Argh--Jobo Reels--Are they that hard for everyone?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Jeffrey A. Steinberg, Feb 6, 2005.

  1. Jeffrey A. Steinberg

    Jeffrey A. Steinberg Member

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    I have been developing films for about 25+ years. I have used Patterson tanks (love them), stainless steel tanks and other chepo brands of plastic tanks.

    For the past several years I have been sending my film out to be developed and I have concentrated on printing. Well, I added up how much I was spending and decided to get a Jobo processor (ATL=1500) and figured it would pay for its self at my volumes fairly quickly.

    Now for the question:

    I know its been a while since I loaded a reel, but I just spent the better part of an hour wrestling a 220 B&W film onto the reel. I cut the film at 45 degree angles like it said and I made sure my fingers gripped the film through the indentation. The problem I was having was the tendency for the film to curl up at the entrance to the reel and jam. The reels were bone dry.

    Anyone else with this problem? Is it just me? What can I do. Its enough to make one give up processing. I hope I am just out of practice
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 6, 2005
  2. rjr

    rjr Member

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    Jeffrey,

    what type of reels are you using - the 1500 Duosets or the larger 2500? Are the reels new?

    Check the guidance in bright light, there may be some grit, chips or splinters in there due to production flaws. You can remove these with a fine rasp.

    If the reels are used, clean them. If they have been used with color chemistry, some gunk may have built up which blocks or slows down the sliding film.

    If it was TMax film, it is just the film - the base is horrid, i had troubles loading 35mm and 120 Tmax in Jobo and Durst reels.

    If you are using the 1500 reels, try my trick. When the film blocks up I place my finger along the sides of the reel, in that mould where the film protudes from the reel. It´s the position where the film looses the guidance and get´s caught and blocked.

    Then I grip the sides of the film base and pull it backwards, I move it sidewards and only then push it further in the reel.

    Another trick - take a piece of old film and cut it down to 10, 15, 20cm. Place it in the entrance of the reel and use it as a guide, as a ramp to feed the roll of film into the reel, the film won´t be able to curl now.

    I hope this helps and that the instruction is usable. ;-)
     
  3. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Might have been best to start out with the shorter 120. You cut the reels? You mean the corner of the film? I never do that. You need to use your thumb to walk the film in. Unlike the Patterson reels the Jobos don't have the ball bearing. If I feel the film has screwed up all I ever do is pull it out about 1" or so. Maybe a little more. Then continue.
     
  4. Stan. L-B

    Stan. L-B Member

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    I have used the reels from Patterson Jobo and others. I have never found any need to cut or trim the leading edge of the film. But, I do bend the edge of the film back against the natural curl for about a 1/4". No problem provided the reel is dry and not bent or otherwise distorted. Just do it again and again with a spare film until you get the knack. Godd luck. Stan. L-B
     
  5. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

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    Keep color film stabilizer and other wetting agents off plastic reels. It makes them sticky and hard to load. Used reels may have this problem and you can`t see it. They can not be cleaned well. Jobo originally had some clear plastic reels that have been replaced with white or milk colored plastic. These are more slippery and work much better.
     
  6. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

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    Can clean with toothbrush and baking soda.
     
  7. Shmoo

    Shmoo Member

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    Check the Jobo reels for a red tab. That tab has a little "tooth" that extends into the reel. This is for 120 film. If you lift the red tab out of the way you should be able to load the larger 220 reels.
     
  8. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    Yeah their a pain. I thought stainless reels would be harder, but man am I wrong. I only thing I like about the Jobo's are the wide mouth tanks, which is why I use them. Once you get use to the reels tho, you can pretty much zip the film in. I've taken to pulling the film onto the reel as far as I can before winding it. After that it seems to catch every 360 degree's, but I think it's my fingers in the way of the lead edge.
     
  9. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    I'm not quite sure what you mean by "cutting the reel". Did you mean that you cut the corners of the film? Many do that .. although I haven't found it necessary. Still, It can't hurt. Unless ...??? You're not talking about more than a 1/8" bevel or so, are you? "Jams at the entrance" ? - or after one turn in the groove, when it again reaches the finger cutouts?

    I would disassemble the reel and *scrub* the film tracks with a toothbrush ... even if they look clean. I use dishwashing detergent ... but the suggestion of baking soda makes sense - especially if they have been used with Kodak Photoflo. All wetting agents seem to leave a residue, but Photoflo seems to be more severe.

    When loading 220, make sure that the little red tab is *out*. It is there so that one 120 film will not ride over another when loading two on a single reel, and it will stop a 220 film halfway on.

    Be careful not to bend the sides of the reel inward when loading. It is a good idea to practice loading a dummy film in the light, so you can get an idea of what is happening when it is "for real".

    To tell the truth, I can't remember the last time I had trouble loading a JOBO reel. - Maybe a year or two ago?
     
  10. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    Why not find some realy out dated film, sacrifice a roll, and practice in the light to see what it is that you are doing wrong? if you can do it in light, close your eyes and practice doing it in the dark. Much easier than getting frustrated each time you are in the darkroom.
     
  11. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    I used to curse a blue streak whenever I loaded those things. Then I discovered the technique of keeping your fingers in those cut outs and jostling the film back and forth whenever the end come around. That made it barely bearable.

    Now I've gone back to Stainless because I think that intermittant agitation is best for B&W processing and loading SS is a dream.
     
  12. Wally H

    Wally H Member

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    I don't have any problem with them unless they are not entirely dry... Like most reels, any 2 year old with 20 years experience can do it....
     
  13. Jeffrey A. Steinberg

    Jeffrey A. Steinberg Member

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    Yes, thanks Aggie. That was the second thing I tried (after cursing). Was fairly easy to do in the light; I guess I am just out of practice.

    Thanks for everyone's help.
     
  14. Jerry Thirsty

    Jerry Thirsty Member

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    I tried a sacrificial roll in mine in daylight a few months ago, and found that I got the best results if I cut very small triangles off the leading corners at about a 75 degree angle (cut off a triangle that is about 2mm along the edge of the film strip and 5mm toward the center of the film, if that makes sense).
     
  15. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    I've a Jobo tank and reel on the shelf. I chalked it up to
    too little tolerance; reels a little on the minus side and a
    film a little on the plus side and NO GO. Dan
     
  16. claytume

    claytume Member

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    front edge curl

    Stan has the answer here.

    I shoot a lot of 220 as some of my panorama cameras don't take 120 as it's too short in length. It took a while to figure out it was the slight curl at the start of the film that was causing the jams in the reels. It's worse too with old film, it seems to have a tighter curl set into it.

    So for me the answer was to clip the corners slightly and bend the front edge back and crease it, not too much though. Makes a big difference!

    Clayton
     
  17. Jeffrey A. Steinberg

    Jeffrey A. Steinberg Member

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    Thanks everyone.

    All of the suggestions have helped me great. Thanks to Apug! The biggest issue was the film was getting stuck every 360 degrees, right under the finger indents. Cutting and folding like Clayton has suggested make a big difference. Starting to love my Jobo processor more and more now.
     
  18. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    Don't forget to use your fingertips to feel the end of the film each time it comes past the indents and push it side to side to guide it through. This made a big difference for me.
     
  19. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    I should have mentioned in my earlier post this thread
    that I did use that Jobo reel with two rolls of film with no
    problem. That third roll may have been cut over wide; it did
    not fit. Over wide film? They must vary some. Dan