I vow no more plastic!

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Stephanie Brim, Sep 24, 2006.

  1. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    I broke a roll of film today and that's IT. I'm looking for stainless reels and a stainless tank. I quit plastic. I didn't get impatient. I didn't rush things. It still happened.

    Off to the 'bay.
     
  2. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    How did you break a roll of film?
     
  3. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Do yourself a favor, Stephanie, and get Hewes reels. They might also be called Jobo here in the states. A bit more expensive, but they will last and last, and they make it easy easy easy to roll the film on!
     
  4. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    I was loading it on the plastic reel and it wasn't going...so I opened the reel to get the film off and fwwwp...broken film. So I have two films hanging instead of one.

    It is sucky, too, as there were a few awesome shots on this one.

    I've also emailed someone here about the tanks + reels in the classifieds...it'll last me until I die most likely. :wink:
     
  5. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I recommend buying several sizes of stainless tanks on eBay. Stainless tanks are more or less indestructable, so there isn't much reason to buy new ones. Look for tanks that are missing the lids, because they'll be cheaper, and buy new Kindermann plastic lids from B&H. With a few exceptions (large 220 and 70mm tanks, the Nikor 4x5" tank, the Kindermann film washer, which looks like an 8x35mm reel tank, but is actually slightly larger and lacks a daylight cap and should have a metal tube with a hose fitting on top), the caps are interchangeable. Kindermann lids fill and dump faster than generic or Kalt lids. Metal lids like on the Nikor tanks can be hard to remove when wet, so I've generally replaced mine with plastic Kindermann lids.

    I'd recommend buying new Hewes reels to avoid frustrations with bent reels. Of course if you get a lot of reels off eBay for cheap, you can test them out with a test roll in the light and toss the bad ones.
     
  6. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    Well Steph, thats what you get from developing after a sleepless night. :D
    Though I have had problems with my plastic reels form time to time that one has never happened to me.
    Better luck next time.
    Cheers
    Søren
     
  7. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    Oh, there won't BE a next time. As soon as I get some stainless tanks and reels the plastic stuff is either going into the bin or to people who need it.
     
  8. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    What plastic brand? ive found that paterson is the best. if you go for cheaper reels, it wont load as easily.

    i use a hairdryer on my rools before loading just incase
     
  9. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Morning, Stephanie,

    I concur with the sentiments expressed above, but would add a couple of points. First--Hewes reels were (are?) sold in the US under the King Concept brand, although the "Hewes" imprint is still on the reels. Second--in past postings, I have also advocated using Hewes reels. I continue to do so, at least in 35mm. The loading is virtually foolproof, and the reels are sturdy enough to be a lifetime investment. Recently, however, I spotted some Hewes 120 reels for sale on E-Bay. I don't have any of those and was thinking of bidding, but when I looked at the accompanying photo, I noticed that Hewes apparently uses the Nikkor-type "springy-thingy" at the reel center. I have found that method of anchoring 120 film to be slightly frustrating in use. For 120 I highly recommend using Kinderman reels, which have a very positive puncturing pin to anchor the film and whose high quality is essentially the same as that of Hewes. Kinderman tanks and tops are the way to go regardless of the reel type, but, as David says, the plastic Kinderman top is where the main emphasis should be. Kinderman stuff is practically being given away on E-bay these days.

    Konical
     
  10. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    ??? I'm convincing myself that there is something going on here I cannot visualize.

    You "opened" the reel? Does that mean you twisted each flange in a different - proper - direction and disassembled the reel with film still - improperly - in the tracks? If so, why wasn't the film simply pulled out, leaving the reel assembled?

    It does not happen frequently ... but when I do "get stuck" I simply pull the film out and start over.

    You say the film "broke" ... ?? Does that mean it was torn into two pieces? What kind of film was it?

    Again, the best advice I can give ... you will avoid 99.99% of loading problems by doing two things: 1. Do not apply pressure "inwardly" - squeezing the reel flanges together - while loading (PRACTICE helps); and, 2. Once in a while, disassemble the reels and scrub the tracks CLEAN - I use a stiff toohbrush, with TOOTHPASTE - just enough abrasive.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 24, 2006
  11. raucousimages

    raucousimages Member

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    Another convert! I gave up on plastic 30 years ago, stainless rocks.
     
  12. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    I have plastic... I've loaded probably 500 or 700 rolls of film into them.

    Failures: zero.

    If you can't get the film to go in, bow the film and pull it out. If you don't want to bow film, you definitely shouldn't use stainless steel reels as this is an essential part of loading them.

    Occasionally I have trouble feeding a plastic reel - usually if the reel is not quite dry or if the darkroom is very humid - so I just slow down and be patient. Cutting the corners of the leading edge of the film often helps, too.

    Stainless steel reels are good but they are harder to learn to load. You trade one set of problems for another. :smile:
     
  13. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser Advertiser

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    Gave up on plastic many, many years ago and haven't looked back once. I realize there are those that swear by plastic, but I could never figure out why. As for the learning... hardly a problem IMO. Once you've practiced in the light and dark with dummy rolls, you are home free.

    Best of luck Stephanie,

    Bill
     
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  15. Muihlinn

    Muihlinn Member

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    I've used (and I use) plastic and stainless steel.
    On the plastic side only the jobo reels are really well thought, all the others ended driving me nuts sooner or later, and being able to load 2 120 rolls / reel is a sweet feature. I really like the 1500 tanks.
    The stainless steel reels are very easy to load, and they don't fear jumping into the wetting bath, but the downsides are that ss tanks are more sensible to ambient temperature and will take more chemicals per roll (at least in 120).

    If you're already using the jobo tanks there are SS reels designed to fit them, not exactly cheap, but they bring the best of two worlds.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 24, 2006
  16. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I use all plastic reels. So far Paterson and two versions of Jobo reels. I haven't had that kind of problems, although I once had to gice up on a 120 roll. I removed it from the reel, rolled it up again, went for a l-o-n-g walk, then loaded it on a different reel when I got back.
     
  17. Shmoo

    Shmoo Member

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    Also, do not use photo flo while your film is still on a plastic reel. The photo flo will gum up the plastic and or ball bearing that his holding the film in place and will make it difficult to load later on. If you have used photo flo in the past, use an old toothbrush and clean the reel thoroughly.

    Shmoo
     
  18. haziz

    haziz Subscriber

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    Another vote for Hewes reels for MF. Would buy new though, to avoid getting abused or bent reels. Expensive, but in my opinion, definitely worth it.

    Sincerely,

    Hany.
     
  19. Arelia99

    Arelia99 Member

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    Ditto for Hewes...

    Putting my vote in for Hewes! I picked up the 35 mm for real cheap and just bought the 120 size from Freestyle. Just a note I find the 120 Hewes easy to use because the spring clip thing is wide and better designed than cheaper models. Also I was able to pick up a Patterson steel tank on feebay on the cheap!

    Nancy
     
  20. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    Stainless reels or nothing for me.
     
  21. Black Dog

    Black Dog Member

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    Sometimes with 35mm the sprockets can get torn, but if you're careful you can avoid this-just stop before you get too frustrated and try and force it. Remember fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate and hate leads to suffering as Yoda said.Also remember to leave the film leader hanging out of the cassette.
     
  22. butterflydream

    butterflydream Member

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    Another advantage of steel reel is you can load film when it's still wet. When I have to develop many films after return from trip it's good as I have only a few tanks and reels. Also I can check the film base after fixer and put the film back into reel easily.
     
  23. don sigl

    don sigl Member

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    Throw out the plastic tanks and reels. Many people find them perfectly acceptable. I find them to be useless. Once you learn to load a stainless steel reel, you'll wonder why you wasted all theat time and effort on plastic.

    They last forever. Use stainless.
     
  24. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    No, NO!!! Do not ... uh ... contaminate your local landfill! Let me know and I'll PM my address ... and you can ship them to me.

    One distinct advantage to plastic - the reels are remarkably resilient - they are either straight - or broken. I've dropped SS reels before - and spent FAR more time straightening them than I have with plastic (incidentally, I have never broken a plastic reel, either).

    Are we all so "hyper" here that we cannot spend a few minutes to let a reel dry? - or are we all so cheap (and I claim first prize in that area) that we can only have one reel? I usually cycle two reels; in the time it takes to load the second reel, the first one is dry.
     
  25. don sigl

    don sigl Member

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    Ok.... For preservation of the environment.... all unwanted plastic tanks and reels should be shipped to Ed.

    Thanks Ed :smile: I'd send you mine, but....well I had one when I was a freshman many years ago, and.....it didn't survive. (May have been the frisbee fling against the darkroom wall that did it in). I still have all the steel reels from those days though.
     
  26. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    I was afraid to ask...

    Last time I "broke" a roll of film was when I mis-loaded a 35mm camera and the perforations ripped because I got too agressive and used a lot of pressure on the winging lever (yup, I was upset and out of control because I ran out of film and the light was fading quickly). After opening the camera back (in daylight) I tried ripping the film, but ended up basically biting it apart... and then biting a new leader. My mouth tasted funny, but it worked and I got the shot I wanted. :smile: