Plastic Reels in a SS Tank?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by dpneal, May 22, 2004.

  1. dpneal

    dpneal Member

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    Ok, this is probably a stupid question ...

    Is there anything wrong with using plastic reels in a SS tank? I'm assuming that the reels will fit.
     
  2. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Afternoon,

    I don't see anything "wrong" with using plastic reels in a SS tank, but generally the plastic reels are larger in diameter and won't fit into the standard 35mm/120 SS tanks.
    I just dug out my old Patterson reels, which I haven't used in at least thirty years, to confirm this. The Pattersons will, however, fit easily into a larger diameter Nikor tank made for 220 metal reels.

    I see no point in the plastic reel/SS tank combo. SS reels are significantly easier to load, require smaller amounts of chemicals, and are dead simple to keep clean. In addition, I also recall that, in some of my early attempts at developing, I had problems with uneven development near the edges of 120 film in plastic reels.

    Konical
     
  3. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    One advantage to a plastic reel is that, once dropped .. (that never happens, does it ..,?) a plastic reel will be ether broken or straight. Stainless Steel will bend - I've never seen one break ... and once bent will STAY bent.
    I looked up "frustration" in my Funk and Wagnalls - there was an illustration of a photographer trying to "unbend" a Stainless reel.
     
  4. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    Hmm, I didn't know what I was doing was impossible when I straightened out that bent reel. Not the only time I've had to do that, just takes a good eye.
     
  5. dpneal

    dpneal Member

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    Yeah, I suspected that the plastic reels simply wouldn't fit.

    As to the "why" of my question ... simple: I own two plastic reels and a plastic tank that can hold one roll of 120 or two rolls of 35mm. I'd like to develop two rolls of 120 at a time, but don't want to spend any more money than I absolutely need to. :smile:

    Thanks for the replies! I think that I'll need to look at that Patterson plastic tank that will hold two rolls of 120 instead of a cheaper metal tank.
     
  6. skahde

    skahde Member

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    Your plastic reel will most probably hold two 120s. Just spool in #1 as far as it will go and let #2 follow just untill it is held completely. Two 120s are about the same length as one 135.

    Stefan
     
  7. Doug Bennett

    Doug Bennett Member

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    Your forgot the "in my opinion" part. I don't find them easier at all.
     
  8. dpneal

    dpneal Member

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    Sorry if my language was ambiguous. I have two adjustable plastic reels and a single plastic tank -- the reels work great with 120, the only problem is that the tank is too small to hold two reels set to hold 120!

    Again, thanks everyone for your feedback.

    Dan
     
  9. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    It would help a great deal if we knew just *which* reels are in question. Both the JOBO and Paterson reels, when "set to 120" will hold two rolls of 120 film on a single reel - one behind the other in the same track - or one roll of 220.
    In the JOBO, after the first roll is loaded all the way to the center spool, the little red tab is pushed in to act as a stop, and prevent the overriding of the second roll.
     
  10. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    But of course the only way to get one of those Jobo reels into a stainless tank is to use a large hammer.
    :smile:
     
  11. dpneal

    dpneal Member

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    That's fascinating. They're el-cheapo Samigon reels, sold in an el-cheapo Samigon kit. :smile:

    I love how this "simple" question has grown -- like some sort of culture in agar.

    Dan
     
  12. edz

    edz Member

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    Why? Again it really depends upon the dimensions of both the reels and the tanks.. There are some large diameter plastic reels around (Jobo 2501 and 2502 for example). and there are some small form plastic reels (Jobo 1500 series) and then some a little bit larger in diameter (Paterson, A-P knock-offs) and then there are stainless steels reels in all these rough dimensions (Hewes even makes a few in Jobo 1500 series dimensions with normal and large hole to fit the standard Jobo column). There are then some stainless reels that are large in diameter. I have an Ilford Autowinder 35mm tank (designed for 72 exposure like the Jobo 2501) whose diameter is quite a bit larger than other inversion tanks (and en-par with the pre-WW-II Jobo "rotation" tanks). A 1500 reels would just rattle around in that steel tank...

    Now to the question what is better.. Stainless steel or plastic... first there are quite a few different plastic systems.. The Durst system, for instance, is a center loading reel not much unlike the Kindermann.. then there is the Jobo 2501 which is too "center loading" and uses a special loader (in fact the reels does not contain spirals but gets them when mated with other bits for the process of loading). Then there are the walk-in reels.. how well these work depends upon the plastic they are made of and their condition (old plastic reels that are filthy can be hard to load) as they depend upon the film gliding against plastic... then there are loads of warped stainless steel reels (some seem to be made warped in Asian basements), some with clips and some with hooks... then there are the tanks... some like Honeywell/Nikor with leeky tops (even when correctly matched)....

    Then there are the systems around the tanks and reels...

    I personally think stainless steel reels and cages (lets not forget sheet film) is best in dip and dunk systems--- and all the manual systems I know use plastic for their "boxes"--- and plastic doing the rest..