Tricky 16mm loading made easier… the GIC camera

That first roll I tried in the GIC 16mm camera suffered quite a bit of edge-fogging.   This is because I wasn’t used to the loading and it was tricky,  getting the film around the sprocket…  took me ages !  Remember, mine is an early model that has fixed guides. They must have realised the difficulty.  Later GIC’s  are much easier to thread.

So for my next film,  another roll of Ektachrome, I decided to make things a little easier.  I have an empty 100ft black plastic film container that has a small slot I cut in one corner, lined with black velvet.  Sometimes it’s  used in the darkroom to begin loading a developing-tank spiral, the idea being this can be done in the light without fogging the film…. when ready I turn off the light, take out the spool and load.   For the GIC camera I withdrew about 18 inches of film, then calmly carried out the loading in a good light.  Much much easier.  When I was happy with the correct loops above and below the gate I ran the camera briefly.  (However, because the 50ft spool of film was still in the container I was careful that the film didn’t  quit the sprocket teeth, or back to square one.)   Now I turned off the main room light and took out the spool, easing it on to the feed spindle while holding back the footage-counter lever that bears on the edge of the film.  This is comparatively easy and quick to do in subdued light conditions.   So I reckon far less fogging, and anticipating this I started filming almost immediately.

Notice I’ve now blackened the inside rim of the camera door, to be on the safe side.  It’s a good seal but I suppose it’s possible for the two locking knobs to work loose slightly while filming.  Note also the two countersunk bolts I fitted to hold the viewfinder accessory-shoe.

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