Developed my first roll... Poor Paterson Reel loading technique ...

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by GarageBoy, Apr 16, 2013.

  1. GarageBoy

    GarageBoy Member

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    So I've been practicing loading a Paterson reel for a while and could do it by feel (my practice roll was a 24 exp roll...)
    So, everythings in the changing bag, crack open canister of Acros 135 - 36 start loading and notice I can't get the last piece of the roll on and it feels like I'd damage the film removing it. Finally get it right and cut the end of
    Spent 15 min getting the TMAX RS down to temperature
    As per Fuji's instructions 1 min agitation (What is one inversion btw? Should I let the liquid slosh all the wall over to one side or is it just, back and forth?), agitate at 3 min, 4 min, and then 5 min, before pulling off the cover and dumping it at 5:15 (can I skip the final agitation?)

    Stop, Fix (How often do I agitate during the fix, the Fuji spec sheet told me to invert continuously for the first minute and that was it), Ilford Wash

    Negatives look okay, on a few frames uneven edge markings and a tiny kink (ugh...)
    Really dusty though (is this fixable or is this damage permanent?)

    Thanks!
     
  2. jcc

    jcc Member

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    Exact methods/timing of agitation is relative. If this method worked for you, just be consistent and do the same thing for future rolls. That way, you know what to expect every time.
     
  3. Tony Egan

    Tony Egan Subscriber

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    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum37/91628-film-wont-go-reel.html

    See posts #11 and 12 in above thread for my tips re loading film.

    I don't use stop bath. Fresh running water is good enough for stopping development.

    My standard practice is 30 seconds gentle rolling action at the start followed by 4 gentle rolling inversions every 60 seconds. Personal consistent practice rather than chasing the next best advice you receive is the way to go once you get a bit more experience! Don't sweat too much over "mistakes". Shoot more film!
    I use 1+1 development in XTol which makes starting temperature control easier. Don't be afraid to stick the thermometer in between agitation to see what ambient or tank temperature is doing especially if you are more than 3 or 4 degrees either side of 20C. Adjust finishing time up or down a little accordingly. (I actually start at 19C if the ambient/tank temperature is higher and 21C if its cold in the darkroom.)

    With fix I agitate for 30 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds for no less than 4 minutes. I shoot primarily TX400. Again, standard consistent practice for me which works.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2013
  4. mfohl

    mfohl Subscriber

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    You should be able to get rid of the dust by washing again. Did you use Photo-flo for the final rinse? And if so, did you mix it properly? If you use too much, the film gets sticky. Either way, try to dry the film in a dust-free area.

    One thing I do with my films is cut off the corners of the leading edge of the film. Just cut off about 1 or 2 mm, and that means a hard edge will not have to push anything out of the way in the grooves of the reel. It's easier to do this in the light. When you rewind the film in the camera, don't rewind the leader into the can; only rewind until the leader is disengaged from the take up spool. The cut off the leader, cut off your two corners, and then rewind the rest into the can. You can do the cutting in the dark, but it's a lot easier if you can see it. (You have to do it in the dark for 120 film.)

    Good luck; keep trying.
     
  5. dorff

    dorff Member

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    Hi,

    A few points:

    I suggest not beveling the film. It should load as easily if it is cut exactly square. Beveling may cause the film tip to slip out and scratch the next layer of film in the spiral, and it will be impossible to load further. The reel must be absolutely dry. Even a tiny drop of moisture will make everything stick, and will force you to abandon the operation. When you load a film, always load it well past the minimum. When you use the take-up action of the spool, once the entire film is on the spool, push the trailing edge a further finger length onto the spool, or as far as it will go. If you leave the film as it loaded, then once you unclick the spool to take the film out, in turning the one half of the spool it will catch the film and kink it quite badly. Another way to do it is to remove the film by flexing it enough to slip out of the groove, but you do so at own risk. I prefer unhinging the spool unless the film gets caught.

    About dust: My first few films were very dusty, and I have become a lot more careful since then. Use clean water and clean chemicals for processing. Tap water is fine, but there must not be any particulate matter floating around. Check your fixer - sometimes a precipitate can form which will stick to the film. Although it can be washed off, this is time consuming and can potentially degrade the film. If there is a precipitate, decant off the clear part and use only that. For final wash, use a drop or two of wetting agent (not too much!) in distilled or purified water that has close to zero TDS. Don't use softened water - the object is to obtain a film that is dry without any drying marks due to salts or deposits. When you hang the film to dry, do not squeegee it. Very important: hang the film in a dust-free place. I use my darkroom with fans off and door closed, and myself outside. Like all animals, we are all constantly shedding dead skin cells, and these can get onto and spoil a drying film. So while the film is drying, try not to keep it company - it will do fine on its own.

    An inversion is from upright to upside-down and back to upright. It is not necessary to shake the tank as if your life depends on it. Think of it as creating motion but not shock. An inversion takes me about 2.5 to 3 seconds. For most films, that means three or four inversions (= 10 seconds) per minute. For some developers that are prone to foaming (TMax Dev is a good example) the inversions must be done as gently as possible. This is to prevent foam that causes eneven development if your film is barely covered at the top, or worse, bubbles sticking to the film during development. To minimise the latter, give the tank a firm thump onto the table or shelf where you are working, after every agitation cycle (while it is upright) before you set it down again. Try not to break the tank, though. That is not recommended.

    If you do not have a film retriever, I suggest getting one. It is much easier to cut the tip straight in daylight than in the dark, and it makes a big difference to the ease of loading if it is straight and not cut through the sprocket holes, for instance. This is a non-issue with 120 film, but for 35 mm needs to be considered.
     
  6. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

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    I reckon this is also true of the "clip the corners vs. don't clip the corners " and "stainless reel vs. plastic reel" debates that always seem to dog development technique & equipment threads ... :whistling:
     
  7. Jonathan R

    Jonathan R Member

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    Extra to what Dorff says above, you will encounter problems with a 36 exp film if you try to load it fresh out of the camera. This is because the camera tak-up spool puts a reverse curl in the film. Best to leave it in the cassette for a couple of days before loading into the dev tank. I dry spirals on a gentle heat (e.g. top of a radiator) before use to make sure they are bone dry.
     
  8. GarageBoy

    GarageBoy Member

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    Thanks
    I clipped the corners
    I'm not sure if I cut enough leader off (I clipped the tongue, then clipped the corners)
    The reels were brand new, straight out of the box
    Still not sure why it bound it

    Some smudge/smear in the center?
    img096.jpg

    Can't figure out what happened here on the left
    img110.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2013
  9. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

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    all levity aside, this is excellent advice.
    I had a few jamming problems that resolved when I noticed that I only had the jams with film that had been in a reverse-wind camera (they don't all, my XA and Ricoh 500G just wind straight for instance.)
    Once I learned to let the film "relax" for a day in the cassette, I had no more problems.
    I found it also depended a bit on the film type. Some bases seemed a bit more prone to holding their "reverse curl" than others (Fomapan was a particular culprit for me)
     
  10. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Reading these post really makes a simple process complex.
     
  11. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

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    Making a cup of tea is a really simple process.

    Now write down every single step you take to do so, and add all the caveats that might go wrong, and how to avoid them.

    Almost any activity that appears simple hides levels of complexity. When something is done with practice of many years, it becomes easy to forget that it might appear difficult to those who are not so practised, or someone who is less dextrous ...
     
  12. mr rusty

    mr rusty Subscriber

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    It takes practice doesn't it! I do clip the corners *very* slightly, and do sometimes still find I get 3/4 of the film on and then it sticks. I find if I grip each spool loosely and give a sort of light "vibration" wiggle while sort of "loosening" the two halves against each other the sticking usually clears and the film winds in.

    The other thing I do is pull the whole film out of the cassette first and cut it off, and then let it coil back into my hand so I start with the leading edge again. I find leaving the cassette on til its obn the spool and then cutting off, the cassette gets in the way.

    second the let the film rest if poss, but 35mm has a reasonable length leader in most cameras so I often forceibly put a correct curl on it if there is still any reverse curl.

    As to keeping the dust off, I have a squirty bottle with photoflo mix in, and after I have hung the negs up I wash them down with this, and then get out the darkroom and let them dry. Sticky drying negs collect dust!
     
  13. Wolfeye

    Wolfeye Subscriber

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    Film never gets stuck on metal reels. It just becomes a tangled, twisted mess instead. :smile:
     
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  15. GarageBoy

    GarageBoy Member

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    Yeah, I thought since it was so easy doing it with a 24 exp roll, that a 36 should not have been much different. Also, is it okay to touch the base side of the film, or should I avoid getting my hands on the film surface (noticed a nasty finger print on the edge of a frame)
     
  16. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    It's best to avoid if possible, but touching either side is ok, but your hands must be clean, and absolutely dry, the dry part may be hard to achieve in a changing bag.
     
  17. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    Also, you can probably let the film come all the way out and around one time as the film emulsion faces in. That is if you have that problem again


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  18. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Working inside a changing bag adds one degree of difficulty, moisture( perspiration from your hands), that can cause(almost always) film to not want to load into a plastic reel. This is most prevalent with 36 exposure rolls, due to the added length of film.
     
  19. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Practice with a 36exp roll in the changing bag. Wash your hands well with soap, and make sure they are absolutely dry. There can be no moisture at all on the Paterson reels when you load film, or it will stick to the reel like gorilla glue. I have had exactly the problem you're having when it's summer time in Minnesota, with hot weather 80-100 degrees F and 90% humidity. An alternative is to use stainless steel reels, but they don't exactly load themselves either. They are not susceptible to moisture issues like plastic reels are, though, since you don't have to slide the film into them; they load from the center.

    Dust on the base side can usually be cleaned off if you soak the film again. Sometimes it comes off the emulsion side too.

    When you have finished washing your film after the fixing step, using a good wetting agent is key. Some wetting agents, like the 'End of Run' from Sprint, advises to remove the liquid that remains on the film with a sponge. Others advise to simply just hang. In my experience, the only way I can get virtually dust free negatives is to use the Sprint method.
    Some will advise against that method, because they are afraid to scratch the film. That is a valid concern, and you must be very careful doing it. I have not had a problem yet after about five years and a few hundred rolls of film, but I might be lucky. The benefit is that practically all my negatives are completely dust free and I don't have to spot my prints nearly as much as before.

    Good luck!
     
  20. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Once you kink film it is nearly impossible to load correctly with either plastic or metal reels. What I have found that does sometimes work is to start loading the reel from the opposite (unkinked) end of the film.

    BTW it does require a bit of effort to make a GOOD cup of tea. My grandmother was from England and she taught me how to make a good cup of tea. And for god's sake don't use a tea bag. The tea leaves in tea bags is cut too finely and therefore the tea rapidly loses its aroma. By the time you purchase tea bags the tea's aroma is mostly gone.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 17, 2013
  21. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    Agreed! Loose leaf or no leaf! :smile:




    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  22. dorff

    dorff Member

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    One can apply this rationale to film developing also: A little bit of extra effort yields a lot of extra reward, or at the least avoids a great deal of frustration in the case of film processing. It does not need by any means to be difficult or excessively involved. One only needs to do a few basic things well and the rest takes care of itself. There are of course different styles, as with most things in life. Some bevel the film, some don't. Some prefer Paterson reels, some metal. Whatever one does, it is worth practicing and ironing out the obvious problems, and it pays to do so with cheap film and not the critical shots of a once-in-a-lifetime vacation.

    Everything worth doing, is worth doing well, whether it is making tea or developing a film. The difference between merely doing, and doing well, is often not that great.
     
  23. Patrick Robert James

    Patrick Robert James Subscriber

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    Wow. I hope this thread is not a portent of the future of advice on the internet. It is full of complete b.s. until Thomas' post, aside from the beveling of the leading edge (a mm or so) of film before you load a plastic reel. Plastic reels should be loaded dry. A few seconds with a hair dryer will do if you live in a high humidity environment. A lot of sticking problems with plastic reels are caused by dirty reels or reels that have been fouled by wetting agents such as Photoflo. If you use plastic reels you should clean them every few tanks with bleach. It only take a few seconds.

    I have dried film every way since Tuesday, including five years in SoCal living on the Pacific coast, 150' from the ocean, hanging the film outside on my balcony overnight in the salty air. Never any problems. The best way to do it controllably is to use LFN (Photoflo just doesn't work well, save yourself the hassle) in distilled water then wipe slowly in one direction on the shiny (non emulsion side) with a stack of Kimwipes or a Bounty paper towel (yes, you heard that right), while it is wet (mirroring what Thomas wrote), once. No rewipes. Use a new Kimwipe or paper towel if there are any streaks in reflected light. Alternatively, you can finish with a soak in pure alcohol, but don't dry the film with heat afterwards or it will cloud. Don't ever touch the emulsion side, ever. No squeegee for you! to paraphrase Seinfeld. I have never seen a water spot on the emulsion side of the film in all my years doing photography and developing film. If you get a water spot on the non-emulsion side of the film, it can easily be removed with 91% Isopropyl alcohol, or your breath, and a microfiber. The alcohol works better than your breath. Isopropyl alcohol is a better film cleaner than Pec-12 in my opinion for black and white film. Pec-12 is better for cleaning prints. It works wonderfully for that.
     
  24. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

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    "Full of complete b.s."

    there's nothing quite like a constructive contribution to help folk along, is there?
     
  25. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    Also he tells the OP to use fiber filed paper towel to dry his negatives assuring there will be no dust issues... Haha

    Please never use paper towel or toilet paper to dry your negs....



    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  26. Halka

    Halka Member

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    I don't think it means what you think it means. He did contribute to the discussion, after all.

    I probaly won't take PRJ's suggestions to heart, but if it works for him, that's enough.