Film won't go on the reel

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Juri, May 21, 2011.

  1. Juri

    Juri Member

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    About a month ago I shot a roll of Agfa APX100 and tried to develop it. The problem was that the film just wouldn't go on the reel. It got stuck in the middle and I had to cut it in two and develop separately. Thinking that the old soviet tank had to be the cause I bought an AP tank (similar to Patterson's). It didn't solve the problem. Both have plastic reels.

    Losing a randon frame on each roll wouldn't be a huge problem, but the Agfa somehow deforms and overlaps on the reel and causes serious anomalies. It has never occurred with any other film that I've developed. I noticed that whenever I tried to spool it onto a reel repeatedly it had curled outwards. So what could be the problem with a specific film acting like that and is there a solution?
     
  2. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I've never had that problem with any film using plastic reels. You can switch to stainless steel reels and avoid the problems altogether.
     
  3. R gould

    R gould Member

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    Juri
    Try runing a sharp pencil around the groves of the reel, the graphite from the pencil lead ''greases'' the groves of the reel and film slides in very easily, this is a tip passed on to me a few years ago by a long gone photographer, and something I do to this da with both Jobo and Patterson reels, and I never get a stuck film,
    Richard
     
  4. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    One other thing that helps with film hanging up is to trim the corners on the leading edge at 45 degrees with scissors or nail clippers, that way there are no sharp corners to snag on the square edged bars supporting the spirals.
     
  5. kevs

    kevs Member

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    Hi Jüri,

    Moisture drops in the spiral reels can cause the film to stick upon loading. Therefore ensure the tank and spiral are bone dry before loading a film into it, dry them before putting away. Load the film gently and slowly, don't force it or rush because it will buckle if it sticks. Take it easy, it's an acquired skill. 35mm is easier to load than 120/220, I've found.

    Cheers,
    kevs.
     
  6. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Is there any chance the film was rolled backwards on to the cassette, so the curl is reversed?
     
  7. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    I have had nothing but trouble with plastic reels. They are hard to keep clean and any deposits in the grooves can cause problems. Soak the reel overnight in a 5% solution of sodium carbonate to loosen any deposits and then use a soft bristle tooth brush. Rinse thoroughly and allow to dry completely.

    If the plastic reel continues to cause problems, invest in a SS reel and tank and practice loading it with some scrap film until you feel comfortable doing it in the dark. You won't be disapointed.
     
  8. Juri

    Juri Member

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    Thanks for all the suggestions. I load film onto dry reels and I've also tried cutting the edges round. No help. It has never happened with any other film, but I haven't managed to load any of the 3 Agfa films properly that I've developed so far. I load all of my films in a similar way. It only happens with that particualr film and what puzzles me is what could possibly be wrong with film that makes it to act like that.
     
  9. Monophoto

    Monophoto Member

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    Is the reel clean? Sometimes, gunk of some sort can accumulate in the reel and inhibit loading. Even residue from PhotoFlo (or some similar post treatment) can leave the grooves in the reel sticky. Always rinse reels thoroughly after use.

    Is this a center-loading reel, or a 'walk in' reel where the film must enter at the outside of the spiral and slide all the way into the center? Walk-in reels can stick if there is a drop of water in the reel. That's not a problem with center-loadiing reels.

    By the way, the arguments about stainless steel are misleading - the 'advantage' of stainless steel is that they are center-loading. There are also center-loading plastic reels that are actually easier to load than stainless.
     
  10. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Measure the film width. Compare to other films.
    It might be a manufacturing defect.

    But I second Gerald's recommendation of Stainless Steel reels. Once you learn them, they are a bit more dependable.

    - Thomas
     
  11. Tony Egan

    Tony Egan Subscriber

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    I occasionally had problems with these plastic reels until I started practicing the technique shown in the attached image. Also gently pulling out the sides of the reels as you twist has also helped if the advance of the film starts to stiffen a little. I posted an example a few years ago of how I load 35mm film with the canister between pursed lips. Causes a few laughs but is failsafe in my experience!
     

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  12. Tony Egan

    Tony Egan Subscriber

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  13. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    I was thinking along the lines of Thomas. The film width could be slightly (ie. Manu defect) or perhaps the reel took a jolt and has a spot that won't allow loading.

    Have you developed any other film on this reel since?
     
  14. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I'm the opposite, I fould it easier to load 120 than 35mm.

    Jeff
     
  15. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    It could be that APX films had thinner base material than other films, making it harder to "push" into the spirals of a plastic reel.
     
  16. herb

    herb Member

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    I found that photo flo, if not washed out of the reels with very warm even hot water, makes for invisible gumminess. I gave up on stainless reels and went back to pattersons. I have some ss reeels and tanks you can have cheap.
     
  17. cmacd123

    cmacd123 Subscriber

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    Wonder if your stock of film has a high moisture content for some reason. I find that the Patterson Brand reels are a but slicker than the AP reels. The AP "compact" reels are slicker than the "classic" reels but they have the large guides that get in the way when checking the film between fix and wash steps.

    I Prefer the Jobo 1500 series as being slicker to load than the paterson, but with Jobo in receivership the price of their reels and required tanks has gone through the roof.
     
  18. onepuff

    onepuff Member

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    I would concur with a lot of what has been said. Are you using a changing bag to load the reels? If so I would recommend cooling your hands under running water (but don't make them numb!) before putting them into the bag. If you can store the bag in a cool place too that may help. This might sound mad but I went through a spell a few summers ago when the weather was warm of suffering from 'sticky' reels. Having cleaned and thoroughly dried the reels with no success, I figured that the sweat vapour from my hands might be causing the stickiness so tried cooling them before starting. This seems to have solved the problem. Might not work for you but it is worth a try.
     
  19. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    Often, if you can't get the film on the reel, it's because you haven't invented enough new swear words during the process.



    Steve.
     
  20. Murray Kelly

    Murray Kelly Member

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    Many years ago I had a similar problem with a plastic tank. I took a shoe brush (who remembers them?) and without adding any polish and just using whatever had stuck to the bristles I scrunched it circular fashion on the face with the grooves.

    Worked well. Never had a problem as I thought might happen with the wax. Films loaded slickly.
     
  21. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    I solved all my problems when I learned how to cut the leader properly: straight edge, carefully rounded corners. Plastic reels can be cleaned with hot water, dish soap and and old toothbrush (there probably are other equally valid methods).
    I make very small movements while loading the film, 1 cm left, 1 cm right, 1 cm left etc. this way I reduce the risk of the film going out of the grooves.
     
  22. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    I have had success with using a soft artists brush and brushing in a very tiny amount of Mr Sheen furniture polish then cleaning it out with another brush.


    Steve.
     
  23. BardParker

    BardParker Member

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    I have found that using a blow dryer on the reels for 30 seconds and my hands gets all the moisture out, and makes Paterson reels easy to load. Even in a changing bag... I gave up on stainless steel reels after I ruined too many frames.

    Kent
     
  24. Ross Chambers

    Ross Chambers Member

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  25. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    I have a feeling that Juri was convinced in 2011 that APX100 was the sole reason he had problems so did he stop using APX and found success, switched to digital, discovered that his film was wider after measuring it ( Thomas B's suggestion), switched to stainless steel reels etc ?

    Looks like we'll never know. It is always nice to know what happened when APUG has collectively tried to help

    Ah well.....

    pentaxuser