Going insane trying to load some very old 620 film.

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by fotoobscura, Mar 22, 2010.

  1. fotoobscura

    fotoobscura Subscriber

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    Hi.

    I have some very old Plenachrome 620 that I'm trying to load and it simply won't load. I have tried multiple reels, both ends, cut the very tips off, etc and it still won't load. It gets hung up after a turn or two and loses track.

    The film is extremely curled.

    It is also very fragile.

    Any ideas?

    Load it base down?

    I have this loader thing called a "Lasagna reel" which is for 35mm only but it may provide enough spacing to let the chemistry flow between. Good/bad idea?

    Thanks!
     
  2. John Wiegerink

    John Wiegerink Subscriber

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    How important are the shots on the roll? I think that is what will determine if the plastic "lasagna" sheath is a good idea or not. It should load onto a plastic Paterson type cheater reels. I find that if I kind of crimp/curl the end 1/4 to 3/8th inch (reverse curl) I can then load very badly curled film onto the plastic cheater reels. JohnW
     
  3. fotch

    fotch Member

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    How about one of those plastic aprons like Kodak use to sell. Freestyle has current ones available now.
     
  4. fotoobscura

    fotoobscura Subscriber

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    I tried two separate Paterson type plastic reels and that didn't jive...I figured that'd be the best way to try it...I also tried your suggestion of crimping the ends to no avail. So now I got it cooking in a lasagna reel/scotch tape contraption..we shall wee..
     
  5. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    You could try the old see-saw method in trays of chemical. We used to do that in ye olden dayz. Pre-wet the film by see-sawing in a tray of water; then developer; stop. Fix. Total darkness, of course.
     
  6. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Some tricks that might work but are last ditch efforts:

    Soak the film in water for about 5 minutes at 68F (20C) until the curl relaxes. Then, gently feed it onto the reel underwater. You have to use a large washbasin or sink for this as the film must remain wet.

    Soak film as above. Put clips at each end of the wet film. Hold film in a "U" shape holding one clip in each hand and having the emulsion down. Place bottom of "U" in developer and by raising and lowering your hands alternately the film will see saw back and forth in the developer. Use slightly more than normal development times and make sure that you get the ends in the developer. This is the way we used to do it before film tanks were invented.

    PE
     
  7. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    If it is one film only it might not be worth the expense but there's a lot to be said for film loader attachments which attach to Durst reels. The film goes through the loader which is attached to the outside of the reel and then attachs to the centre of the reel under a spring clip Once there the film is wound into the reel and has to straighten as it goes through the loader and onto the reel. No more fiddling required.

    I have had problems with standard 120 at times feeding it onto a Jobo tank by hand. If a film is particularly curly then my Durst loader, reel and tank is the alternative.

    pentaxuser
     
  8. fotoobscura

    fotoobscura Subscriber

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    Well the lasagna reel worked but unfortunately the roll was cleared. I have another roll to develop so I'll try all these previous tips in case this other roll is problematic (assuredly it is!).

    Thanks for all the tips!
     
  9. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I used to see that done on old spy movies when I was a kid. I think that had more influance on my need to work in a darkroom than anything.

    Rick
     
  10. andarc

    andarc Member

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    dip and dunk

    Dip and dunk the film with your hands, being careful to gently keep the leaves separated during agitation. Of course, total darkness will be required.
     
  11. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I was 11 the last time I did this - with 616 film.

    Sorry, you cannot borrow my Dad, to show you how :")
     
  12. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    Planachrome - are you processing this for black and white? If doing for chrome, then my advise might only be for the first developer.

    I have some long frozen mid 60's era ferrania pan 120. It was around 25-50 iso new , and now is ISO 12. It takes 18' in d76 68F to get a full range negative, and that is for a day or two old latent image.

    So for your old film, don't be afraid of going 200% of the 'recommended' development time as a starting time.

    I actually heat the developer in the microwave to reduce the developement time to around 5-6 minutes. I measure temp in, and temp at 5' and figure out how much longer than 5' I think it needs to counteract any cool down. I find the paterson tanks keep the dev reasonable warm with minimal drift over 5'.

    You may want to see if you have any old 'green' safelight filter, and try develop by inspection after 10 minutes to see what the image is doing. There should be very little un-developed to fog if you only turn the safelight on for a few seconds, even without use of a de-senistizing dye prebath.

    Stand in the dark developing with the daylight tank so your eyes are sensitive to the dim safelight output. Look at the emulsion side; the base will be all milky into the film is fixed.

    Good luck.