Removing processed film from reels

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Steve Roberts, May 14, 2008.

  1. Steve Roberts

    Steve Roberts Member

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    Hi All,

    There seem to be two schools of thought with regard to removing the processed film from spiral reels. Some seem to separate the two halves of the spiral (risking damage to the wet emulsion) whilst others, of which I am one, prefer to leave the reel intact, gently flex the film with its natural curve and unwind it (risking kinking the film). The latter has always worked well enough for me in 35mm, but a couple of days ago I had processed a roll of 120 and found myself wondering whether the wider film would be more likely to kink and that perhaps I should adopt a different technique.

    Of course, with a group of this size I won't be surprised to find other approaches that I haven't even dreamt of!

    Best wishes,

    Steve
     
  2. Laurent

    Laurent Subscriber

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    I'm flexing the film, both for 35mm and 120, and still have to see problems with that.
     
  3. snallan

    snallan Member

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    Like you, I unwind the film from the reels. But rather than pull the film up perpendicular to the reel slots, I pull the film out tangentially to the reel, and allow the reel to rotate on a finger as the film unspools. I use this technique with 35mm, and 120, and it seems to put little stress on the film.
     
  4. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    I use Steve's unwind technique with stainless and plastic reels, it works well.
     
  5. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    I use the slight flex and unwind technique until I can feel that the film is loose in the reel. At this point I pull it out of the reel.



    Steve.
     
  6. Fotoguy20d

    Fotoguy20d Subscriber

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    I also use Steve's technique with my Paterson plastic reels although, I've been known to just grab and yank too. I find it's less of a problem with 120 than 35mm since it's wider and can flex more so pops out more easily.
     
  7. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    OMG! I guess it's true that "ignorance is bliss". I'd never even considered that this was a problem. :confused: But then, I'm one of the 3 people in the world (apparently) that doesn't think loading reels is hard, either. :wink:
     
  8. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    How do you damage the film by taking the reels apart?

    I tend to try the other one first then if it's not working take the reel apart.
     
  9. mikebarger

    mikebarger Subscriber

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    I've never been able to figure out how to get my Nikkor reels apart. :smile:

    Mike
     
  10. bsdunek

    bsdunek Subscriber

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    Bolt cutters, smoke wrench, etc. It's putting them back together that's difficult. :rolleyes:
     
  11. FilmIs4Ever

    FilmIs4Ever Member

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    Unless one is drunk, high, or in an extreme hurry to unload film from the reels, this should be a non-issue as long as the user exercises normal common-sense care and keeps the reel from dropping onto the floor during unloading.
     
  12. dynachrome

    dynachrome Member

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    Nikor reel.
     
  13. FilmIs4Ever

    FilmIs4Ever Member

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    Yeah, who besides the amateurs uses plastic anyway? :tongue: Just like the guy in the TMY-2 thread that blames his inexperience in processing on blotchiness with the film, I used to blame plastic reels and tanks for streaks between the sprocket holes. It was the plastic I swear, my agitating the HELL out of the film didn't have anything to do with it! :wink:

    That being said, in all seriousness, dust, scratches, kinks, and drying marks are an inavoidable part of silver halide photography. They can be minimized but can never be completely eliminated. It sucks. Now go out and deal with it!
     
  14. m_liddell

    m_liddell Member

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    I didn't know there was the 'take real apart' method! I use the bend and unroll bing very careful not to buckle the film...
     
  15. honeydo

    honeydo Member

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    LOL! I'm with you. I'm good being bliss! Never had a problem.
     
  16. honeydo

    honeydo Member

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    I'm gonna worry tomorrow night now arent' i as I process film....
     
  17. Kevin Caulfield

    Kevin Caulfield Subscriber

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    If you worry that something will go wrong, then it probably will. If you don't, then it probably won't. :smile:
     
  18. honeydo

    honeydo Member

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    Hmmmm, so true. I'll just put my music on and go. another plus to summer time....no one there to hear my awful singing :tongue:
     
  19. sun of sand

    sun of sand Member

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    I just recently started using the take apart method
    I haven't bothered with the stainless reels I've accumulated yet
     
  20. Saganich

    Saganich Subscriber

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    The single most important purchase I ever made were for high quality reels. The cheap stainless ones will send you to the loony bin, the plastic reels sent me there as well. Wet film is attracted to plastic, those electrons are having a party and your trying to break it up. Stainless has not this issue, but cheap reels are a nightmare. If you've used cheap stainless reels in the past (like me) then went to plastic (like me), try going back to high quality stainless reels, the difference is incredible and "reel rage" will disappear.

    As for unrolling, I first clip the end of the film to whatever I happen to be hanging it from to dry that day, could be an old gym locker or a pipe along the ceiling, I cup the reel in both hands and let gravity do the work guiding the reel with my thumbs in the center. Go too fast then you drop the reel. I always have something soft underneath like a towel because my next step is squirting both sides of the hanging film with distilled water. If I do drop a reel most of the time is has a cushioned landing. I did find that kinking was a problem with plastic reels do to the above mentioned wet plastic attraction but is not with stainless. As far as 120 film is concerned kinking is expected to be worse for plastic reels, but, I found that whenever my 120 kinked it was due to my aggressive agitation during washing I may have to go back to the old gravity washer for 120.
     
  21. honeydo

    honeydo Member

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    Hmmm, I've never had a kinking problem or static like issues with my plastic reels. with the super long 36 exp. 35mm or my 120 rolls. My only complaint is loading the 36 exp. 35mm rolls. They always get stuck and I have to start over...in the dark. Hate that.

    As for agressive agitation, I've found certain songs on my ipod work great for inverting to the beat :tongue: Others are too fast. I need music!
     
  22. Gay Larson

    Gay Larson Member

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    I'm with David Brown, I never thought to be concerned. Have never had a problem with my plastic reels but then again maybe I have and don't know it?? Anyhoo I now have something to blame for any problems I have with my film development in the future.
     
  23. honeydo

    honeydo Member

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    Woo Hoo and I was worried for nothing :D It all worked out tonight :tongue: