I'm glad that my order from Freestyle Photo arrived yesterday, before I saw Monda's post about the BARPs now available on eBay. The last thing I need now is another temptation. As it was, though, FedEx beat the internets on this one, and my film and fixer are in. My mad-scientist fantasies are almost complete!
As predicted, I was able to get about 20 rolls of film from the 100' spool, and only goofed up twice. Once I failed to place the film over the little sprocket wheels that run the counter, and once at the end of the spool when I pulled the end of the film all the way into the canister. (It was only about 10 frames, not worth retrieving.) Assuming no colossal light-leaks in the loader, or foul-ups in my process, I should be set for film for a while.
Next order of business is the camera. As you certainly know, I have no shortage of the silly things. I'm still going to pull out dad's old Minolta to shoot some of this up, but I've decided to use one of my "inheritance cameras" for the first roll, my grandfather's old Rollei 35. Here it is, presented next to one of my bulk-loaded rolls for scale:
My love of the macro lens doesn't do this thing justice. Lying flat on its back, the camera will easily fit within the bounds of a 3x5 card, with space around the edges. It's that tiny. I recall getting this camera around the same time I got the Minolta, when my grandfather was still alive but starting to fade due to the effects of Alzheimer's. I do know that I never really asked him about it or using it, and am only now beginning to appreciate the quality of this tiny little camera. It is supposedly the smallest mechanical full-frame 35mm camera ever made, and I used it for a while, though I tended to favor the SLR, despite its heft and noise. By comparison, this little Rollei is nearly silent, and very pocketable -- the lens retracts into the body -- and just plain elegant. I know that my grandfather also bulk-rolled his film, as I've got at least one vintage metal Kodak can sitting around from his estate, and though he tended to prefer medium-format over 35mm, I'd like to think that all this experimenting is guiding me into his footsteps.