Loading non-twisting plastic reel

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by nickrapak, May 18, 2011.

  1. nickrapak

    nickrapak Member

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    I recently acquired a Kodak 1A and a roll of 116 film. Since I didn't have a tank that could handle 70mm wide film, I bought an old Marvel tank and reel off of ebay. The problem is that the reel doesn't twist like Paterson reels. When trying to load it last night, the film kept stopping about halfway in, and I ended up kinking the film. I was finally able to get it on after about 1 hour of messing with it, by loading it as if it were a stainless reel, by just putting it in the grooves from the center. Of course, the negatives have kinks in them, and the edges have black lines from the folding of the negatives over the grooves. Is there any better way to load these reels, or should I just look for a SS 116 reel before buying any more 70mm film?
     
  2. David William White

    David William White Member

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    If it's just an occasional thing, you could just see-saw the film through a bowl of developer, instead of trying to source a hard-to-find reel. It would be more gentle than the picture you've painted.

    In any event, you could take a toothbrush to your plastic reel, inspect for nicks, round the corners of the film with scissors, and make sure the film and reel are both dry.
     
  3. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    While I know nothing of your reel, I don't actually use the twist on my Paterson reels when developing 120. The trick is to keep them scrupulously clean (60C rinse after photoflo and before drying), get them bone-dry with a hot hairdryer about 2 mins before you use them and to snip about 2mm off the leading corners of the film. If you do all that, you can just push the film straight into the spiral without any twisting.

    I think it's the hairdryer makes the biggest difference. Using that religiously means I never have loading issues whereas previously I would frequently be fighting with a sticky roll in the dark bag for up to 40 minutes, getting crinkles all over it.
     
  4. Luseboy

    Luseboy Member

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    Make sure it's dry as they have both said. But also, are you sure that it isn't designed to be used like a SS reel? would there be anything wrong with just using it that way in the first place? sounds like thats what made it work in this case...
    -Austin
     
  5. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Is this a plastic reel? Assuming you have done all the things suggested her to clean and dry the plastic then another trick from someone whose opinion I respect is to run a soft-leaded pencil around the reel. The graphite makes the film's edges run better in the plastic and has no adverse effect on the films.

    pentaxuser
     
  6. outwest

    outwest Subscriber

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    I just made a trip to the darkroom to check out the like new Marvel tank I had stashed. I had just assumed it worked like my similar Ansco tanks with a twist on motion but, no, as you discovered, it is a push in. I recommend you look for the more common Ansco tank. They are easy to load.