re: processing 35mm film--getting it onto the spool

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Dean Taylor, Feb 2, 2012.

  1. Dean Taylor

    Dean Taylor Member

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    hi all--

    student question: how does it happen that the film winds into the spool with enough space between the turns so that enough developer (fixer, etc.) reaches all the emulsion? Or, said another way--is it an ongoing issue that film DOES, in fact, all too often touch the wind ahead/behind and, thus, keep enough developer from reaching the surface?

    Are there any particular tanks/spools to be avoided or sought?

    thank you

    Dean Taylor
     
  2. frobozz

    frobozz Subscriber

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    If it's properly on the spool, the spool keeps the adjacent winds of film far enough apart. The entire trick is to get it on the spool properly :smile: A time-honored technique, regardless of what kind of reel you use, is to take a length of scrap film (or some old uncut negatives) and practice loading the spool in the light until you're confident you can do it in the dark.

    My favorite spools, and I'm not alone, are the Hewes stainless steel ones. The trick with loading SS reels properly is getting the end of film down at the center squarely centered and started correctly. The Hewes design makes that almost too easy. Then it's just a matter of getting good at slightly bowing the film as it walks onto the spool as you turn it.

    Duncan
     
  3. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear Dean,

    As Duncan said, if you're going to use stainless steel reels, you're going to have to practice. Those that get the hang of it swear by them.

    Neal Wydra
     
  4. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Alternatively, the Paterson plastic reels, the ones with the big plastic "landing-zone" (as I will refer to it as) are nearly fool-proof and ideal for beginners. You get it started and then just twist it back and forth.

    I use both types depending on how many rolls I've got to do at once.
     
  5. Moopheus

    Moopheus Subscriber

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    And everyone else swears at them. At least, I did, until I got the Hewes reels. They're more expensive, even used (when you can get them) but totally worth it. Much easier to use than anything else I've tried.
     
  6. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    MANY years ago, I used a type of reels where film gets wound into a plastic reel with a clear plastic tape in between. In this type of reels, you wind this tape and the film together into a reel without groves. Dimples on the tape keeps it from touching the film.

    I had, on few occasions, had inconsistent development - and thought it was because not enough chemical was reaching the film.

    With stainless steel reels that I use now, I never have such issues.
     
  7. fotch

    fotch Member

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    What ever you choose, you need a scrap roll to practice with. Generally, an old expired roll of film of the size (35mm, 120, etc). Practice makes perfect and will help you avoid being frustrated when you are trying to develop you film.

    Good Luck.
     
  8. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    The grea tthing about plastic "self-winding" reels is you don't have to remove the film from the cassette first. Do not rewind the leader back into the cassette, then just pull enough film back out to clip the end square then insert into the loading ramps until it catches in the pawls, turn off the lights and wind the film onto the reel. When you reach the end, clip the film free of the cassette, finish spooling and drop the reel into the tank and close it up. Now you can turn the lights back on and process.
     
  9. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    make sure when you practice you close your eyes and turn the room lights off
    it really helps a lot :wink:
     
  10. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    John,

    To this day, I go into darkroom and CLOSE MY EYES when I load the film. Otherwise, it feels wrong. My fingers get more sensitive when I close my eyes. True story.
     
  11. zumbido

    zumbido Member

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    Eyes closed. I've used that trick with other things but not loading film. Will try it tonight.

    I've had some stainless reels sitting around for a while but was a bit "afraid" of them. Decided to try one a week ago. Did a single practice roll and felt at home with it immediately (though I've spent a lot of time dealing with things like rope winding, on the water and climbing, so the feeling of it wasn't entirely foreign).
     
  12. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Yup.... it works that way too.