First time developing 120

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by chazz, Aug 19, 2011.

  1. chazz

    chazz Member

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    Just developed my first roll of 120 from my Yashica LM in a Rondinax 60 that I recently won on an auction site. The auction included a Rondinax 35U as well.
    I used the 35 first time yesterday. It (the 35u) worked like a charm. I did have some trouble with the 60 at the point where you pull the paper which in turn loads the film into the film chamber inside. It started an accordion roll instead of loading the last three frames, which would be the first three frames on the roll. I lost those three frames.........but the others seem to be perfectly fine. Those negatives are huge compared to 35mm. It's on now. I'm gonna start looking for a 6X7 of some sort. Maybe an old folder from Certo6. I just needed to know that I could develop my own. Has anyone else used the Rondinax 60 and had this same problem with the film not loading properly?
     
  2. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I never used the Certo6 but have develop 120 a lot. I love medium format!

    Jeff
     
  3. dasBlute

    dasBlute Subscriber

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    careful, that's a slippery slope you're teetering at the top of...
    pretty soon you'll be sneeking peeks at 8x10 'dorfs when no one is looking ... :smile:

    good for you with the step, keep your eye on the scene
     
  4. SafetyBob

    SafetyBob Member

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    I am just about ready to pull the cord on developing my own B&W, I would really appreciate a listing of the equipment you used (or would have like to have used) and any special techniques you used.

    Since you had problems loading the film in the reel, was yours plastic or metal? Any recomendations there? How about Brand names, anybodies stuff better than the rest when it comes to this stuff?

    Did you use a changing bag? If so, please tell me how big it is or what model you would recommend.

    Thanks for any and all advise here......

    Bob E.
     
  5. M.A.Longmore

    M.A.Longmore Member

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    Don't Give Up !
    Don't Ever Be Discouraged !
    I've been trying to get it right for thirty five years ...

    Ron
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  6. Grytpype

    Grytpype Member

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    I have a Rondinax 60 (for the uninitiated, it's a daylight-loading developing tank made by Agfa) which I bought at a car-boot-sale a couple of years ago. It's a cunning device and obviously very economical on chemicals, but I have to admit I haven't tried it yet. I have read the instructions, but I can't understand for the life of me how the film gets loaded into the spiral by that strip of rubber. Is that where the problem occurred? Presumably it must work somehow. I think I have a scrap film somewhere, so if I find it, maybe I'll experiment with that.

    I'm not shooting medium format at present because I don't yet have a scanner to take it, but I'm afraid that when I do, I will probably chicken out and use my Paterson developing tank!

    Steve.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 20, 2011
  7. ozphoto

    ozphoto Subscriber

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    Hi Bob,

    You'll love developing your own film - especially when you find that all film does *not* have grain the size of golf balls!!! :wink:

    I use the following equipment:

    * Paterson Tanks & reels
    * 3 500ml plastic jugs (label them clearly - DEV, STOP, FIX) - available at any supermarket
    * Dev, stop-bath and fixer from your favourite brand (D76 is a good place to start for developer)
    * A thermometer that reads down to at least 18C
    * A bucket to catch used chemicals
    * Running water to rinse your film

    I have a darkroom, so don't use an actual change bag, but a fair sized one, will do the trick no problem. (I have on occasion also loaded film in to the tank in the bathroom of my hotel room - all lights off in the room and a towel at the door to stop any light leaks that may find their way in.)

    Enjoy!!!!
     
  8. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    I got a 35mm version in a load of junk. Used it once just to see if it would work, which was 'yes' but never touched it again. Just too fiddly (and worrying.. ie. did it load ok) compared to using a normal tank IMO.
     
  9. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Skip the changing bag and get a tent. http://www.adorama.com/PFCR.html The bags are hardly any cheaper than this tent and it makes a huge difference in ease of working.

    I have plastic JOBO stuff that i use for color film because I do that with a JOBO CPA2. Tried various plastic models I find spinners useless but invertible tanks are workable. I use stainless reels and tanks for B&W because I find them much easier and faster to work with at every step.

    Hewes reels are great
     
  10. Wade D

    Wade D Member

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    The Paterson tanks and reels are easy to load. Even in a changing bag. I've never had a problem with 120 film.
     
  11. M.A.Longmore

    M.A.Longmore Member

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    Thanks for the link Mark !
    I didn't realize that the tents were so affordable now.
    I always thought they were $150.00 items.

    Ron
    .
     
  12. JohnMeadows

    JohnMeadows Subscriber

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    I like the wider flanges on the AP reels; makes it a lot easier to load the 120 into, compared to the smaller flanges on the Patterson reels (I have both).
     
  13. fmajor

    fmajor Member

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    Hi Chazz!

    One from n00b to another - CONGRATULATIONS!!!! I've had my b&w developing stuff, all brand spiffy new, for over a year and *finally* developed my 1st roll a week ago. I've since developed 2 more and really enjoy it.
     
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  15. Alan Johnson

    Alan Johnson Subscriber

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    I had two Rondinax 60's, one in new condition, but found that both scratched the film.I went back to Paterson tanks, although they have to be loaded in darkness it is quite quick to learn how to do this and ,of course, no scratches.
     
  16. earlrock

    earlrock Member

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    Don't give up

    I've been messing with B&W since 1958, and still ain't got it mastered.
    Have a lot of fun with home brew chemistry, so keep plugging away.

    Earl
     
  17. chazz

    chazz Member

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    Well........I just tried another roll of 120. Lost over half the roll this time because of the problem with the film getting jammed. This time it wasn't just some stuff I shot in the back yard. Shot these about 2hrs from home. I really had high hopes for some of these shots. I suppose I'll have to consider learning to use the normal reels in the dark. I was trying to avoid that. I've done it with 35mm and wasn't too crazy about it. I did another roll of 35mm in the other Rondinax and again.....seems to be just fine. I have no intention of letting this put a permanent damper on my developing. I'm just fascinated with those big negatives. Back to the drawing board..........and thanks for the comments.
     
  18. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Yeah, even with hand rolling, MF film is a bit tougher to load.

    In your place I'd get the tent and some stainless reels and tank.
     
  19. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    If you go the stainless route, I would suggest sticking to Hewes reels - the difference in loading ease is terrific.

    The key to loading 120 on a SS reel is to make sure the film is centered in the reel. If it is off-center then it won't load smoothly and you will end up with creases and dimples (showing up as black crescents on the negative).
     
  20. Dan Daniel

    Dan Daniel Subscriber

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    Don't forget, if things aren't going well when loading a roll, simply put the roll of film in the tank, put the lid on, and take a break.
     
  21. photoncatcher

    photoncatcher Member

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    Take the time to learn how to load stainless steel reels. Once you learn, you'll never go back to anything made of plastic. Either Nikor, or I think Kinderman made/makes them in 30mm, and 120 size. Reels, and tanks can be had pretty cheap at "the Bay". Oh, and invest in a good changing bag. I'm using the same tanks, and reeals that I used in high schol, and I'm heading way to fast for 60.
     
  22. bblhed

    bblhed Member

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    See, this is how it starts, first it's a camera, then a simple batch tank, then they move onto the harder medium format stuff, and pretty soon they are on large format. There are worse things you could be spending you money on, you made the right choice welcome to the "I can process that myself" club, glad to have you, now encourage others to join. This is how we get more people hooked, um, er increase membership.
     
  23. SafetyBob

    SafetyBob Member

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    Thanks to everyone giving advice on what to use and buy. I will start looking for some stuff and getting some chemicals together. I have seen some of the uTube videos that show how to do the Illford stuff. guess I need to stop watching and start doing.

    Thanks for the link on the tent, I think I will be much more comfortable with that versus a bag.

    Bob E.
     
  24. mhcfires

    mhcfires Subscriber

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    I have a 120 Nikor tank and reel that I have been using since 1962. It is still in great condition. Don't drop the reels. If they get bent, they are toast. I've bounced a few 35mm reels, they were scrapped years ago.
     
  25. mbsmith

    mbsmith Member

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    Which ever reels and setup you go with, nothing substitutes a fair amount of practice. For loading film in the reels, I would go with whatever gives you the most space to freely move your hands, film, etc. without feeling stressed or "claustrophobic." Keeping calm and steady hands and mind is one of the first keys to getting film loaded (wait till you try some foma or forte in 135 - that stuff curls like a spring and is a PAIN to load. The darkness hid the obscene gestures, but I'm sure my neighbors learned some new and interesting vocabulary).

    When I first learned, I blacked out a storage room and sat on a stool with my stuff spread out nicely on a small table. Now a changing bag does the trick.

    I would also recommend sacrificing a new roll to practice with in the daylight. It sounds rough, wasting a roll, but better to waste one with nothing on it than several that you've already shot :smile:

    There are some very helpful youtube videos on loading film.

    Don't give up.
     
  26. chazz

    chazz Member

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    I believe I have figured out what is causing the problem with the Rondinax 60. I'm not sure, but I think it's worth one more try. If it doesn't work I'm gonna send for a Hewes reel and an Arista tank from Freestyle. Thanks again for the comments and the support.