gear in the camera mesh correclty.  If they don't, align them by slightly advancing the film advance.

This may sound like a lot of work, but once you get used to it, you can reload a cassette quickly.

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