freeing film from the reels

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by metod, May 12, 2006.

  1. metod

    metod Member

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    This is kind of newbie question, but I’m really curious how do you folks take out the 35mm film out of the reels after is all developed and washed? I mean, I do this for years, but when it comes to pulling that film out, I’m always nervous a bit. I have the Paterson film tank, which served me well over the years, always managed to load the film with no problems. But when I have to free the film from the reels, these 3 scenarios usually happen to me:

    1. Grab the end and just pull the film out as it unwinds itself. Happens sometimes and I’m happy when it does.
    2. Try to pull, but it does not budge. As I hold the end of the film, I turn the reels a couple of turns to free the film from the grooves and then try to pull.
    3. If the film is really stubborn and both above-mentioned steps won’t work, I unscrew reels half’s and pull the film out. This always works, but is my least preferred way, because the film twists and turns and touches itself all over the place as is taken out.

    Am I doing something wrong? I’d love to hear any tips on this. Maybe it is worth investing in other type of tank and reels?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council

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    I've been doing method 3 for as long as I've been developing film, and did not have a problem. I always use photo-flo before hanging the film, and I pull the film out of the reel with a gentle, but swift movement to make sure it does not touch itself too long.
     
  3. Travis Nunn

    Travis Nunn Member

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    When I use plastic reels, its method 3 for me. Never done it any other way, never had any problems.
     
  4. hka

    hka Member

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    I prefer method no. 1. No one problem over the last 30 years...
     
  5. Magnus W

    Magnus W Member

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    I use method #3 on my Paterson reels. No problems.

    -- MW
     
  6. sterioma

    sterioma Member

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    Interesting question... I am also a newbie and go with option 3 when 1 doesn't work.

    Slightly off-topic: I also have Patterson reels. I noticed that Ilford PanF 50 35mm is very though to wind in. It usually takes me 3 attemps to get it all in. Has anybody ever experienced the same?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 12, 2006
  7. darr

    darr Member

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    I second this!
     
  8. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    I bow the film slightly and then pull it out of the reel as I rotate the reel. This creates less stress on the film. I have trouble getting the halves apart when they are wet, and I don't like pulling the film out by force.
     
  9. Claude

    Claude Member

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    Method 1 for me since 40 years with 35mm and 120 films no problems. Just take care to do it slowly. I have use Paterson in the past, now Jobo reels
    Claude
     
  10. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    I can unpeel the film from the original Paterson reel (with the very small tabs at the film start point) without breaking it down in halves, but the Universal reel I have (which I use more, because it's much easier to start 120 on the larger tabs) makes this impossible because there isn't anything like enough room to pull the film out from between the tabs -- and too much friction on a wet reel to pull it out along the spiral. So, for the Universal reel, I split the reel and lift the film off (usually two rolls, since I load them end to end).

    Haven't seen a scratching problem from it...
     
  11. Samuel B

    Samuel B Member

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    Always no. 3 for me. I think it's the safest way.

    Never had a problem.
     
  12. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Member

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    Another way?

    I have always grabbed the end, and pulled the film out at a tangent to the reel while letting it spin. When the film is about a foot out, it is clipped to the hanger, and spun out the remainder of the way like a wheel on an axle. Has worked fine with 35 since I started, and no problems in the past 6 months of MF with 120/220.
     
  13. p krentz

    p krentz Member

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    Do any of you use ss reels, there is never a problem with them, once you learn how to load them. Pat :tongue:
     
  14. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    I didn't even mention stainless, because there's only one way to unload them, at least if you clip the film in at the center; it *has* to come out by unpeeling it around the reel.
     
  15. Travis Nunn

    Travis Nunn Member

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    In general, ss is what I use, but the original question was regarding plastic reels so I didn't think mentioning ss was relevant
     
  16. p krentz

    p krentz Member

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    I never unpeeled the film from the ss reel, I would take hold of the end with a film clip and hold it while letting the reel go, and the film would unwind itself. Pat :D
     
  17. p krentz

    p krentz Member

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    I was trying to tell him to get rid of the plastic and use the ss, I guess I was to subtle. Pat :tongue:
     
  18. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    I'm not quite tall enough to do that and reliably keep the other end of a 36 exposure roll off the floor (much less off my shirt, off the counter, etc.) and I certainly can't lift the clip high enough to pull the film off it while it sits in the mouth of the tank on the counter. That's five feet of film, and I'm a good bit less than six feet tall; my maximum reach is well under seven feet and the counter's close to three...

    But now I know how people manage to bend stainless reels... :wink: