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Struan Gray
27-Apr-2011, 03:23
OK. I admit it. Autodidacts have the worst possible instructors.

Has anyone found a clean, lint-free way to open a film packet in a changing bag? I have found solutions to every other practical LF problem by myself (or searching here :-), but this one has me stumped.

I am reluctant to have a scalpel or guillotine in the bag with my tender fingers. I have used scissors, but they're not perfect. Tearing is right out. Is there some clever way to prise apart the package without getting paper fibres everywhere?

The lack of 50-sheet boxes just rubs salt into the wound.

Richard Mahoney
27-Apr-2011, 04:39
Dear Struan,


I am reluctant to have a scalpel or guillotine in the bag with my tender fingers. I have used scissors, but they're not perfect. Tearing is right out. Is there some clever way to prise apart the package without getting paper fibres everywhere?

Ditto about a scalpel blade. And yes, for a while I used scissors as well, but eventually dropped them as they really were a pain. So now I just find the nick, or don't find it, and tear. Still, I haven't noticed an increase in rubbish on the film since beginning to tear. If you don't mind me asking, then, why is tearing out of the question?


Kind regards,

Richard

Struan Gray
27-Apr-2011, 04:59
...why is tearing out of the question?

I find paper fibres all over the inside of the changing bag. Not masses, but enough to make we want to find A Better Way (tm).

Stoogley
27-Apr-2011, 05:37
Haven't tried this, but...
What about one of those promotional letter openers?
It's a chunk of plastic (with the company name on it) and a razor blade embedded safely within. You just put what you want to slide in the opening and pull it thru.

bobwysiwyg
27-Apr-2011, 05:50
I routinely use children's craft scissors in the dark bag whether opening a film pack or trimming the leader off 35mm for loading. They are metal, but short and have rounded tips. No problems thus far.

David R Munson
27-Apr-2011, 06:01
Haven't tried this, but...
What about one of those promotional letter openers?
It's a chunk of plastic (with the company name on it) and a razor blade embedded safely within. You just put what you want to slide in the opening and pull it thru.

I like this idea. One of these, right?
https://www.my-accessories.co.uk/media/gbu0/prodlg/letter-opener-cz02-black.jpg

Stoogley
27-Apr-2011, 06:11
Yup, that's it.

Oren Grad
27-Apr-2011, 06:18
Use Ilford sheet film - there's no paper packet to rip or cut open.

Or get an empty Ilford sheet film box from someone who uses it, open your other-brand film packet in the darkroom and transfer the stack of film to the Ilford plastic bag + box for carrying in the field.

dave_whatever
27-Apr-2011, 07:01
Or use Fuji film, it comes in a plastic packet.

Bruce Watson
27-Apr-2011, 08:32
I use one of these (http://www.rei.com/product/403028/swiss-army-classic-knife). The smallest Swiss Army knife I've found. The tiny scissors are just the ticket for opening film bags in a changing tent. I've done it over and over and over without problems.

Douglas Henderson
27-Apr-2011, 09:13
I found the old Kodak paper envelopes deteriorate with use and start shedding white flakes. If I want to continue using the envelopes for loading exposed film, I put black photo tape over the torn paper edges.

Newer films seem to have better, plastic envelopes. I wish someone sold plastic envelopes as well as new, empty 4x5, 5x7 and 8x10 film boxes.

Brian C. Miller
27-Apr-2011, 09:45
How about small scissors for beard trimming? There are small sizes. I got mine in a cheap kit years ago.

Struan Gray
27-Apr-2011, 12:38
Thanks for all the suggestions and ideas. My current least bad solution is a pair of blunt-ended but reasonably sharp children's scissors, but I like the thought of an enclosed-blade cutter.


Douglas: among the very best incidental gadgets I have bought for LF have been triple-shell film boxes in ABS from Mike Walker (www.walkercameras.com). They used to be listed among the accessories on his website, but no longer. It can't hurt to ask though.

Mark Sampson
27-Apr-2011, 14:23
My solution has been simple for decades; remove the foil packet after opening it. The two sheets of cardboard that are left protect the film against whatever dangers lurk in the triple box. Of course I live in Rochester and have been using mostly Kodak film my whole life... dust from the paper/foil package has never been an issue, in a changing bag, tent, or darkroom.