Processed my first roll of B&W film

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by lilmsmaggie, Sep 11, 2009.

  1. lilmsmaggie

    lilmsmaggie Member

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    Yesterday was the first time I developed a roll of film (HP5) in my photography class. We practiced for a while inserting the film onto the reels prior to the real thing. But I still had a bit of a problem after the dry run. Wound up with a burn on about the third or fourth frame.

    Thinking maybe I should buy a reel and continue to practice with a outdated and expired roll of Long's 35mm film.
     
  2. mrdarklight

    mrdarklight Member

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    Yeah, that's a good idea. I did this but my first roll still turned into a disaster. I was trying to get it on that dang steel reel for about an hour and a half. Finally gave up and went and got one of the plastic reels the next day, but did a lot of bending damage to the roll the night before.

    The photo gods must be appeased. They demand sacrifice.
     
  3. Denis K

    Denis K Member

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    This is starting to sound like an AA meeting.

    I'm Denis K and I don't care what other's say, I like plastic reels. That's all I ever use.
     
  4. mrdarklight

    mrdarklight Member

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    I tried to go old school, but the plastic reels are easier, and that first reel taught me a valuable lesson: There's no point in endangering your negatives if there's a more reliable method.
     
  5. JohnRichard

    JohnRichard Member

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    Agreed...

    I'm J. Richard and I use plastic reels.
     
  6. mrred

    mrred Subscriber

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    First congrats and welcome to the fold. My preference is for steel reels (I have both) but you do need *good* steel reels. I would recommend Hewes.

    I develop film in my kitchen, thus I use a light bag to load the film. The Patterson Universal that I have makes for a tight fit, and doing more than 1 roll becomes a pain. The steel reels are smaller and user smaller cans. As a perk, they also require less chemical when doing 1-shots.
     
  7. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Old school-my bakelite Yankee Clipper tank that I bought in the 60's used. It's probably from the late 40's. I still have the tank and thermometer, but alas, the reel is long ago departed. Bought a new Paterson, but it doesnt work for me, so I defer to my s.s. reels and tanks.
    Rick
     
  8. Dave Dawson

    Dave Dawson Member

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    Practise loading the spiral using an old film in the light a few times.
    Then do it with your eyes shut a few times.
    When you can do it without having to open your eyes your ready to do it in a changing bag.

    Just make sure the spiral is absolutely dry (using a hairdryer to gently warm up a plastic spiral will help)

    Cheers Dave
     
  9. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    ********
    Back when our college mentor started us out in darkroom, we were sent to the dorm on Friday with a length of film and a plastic reel (FR or Yankee?) and told to come back being able to load film in the dark.

    I practiced and practiced in my dorm room, with my eyes closed. Monday, I passed my "test." Now, almost fifty years later, I sit there in the dark loading reels------still with my eyes closed. And I actually think doing this with closed eyes helps in the "visualization" of what I am doing. Oh, yeah; I use SS reels now, but learned the same way and work the same way.
     
  10. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    Congradulations and welcome the the world of film development!
     
  11. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    All of us have been there and done that. Some of us still run into a problem every once in a while.

    Welcome to the darkside. Keep on working on it, you will get the hang after a while.

    Steve
     
  12. DLawson

    DLawson Member

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    This seems to come up a lot. So last week, when I was loading film after a long absence, I was paying attention to what I did. I was a little surprised to note that I had my eyes wide open. That is, they were open until I ran into a problem and was trying to feel where the film had jumped the track. When I finished doing that, I realized that my eyes were clamped shut.
     
  13. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Hmmm ... an open and shut case ... well we will not need CSI to follow the evidence.

    Steve
     
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  15. Anton Lukoszevieze

    Anton Lukoszevieze Subscriber

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    my first attempt at loading a 5x4 film holder in the dark still makes me shudder with horror........ (how rubbish is that??)
     
  16. q2q@tds.net

    q2q@tds.net Member

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    Welcome to our world. There will be carnage.
    As everyone else has said: practice, practice, practice.
    Stainless, plastic, that'll be a personal choice, but get to where you can do them without thinking about it. Trust me, if I take a break of a few months, or switch from one type to the other, there will be cursing and cold sweats in the dark for a few minutes. If all else fails, try these two tricks: 1) if you get too frustrated, wrap the film up and stick it in the tank and get out of there for a few minutes and come back and try it again, or 2) leave the first few inches of the 'leader' out of the can and pre-load that in the light. (if you're using plastic reels, trim the loading edge of your film to rid it of sharp corners-especially if you've cut across a sprocket hole-then they won't snag on the reel.)
     
  17. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Best idea ever.

    Steve
     
  18. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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    Congrats on your first roll of film! Trust me, it only gets easier, and more fascinating, from here.

    Best advice I can offer is what you mentioned -- get an expired or spare strip of film, and practice loading it in daylight. When you're comfortable with that, do it with your eyes closed or in a darkened room. It won't take long, don't worry.

    Plastic or metal, the advice is the same. You'll get it...best of luck in the future!
     
  19. lilmsmaggie

    lilmsmaggie Member

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    I figure I should stick to practicing with stainless steel since that's what we have in the darkroom.

    I don't seem to have a problem finding the nibs on the reel; its keeping the darn film from krinkling or jumping a track that's frustrating. Teacher said to listen for a "swoosh, swoosh" sound. Supposed to mean the film is being loaded onto the reel without any problem. Yeah right! Maybe if I slow down a tad.

    Last night, the lab assistants helped with mixing the chemistry. Reel (pun intended) test comes when I can do everything (loading film, and mixing chemicals) by myself.
     
  20. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    It really is not that hard. After a few times it will become second nature. After two weeks I don't even need to read the bottles when I mix chems (I do usually check myself:smile:).
     
  21. Chris Nielsen

    Chris Nielsen Member

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    I think I just finally figured it out. Only been trying off and on for 3 years :smile:
     
  22. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Some one gave me a plastic reel once. The first time I used it, I decided it wasn't for me. I would have passed it on, but after I had jumped up and down on it several times, nobody wanted it.
     
  23. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Your teacher gives very good advice!

    The secret to loading any reel is to learn to recognize the feel and sound of film as it loads properly, so you can detect problems immediately when something goes astray.

    Slowing down is a great idea. When I load reels, I do it an inch or two at a time. It's worked for 40 years or so, so I see no need to change :smile:.

    Matt

    PS until recently I really struggled with stainless steel reels for 120. Based on some observations here on APUG, I tried the reels again, but made a point of ignoring the clips. For me, that made a difference.
     
  24. mpirie

    mpirie Subscriber

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    :D I wonder why no one wanted it ?

    Some people are just too fussy !
     
  25. cmacd123

    cmacd123 Member

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    The OLder paterson, and the "compact" AP (arista samagon etc) reels are very slick. They have to be REALLY CLEAN and very dry. I find I can normally just PUSH the film in 6 inches at a time. (reel openings lined up).

    Stainless is also not too hard, but I sometimes dislike the tendency for a undeveloped and or unfixed streak in the "rebate" / "edge print" area of the film.
     
  26. vedmak

    vedmak Subscriber

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    how about trying hewes reels?

    they alot more expensive, but do not buckle and bend like the cheap ones. I started off with plastic reels, but despite some learning curve, if you in it for a long haul you would be better off with stainless hewes :smile: