Good stainless developing reel?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by laverdure, Apr 7, 2007.

  1. laverdure

    laverdure Member

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    Wondering if anyone could advise me on a good brand of stainless steel developing reels. I've come across a string of crappy ones and now I'm looking for better.
     
  2. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Do a search. You'll find that just about everyone recommends Hewes.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  3. laverdure

    laverdure Member

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    thanks!
     
  4. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    Nikors have always worked well for me.
     
  5. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Morning,

    Hewes first, especially in 35mm; Kinderman an extremely close second, maybe preferable in 120.

    Konical
     
  6. kchittenden

    kchittenden Member

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    Hewes is the best I have come across.
     
  7. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    One of the most trying things about loading SS reels is getting the film started straight and centered. Hewes engages the 35mm film's sprocket holes eliminating this problem. They are also very well made.
     
  8. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    One word, Hewes. The best for 35mm. Can't comment about the 120 size.
     
  9. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    For economy sake, I bought some to the 35mm Kalt reels from B&H that were designated as "high grade". They are surprisingly good quality reels that are easy to load and have held up well for the last year or two. They have a smoother finish and better clips than the cheaper reels. I use the standard grade Kalt reels in 120 and they've been fine for the price. I also like the excellent Hewes reels (I only have one) but they are pricey. Cheap, no-name reels are usually a waste of money.

    Here's a link to the 35mm Kalt reels from B&H: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/con...022&is=REG&addedTroughType=categoryNavigation
     
  10. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    Almost any stainless steel reel can be made to work well. If they are bent, they can be straightened. Otherwise, the biggest problem is the clip. If the film isn't well centered when anchored, it probably won't load smoothly. I remove those spring clips. Cutting the end of the film off square and folding it over a time or two anchors it in the reel's core. The film tends to center itself between flanges. This can be checked by feel. This method might not be as convenient as a reel in good condition that engages the sprocket holes, but it works for this cheapskate.
     
  11. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

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    I have and have used both Hewes and Kindermann, and think they are both excellent. I use the Kindermann now, because I got tired of ruining frames on 120 film from improper loading, and purchased a Kindermann loader. Loading reels is now much less stressful and more reliable.

    Apparently, Murphy was also a photographer. His law always seems to come into play by ruining the most valuable frame on the roll! The Kindermann loader levels the playing field a bit.
     
  12. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    I prefer the Hewes SS reels in both 35mm and 120. I prefer the Hewes reels over Kinderman and Nikor.
     
  13. laverdure

    laverdure Member

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    Those sprocket pegs sound gorgeous. Thanks again all.
     
  14. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    ...and they are. When I first spotted them on the Hewe's reels, I was astounded at what a simple solution to a thorny problem they were. A clear case of less is more if I ever saw one.
     
  15. Rob Skeoch

    Rob Skeoch Advertiser Advertiser

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    Kinderman for me, although I haven't tried the Hewe's.
     
  16. Ryuji

    Ryuji Member

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    I have both Kindermann and Hewes. I won't use any other SS reel. I prefer Kindermann over Hewes but they're both very good.
     
  17. radiantdarkroom

    radiantdarkroom Member

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    Yes Hewes, really kicks ass in 135 format. I had used other brands for about 5 years. Then I worked in a lab that had Hewes, talk about easy and fast no more swearing at the blasted little film clip and bent spiral.. I bought all the reels when they went out business.

    So if you want easy, go Hewes.
     
  18. dslater

    dslater Member

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    I have Kindermann reels and love them - they work very well. The design of the clip makes it very easy to get the film properly centered
     
  19. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    Do the current Kinderman 35mm reels still have the clip that requires you to cut the film leader to a certain shape to fit? I had some Kinderman reels over 30 years ago that were like that. If you could manage to cut the leader to the correct shape in the dark, they were easy to load. But whittling on the leader in the dark with scissors made me learn to hate using those damn reels.
     
  20. Phillip P. Dimor

    Phillip P. Dimor Member

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    I use Kindermann for 35mm and Hewes for 120. No problems with either.
    My Kindermann reels are older and I've never cut anything, I just kind of jam them in there and start loading.. Used with the loader it's foolproof every time.

    I have a box of 'cheap' 120 reels and I don't touch them ever. Just my two Hewes reels.
     
  21. laverdure

    laverdure Member

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    Just put four rolls of 35 through my new hewes... and it was a true photographic revelation. Thank you all, I am a new man, didn't curse once.
     
  22. zsas

    zsas Member

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    I know this is an old thread, but hey, figured I would keep the info on one place in case someone was doing a search.

    So I have used many types of 35mm stainless reels and just got some Hewes after hearing all the praise, and have to say I am a believer. Those sprocket hole pins are an act of pure engineering brilliance!

    I have tried maybe 4 different brands of SS and these just went like clockwork. No fuss, no muss..happy customer.
     
  23. chriscrawfordphoto

    chriscrawfordphoto Member

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    Nikors were the best in the old days, but they have not been made in a very long time, and most are bent up from use. I have several, some are good, some are not. Hewes are available new and are actually better made with heavier wire than the old Nikors.
     
  24. shutterclank

    shutterclank Advertiser Advertiser

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    Hewes. best reels ever.