Film Reels

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by David Ruby, Jul 7, 2004.

  1. David Ruby

    David Ruby Member

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    I was developing some 35mm film last night, and after running three rolls through a Patterson tank and reels I bought off Ebay, I decided to use my old no-name brand double reel tank rather than dry the Patterson reels. It didn't take me long to remember why I bought the used Patterson reels.

    Does anyone else notice that the plastic used for those Patterson reels is just so much smoother and easier to feed? I was just curious.
     
  2. scootermm

    scootermm Subscriber

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    35mm steel reels have been the bane of my existance lately.
    Ive managed to ruin at least 4 frames per roll of every single HP5 roll lately.
    all because of misfeeding them on the steel reels. so frustrating.
    I love my 35mm Canon and the convenience of it.... but loading those reels frustrates me to no end.
    On to plastic reels for me.
     
  3. lee

    lee Member

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    guys,
    the thing you need to do is start with new reels. bent reels will NEVER load correctly everytime. take cassette of film that is ruined or donated or better yet a leader of bulk film and practice in the light until you can do it right everytime. then close your eyes and do it then behind your back. Then turn off the lights. It really ain't that hard. Just don't drop them and wash them well after you use them. You can load them wet so it helps to use them if you have a lot of film to process.

    lee\c
     
  4. geraldatwork

    geraldatwork Member

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    I find the steel reels fairly easy to load. But they cannot be bent. I have 4 reels and one of them is bent so I never use it. I find if have to bend the very end of the roll outward for I find the natural curl touches the film on a negative 4 or so images from the end and sometimes causes an undeveloped spot. I never curse more than when I am in a dark place struggling to load film on a reel thinking the film will be ruined.
     
  5. Jan Brittenson

    Jan Brittenson Member

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    I have to admit I use Jobo plastic reels, and never have problems. Other than weird gummy edges on R25. :smile: If they cause problems it's likely because they have cracks or other damage, or aren't dry.
     
  6. photomc

    photomc Member

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    Guess I can't say one way or the other, but have always used SS reels and would not trade for them. Sure they are a pain when I get in a hurry or don't pay attention to the way the film goes on. Have a couple of Hewes (think that's how it is spelled) for 120 and love them. As Lee says, pratice with the lights on, learn to 'feel' the film and it really is easy and clean up is a snap...just air dry.
     
  7. Helen B

    Helen B Member

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    Of all the reels I've used regularly (Paterson, Jobo plastic; Kindermann, Soligor, Hewes SS), the Hewes SS reels stand out as being the easiest and fastest to load. The 35 mm reels stand out because the way the film sprockets are hooked to the core means that initial misalignment is virtually impossible. There are now Hewes reels that are a direct replacement for the Jobo 1500 series.

    Best, Helen
     
  8. Stan. L-B

    Stan. L-B Member

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    For me SS reels are a NO NO.

    Once thay are distorted by dropping or packing they will never load smoothly again. Whereas plastic can be dropped or mistreated and will spring back to the original.

    I have used most makes over the years and find the JOBO, Patterson and Rodinnax the best, of course they are good quality plastic.

    But I have to say, the SS reels look professional!
     
  9. Jairo Betancourt A.

    Jairo Betancourt A. Member

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    Using S.Steel reels is no more than having practice with them. Practice makes Master!
     
  10. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    Are there any advantages to SS reels except that you can load them wet. I use Paterson tanks and plastic reels exclusively and think they are very easy to load with 35 mm.
     
  11. Paddy

    Paddy Member

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    Not yet discussed

    I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the Spanish "AP" brand plastic reels. These are identical to the Patterson reels, except they have the added benefit of what I refer to as "on ramps". These are the flat guided feeds where you load the film, and wow, does it ever make loading 120 a total breeze. While the AP tanks are well designed (with a very tight screw down lid), I still prefer the Patterson tanks.

    Anyone else?
     
  12. David Ruby

    David Ruby Member

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    I made the decision to go plastic when I was first starting out. I've been given a few old SS reels by people over time, but never been tempted to try them again. The Paterson reels are very easy to use for me so I don't see any reason to switch. My original quandry was the difference between those great smooth Paterson reels and cheap imitators.
     
  13. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The Paterson reels are okay, if you don't have much film to develop. They are easy to load when dry. I occasionally had agitation problems with them (usually streaking around the sprockets), but that probably could be eliminated with a different agitation scheme.

    If you're processing a lot of film on a regular basis, SS becomes more attractive. I've been using SS reels for years and as long as I'm processing rollfilm regularly, I don't have misfeeds, and they load more quickly than plastic reels once you get the hang of it, and they don't need to be absolutely dry. Hewes reels are the best reels made today. I don't know why, but they are easier to load than cheap reels. I like my older Kinderman reels as well.

    Another attraction of SS reels is that SS tanks are more or less indestructible and are really cheap on the used market, so it's not too costly to own several for different sized batches. I have tanks for 1, 2, 5, 8, and 12 35mm reels or half as many 120/220 reels. Old SS tanks missing their lids are *really* cheap, and a new plastic lid can be purchased for a few bucks.
     
  14. mobtown_4x5

    mobtown_4x5 Member

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    I started out in 35mm with cheap no-name SS reels- big mistake, impossible to load correctly.

    I now have Hewes reels- they are easy and very thick and sturdy- impossible to bend.

    So there is no point in debating SS vs plastic reels, there are 3 distinct types, cheap SS, plastic, and Hewes!

    Matt
     
  15. ElrodCod

    ElrodCod Member

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    Paddy,
    Who sells them? Thanks!
     
  16. David Ruby

    David Ruby Member

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    I'd like to hear about those AP reels too. I doubt I'll stray from Paterson, but I did notice last night that those curly end of my 120 film are pretty tricky to get started. I guess with practice though, they'll be as easy as 35mm.
     
  17. Howard R. Tanger

    Howard R. Tanger Member

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    Well just call me inept! Yesterday, since many here extolled the features of the Paterson Dev. Tank, I went to "Freestyle" in Hollywood and purchased a "Universal Dev. Tank". With pounding heart I rushed home (I was driving my Cobra replica so when I say I rushed, I mean "rushed") and removed it from its' packaging. As I held the tank and reel, I concluded that this was a quality product. As I tried to expand the reel to 120 size, the sides did not budge. I tried and tried and tried again. No luck. So what to do?
    I have an old no name tank and reel (which I suspect was made by "Yankee") and the reel adjusts easily. Thx for any suggestions,
    Howard Tanger
     
  18. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    Hold one side of the reel in your left-hand. Twist the otherside anti-clockwise to unlock it, then pull apart to the 120 width. Finally re-twist to lock at the new width.
     
  19. Poco

    Poco Member

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    I use the Adorama brand reels as sold in this kit:

    http://www.adorama.com/DKTPU.html

    It's a bit tough to make out from the photo, but the reel on the right shows the huge, ovesized guides for loading that make them absolutely idiot proof. They also have a much smoother adjustment and loading action than the Patersons I have.

    As for SS, I once tried them after being shamed by a "real men don't use plastic" rant on Pnet. Now they're sitting in the back of a kitchen drawer, waiting to mash potatoes or whip eggs or something.
     
  20. Paddy

    Paddy Member

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    The tank/reels shown in the link, are the Spanish AP brand reels that I was talking about. They're also distributed by Freestyle.