RELOADING VISCAWIDE CASSETTES
Viscawide cassettes are not terribly difficult to reload, and the results
that you get from the format make it all worthwhile.
Memorize these instructions since you can't refer to them in the dark; better
yet, run through the steps with the lights on using scrap film.
Gather all your items together -- 16mm film, Viscawide cassettes (you need
two to load the camera.), scissors, 1/2" black tape, and film template.
Wash your hands thoroughly, or use film gloves (obtainable at most camera
shops) in order to avoid getting oil or dirt on the film.
The Viscawide cassettes are identical. One is used as the feeder spool and
the other is turned upside down and used as the take-up spool. There are
arrows on the cassettes and in the camera showing how the film is loaded
into the cassettes.
With the lights on, remove the tape securing the caps from the film-feeder
and the film-takeup cassettes.
Remove both caps.
Remove any tape and film from the spools.
Completely check the cassettes for any loose dirt or film scraps.
Turn off the lights.
Cut a 30" length of film, using a template, ruler or whatever you can device.
A yardstick with a notch or piece of tape at 30" will work fine. Any type
of 16mm film, regardless of perforations, will work with the Viscawide (which
was designed for double perforated film).
Tape the film to the spool with the film emulsion against the spool. Wind
the film tighly around the spool and pull out a 1-2" leader. Make sure that
the emulsion in wound IN, toward the center of the spool.
Slip the leader through the film outlet of the cassette while dropping the
roll of film into the film-feeder cassette. The film slot can be difficult
to find in the dark, so you may need to practice with the lights on with
a scrap piece of film. Make sure you drop the spool into the cassette as
shown on the outside of the cassette.
Place the cap back on the film-feeder cassette.
Turn on a dim light.
Check to make sure that the film is loaded correctly -- emulsion toward the
Press the film-feeder cap and cassette together and attach the film-feeder
cap with 1/2" black tape.
Line up the leader of the film with the film takeup spool. Tape the film
with the emulsion IN, toward the center of the roll.
Make sure that the film-takeup cassette is facing in the right direction.
This is the opposite of the film-feeder spool. Check the diagram inside the
camera if you are not sure.
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. This will prevent the film from coming
Slide the film and spool into the takeup film cassette which is as difficult
to find as the feeder slot was.
Place the cap back on the film-takeup cassette.
Press the film-takeup cap and cassette together and attach the film-takeup
cap with 1/2" black tape.
Make sure that ends or kinks of tape are not protruding around the cassettes.
Mark each cassette in some way so that you know which cassette is the feeder
and which is the takeup spool. The two cassettes look identical and without
marking them, you have no way of knowing which has the film in it.
Place the reloaded cassettes in the camera. Place the feeder cassette in
first. MAKE SURE THAT THE FEEDER CASSETTE IS IN THE CORRECT SLOT. With the
two cassettes loaded, it is impossible to tell which cassette has the film
and which is empty. If you inadvertently, flip the cassettes or lose your
train of thought, you'll have to unload one of the cassettes to determine
where the film is. If the film won't advance once it's in the camera, most
likely the cassettes were flipped.
Lastly, pull out enough film so that the take-up cassette will reach its
slot. The take-up cassette has to fit onto a tab that rotates the spool.
Chances are that the tab and the spool will not fit correctly when the cassette
is placed in the camera. To get the tab and spool to align, gently press
the cassette into the camera while turning the film advance knob. You will
feel the tab slip into the cassette. You can then close the camera.
Advance the film and then press the film counter reset button on the top
of the camera.
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