Sticky reels

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Jarvman, Sep 16, 2006.

  1. Jarvman

    Jarvman Member

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    Does anyone have any solutions to prevent film buckling on the film reel? Sometimes it goes on nice and smooth, other times it will go on smooth then towards the end build up tension and eventually pop out of the ball bearings. I've manged to develop a couple of films with the very end trailing off. However, this causes a few nasty marks on the negs. I wish i could get it right every time. Ideas?
     
  2. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    Are you having the problem on the first roll of your session or the second, third, etc. I was having similar issues until i noticed very small water droplets on the reel. I thought they were completely dry but all it takes is one drop for the film to stick to. Make sure the reels are 100% dry. I've had an easier time loading 24exp. rolls vs. 36exp.

    vinny
     
  3. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    I assume that you are using Paterson reels. As has been mentioned these should be completely dry before use. Check that the balls are free to move in their grooves as if they are stuck it can make loading difficult. Lastly, and in contradiction to my initial advice, if the film jams during loading, then immerse film and reel in water, and continue loading. It seems that a little water makes the film stick, but a lot lubricates!
     
  4. Jarvman

    Jarvman Member

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    I know it's nothing to do with moisture on the reels. I only process one film at a time, leaving the tank out to dry for a few days between sessions. I'll be getting a double tank to speed things up before visiting Kracow in October where I hope to shoot a whole load of films. I thought it was something to do with one particular reel, but the film becomes tense toward the end of both the ones I have. When turning it the film doesn't want to advance any more. I've realised these's alot of excess film toward the front of the roll. I'll try and cut some extra of this off next time.
     
  5. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Afternoon, Jarvman,

    Stainless steel reels. Hewes, top choice; Kinderman, extremely close second.

    Konical
     
  6. KenS

    KenS Member

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    The reason I gave up on plastic reels was that could no longer afford the losses due to "sticky" reels.

    That being said, I would never demand that you gently dispose of the reels presently in your posession, but rather that you take a few minutes to properly clean the reel before next use... using a dilute solution of detergent and household bleach..... and your mother-in law's best toothbrush.

    Yes.... mother-in-laws' toothbrushes ARE (by far) the favoured brush for assisting in the removal of the build up of what can only be described as "gunk" on reels that have gone unclean(ed) to the point that the film is "sticking" and causing the near heart-attack condition resulting from the loss of what would have been the "award-winning" exposure.

    Ken
     
  7. Jarvman

    Jarvman Member

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    Would stainless steel reels make a big difference? I'll check out the names you suggested. As for dirty reels. The brand new one I tried (which hasn't been used once) is causing more trouble than the tainted yellow secondhand one which came in a pile of stuff with my enlarger, hmm. I never had this trouble in school and their reels were stinking. I'll just have to be more patient I suppose.
     
  8. resummerfield

    resummerfield Subscriber

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    I have always had problems with plastic reels. And, s/s reels can be reused even if damp. Hewes s/s reels are a great lifetime investment.
     
  9. Jarvman

    Jarvman Member

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    Thanks alot, I'll look into buying some.

    More bleedin' money again!
     
  10. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    Double check that S/steel reels will fit the drum you have. I don't think that they are interchangable, but could be wrong.
     
  11. Shmoo

    Shmoo Member

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    with plastic reels, it helps if you nick a tiny bit off of the corners of the film before loading it. It keeps it from buckling on the front end. Also, using photo flo can gum up the works and make it difficult to load a plastic reel.

    S
     
  12. Jarvman

    Jarvman Member

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    Do you need to buy a s/steel film loader as well? Is this the only way you can get your film onto the reel? I've looked at Hewes website and it doesn't appear like they have traditional drums, just a huge rectangular 2.5 litre tank. :-S
     
  13. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    Since I'm a plastic reel man I cannot give you deinitive advice on S/steel, but I have seen single and double reel tanks on eBay. Make sure that you get the reel size that you need since they do not adjust between 35, or 120 as the Paterson do, and it would be easy to end up with the wrong size.
    There have been many discussions regarding plastic v s/steel in this forum, and the two camps have consistantly failed to agree on the best method. It may pay you to do a search of the previous threads for more information before you defect.
     
  14. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    S/s reels are interchangeable in all s/s tanks I have encountered, though some good-quality spirals are a tight fit in some cheap Japanese tanks. Kindermann tanks are the best I have used.

    Plastic spirals are not interchangeable between Paterson and Jobo (the two leaders) because the designs are quite different.

    I believe that Hewes is now making s/s reels that fit into plastic tanks but am not sure.

    No, you don't need an s/s reel loader.

    I use both plastic (Jobo) and s/s. The Jobos are great for the CPE-2; the s/s are better for developing a roll or two as they use less dev than a Jobo tank when it's not on the CPE-2.

    Cheers,

    R. (www.rogerandfrances.com)
     
  15. Philippe-Georges

    Philippe-Georges Member

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    Jervman,

    I had the seem problem too, with the Jobo reels.
    Then I had a clouse look, and I dicovered that it was the dried-on last bath, Agepon or Sistan and the like, who coused the problem.
    It looks like the soapy matter, when dry, makes the film to stick.
    So, from then on I thoroughly wash (soake) the reels in warm water each time I used them.
    The problem is out of the way now.
    I hope is works for you as well.

    Good luck,

    Philippe
     
  16. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    Stainless steel reels load in a completely different way from most plastic reels. Rather than insert the film tip in an outer edge of the spiral and work it inward, as you do with most platic reels, you flex the film and attach it to the center of the reel and then rotate the reel, letting the film settle within the spiral. This very different method of loading the reel means that it's almost completely immune from sticking problems. (I say "almost" as a hedge -- I can imagine a reel that's literally covered in goo causing problems, but I find it hard to believe that anything even remotely clean would be difficult to load because of stickiness.) OTOH, you'll have to re-learn how to load your film if you switch from one to another, and stainless steel reels have their own problems. The worst of these is probably the possibility of their being bent out of shape if they're dropped. Even a small distortion can make it difficult to load a reel. You can also encounter problems if you don't center the film correctly when starting the operation. Hewes reels are recommended because they're made of thicker steel that's less likely to get bent and because (for 35mm) they use tabs that engage with the first sprocket holes on the film, which makes for better and easier centering of the film.

    Oddly, Hewes reels are often sold under other brand names, at least in the US. They do make reels that are supposed to fit over spindles for use in plastic tanks; Freestyle sells them for 35mm and for medium format. These cost $29.95 and $36.99, respectively. This compares to stainless steel Hewes reels for stainless steel tanks that cost $13.99 for 35mm or $16.99 for medium format. Freestyle sells their house-brand tank without reels for $14.99, so the cost of a tank plus reels is similar to the cost for reels to fit a plastic tank.
     
  17. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    And remember that SS tanks (Roger is right--Kinderman is best, and tanks with plastic tops don't leak) go for almost nothing on E-Bay. I also recently picked up a couple of apparently-unused King Concept (Hewes) 35mm reels in the box for just over $10.00.

    Konical
     
  18. Stew

    Stew Member

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    If your darkroom is in a damp location,such as a basement,even the moisture in the air can cause the reels to stick. I had this problem,and cured it by using a hair dryer on them just before loading the film.

    Rob.
     
  19. Jarvman

    Jarvman Member

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    There's a Kindermann tank and reels ending on eBay tomorrow. I should be able to pick them up for about £10 or so. I'll be able to give them a try for a minimal price then. If i don't get along with them I'll heed the advice about soaking plastic reels in warm water for longer. I normally give them a quite a quick rinse, so perhaps there's still dried up wetting agent on them.
     
  20. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    Be aware that used SS reels may be bent. This can make it very difficult to load them. I don't know how prone Kinderman reels are to bending, though, and I have no knowledge of the particular eBay auction you mention.
     
  21. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    If you use distilled water for the final rinse, then you do not need wetting agent.