Tips for hand winding 220 film on stainless steel developing reels?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Jay Decker, Apr 25, 2009.

  1. Jay Decker

    Jay Decker Member

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    I'm not that great at winding 120 film on stainless steel developing reels. So, I'm a little apprehensive about winding a few rolls of 220 on stainless steel developing reels, which have smaller diameter wire coils that are spaced closely together.

    Anyone have any tips or suggestions?

    Thanks,

    Jay
     
  2. g_brooks

    g_brooks Member

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    Jay --
    You can get plastic tanks and reels for developing 35mm and 120/220 film from Adorama, Freestyle, and probably others places as well. They're not perfect, but, after struggling for years to get the hang of metal reels and losing more negs than I want to think about, I finally said the hell with it and moved to the plastic reels. (Well, I also started shooting 4x5, too. :smile:)
    g_brooks
     
  3. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Use Hewes reels and practice. I find Hewes 220 reels easier to load than cheap 120 reels, so I usually use them for 120 as well.
     
  4. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I felt making the first bend was crucial. The spring tends to just grab the center of the film and the edges 'flop' a little, making them not line up with the start of the spiral. One thing I do with my reels is to pull the film back on itself to get it to fold or crease, right at the spring. This pulls the ends of the film up and helps direct them into the start of the spiral.
     
  5. John W

    John W Member

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    I'd sacrifice a roll of 220 for practice, then spend some time practicing in daylight. Give it a few tries each day, at first winding on eyes open, then switching to eyes closed. If you get stuck, try to feel what's happened before looking, then look and see what happened so you can correct. You'll wind on line a pro in no time...
     
  6. vdonovan

    vdonovan Subscriber

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    I've loaded about 100 rolls of 220 onto steel reels for a big project recently and I can tell you it's a royal pain. It really requires practice and patience.

    a. Hewes reels are MUCH MUCH easier than other reels I've tried. They are almost as easy to load as 120. Cheaper reels (that have maybe been dropped and bent) can be a nightmare. If you are going to be regularly shooting 220, it will be well worth your while to buy some Hewes reels.

    b. Get a reel and a bad roll of 220 film and practice. It's worth ruining a roll of film for this. Do it many times with your eyes open, then with your eyes closed, then in the dark.

    c. VERY important: when you sit down to actually load some good film, do a few practice loads first with your bad roll. This will get you in the groove, so to speak, by toning up the muscle memory in your hands.

    d. once in the dark, be patient and take your time. If the film feels like it's going on wrong at any point, don't force it. Just stop and unwind back to where it was going right and start again. Really, you've got to be patient or your going to end up with wrinkled film and un-developed frames.
     
  7. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    If you're going to do a lot of 220, look on ebay for Nikor (sp?) 220 reels and tanks. They are like oversized 120 reels and tanks. It is no harder to load them than 120 reels, just takes a bit more time.
     
  8. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Evening, Jay,

    I agree with Vince's comment about 220 loading being a royal pain, especially compared to loading 120 which I consider about the simplest and quickest of darkroom procedures, but I must admit that I rarely use 220, so lack of practice is likely my main problem. Jim is exactly right about the larger reels. They are made of thicker wire and are somewhat easier to load than the standard-sized reels. Their main drawback is that they won't fit into the typical film washer. As always with loading, getting the film straight at the beginning is the key to success.

    Konical
     
  9. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    ******
    I tried standard-sized reels like you have; also over size Kinderman 220. Just a no-go for either. I finally had to just shoot a blank at the middle of the roll, cut the film in the dark, and load on 120 reels.

    What I DID find is an set of instructions which said that my old Ansco-type plastic reel and tank can take two separate 620 rolls. So, I sez to meself, sez I; well then, it should take a 220 rolls. And, yes, it does.

    Some where along the line I acquired a Prinz SS reel loader; but I have never tried it. I just stick to 120 film and all is well.Ennyone wanna buy a Prinz loader?
     
  10. Jay Decker

    Jay Decker Member

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    Thank you for the responses. I glad that try to load a roll of good exposures on the fly. At this point I am wondering if the TXP 220 is worth dinking with. While the idea of not having to load film as often is appealing, I do not feel that I would be missing anything by not shooting TXP in 220. The image below was shot with TX 400 at an EI of 1250 and developed in Diafine. Would I get anything much better with TXP?

    I do have a number of 220 SS reels. Is there anyway to determine if the are Hewes?

    And, one more question... any one interested in a reasonable deal on 10 rolls of fresh TXP 220?
     

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  11. vdonovan

    vdonovan Subscriber

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    I *think* you can tell the hewes reel from the clip at the center? It's a square flat tab of metal, rather than a wire look like on other reels.

    You can get TXP in 120. (if you do give up I'd be interested in buying your 220). It's a great film, not better or worse than Tri-x, but different, especially for portraits:
    [​IMG]
     
  12. Tom Nutter

    Tom Nutter Member

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    Tear off the paper, leaving the tape on the end of the film. Make sure you have the spiral in the right direction, in this case, it would spiral out to the right.If you are right handed, hold the reel in your left hand with your palm up. Put your thumb and middle finger around the spindle. pull down the spring clip with your middle finger while at the same time, forcing the film end under the clip with sort of a pinching motion with your thumb and middle finger.
    When you get ready to load the reel, hold the film, still rolled in your right hand, leader torn off where paper meets film, emulsion down and curve the film into a gentle arc across its narrow dimension. Then, press it into the clip as described above. When the film is fastened in the clip, use your fingers to feel from the outside of the reel to make sure the film is centered on the spindle, and relatively straight (THIS IS THE KEY) and as you roll it onto the reel, maintain that slight arc, which acts as a natural guide for getting the film into the slots between the wires. when you get to the other end, gently tear off the paper and guide the end into the reel with slight pressure on its edges, maintaining that arc as before. when the film is on the reel, you can feel along the outsides of the reel. If any film is sticking out, something is wrong. Also, it helps after the reel is loaded, to gently slide the film back and forth in its track a little to make sure it is where it should be. There should be a slight amount of give or play in the film. if it wont slip around a little or makes cracking noises, you may have a problem.


    --sounds complicated, but takes much longer to explain in words than to actually do. If you practice a few times with a dummy roll while watching TV, you can get it easy.
     
  13. Tom Duffy

    Tom Duffy Member

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    My advice is to is not to use the stainless steel reels at all. I've loaded plenty of 35mm and 120 onto stainless steel reels, with only the occasional "twilight zone" loading sessions. :smile: 220 was always an exercise in frustration.

    Instead get a small JOBO tank and their plastic reel. Never a problem; completely straightforward with no drama.

    Take care,
    Tom
     
  14. Tom Nutter

    Tom Nutter Member

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    If you want to spend more money, different equipment is always an option, but if it's really that hard, you could just, like you said, switch to 120. I've found that with plastic reels, you sometimes get uneven or even NO development along the edges of the film, and also, if you screw up loading a stainless reel a few times before getting the roll on straight, it is usually much less catastrophic for your images, in terms of creases and scratches, etc., than with a plastic reel....to each his own!!
     
  15. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    You may find it easier to skip the clip at the core of the reel. Other than that, it is easier than 35mm, IMO...and this is with cheapo Taiwanese reels that are tweaked. With a nice and straight Hewes reel, it would be a breeze.

    The reels are just like 135 reels, but taller.

    I use them not only for 220, but to do four rolls of 120 at once. I tape one roll to the end of another and roll them on as if they were a 220 roll. This means that with 120, I have the same amount of developer stock per emulsion area that I have with 35mm.
     
  16. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    I have no luck with the Jobo reel, unless I cut the film in half and process the halves separately. That's why I'm experimenting with stainless reels.
     
  17. dynachrome

    dynachrome Member

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    The wide spaced Nikor reel/tank sets are by far the easiest way to develop 220 b&w film other than machine roller feed processing. The narrow spaced Brooks type reel is not very easy to use and the Paterson reels are even more difficult to use. I would love it if Kodak could sell regular Tri-X in 220. If you must use a Paterson reel then by all means round off the corners of the leading edge of the film and make sure the reel is completely dry before even attempting it. The old Ilford 220 film seemed to have a thinner base than the Kodak 220 films and were even more difficult to load.
     
  18. Tom Duffy

    Tom Duffy Member

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    It's amazing that we have such different experiences. I was so frustrated trying to load 220 stainless steel reels that I almost switched back to 120.

    I use jobo reels with part number 04066 on one side and 04065 on the other. Silly question, are you pulling the red tab up out of the way so that the film will progress all the way to the center of the spool?

    Take care,
    Tom
     
  19. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    I'm using the 1501 reels (I can't find the part numbers), and I have removed the red tabs entirely.
     
  20. Tom Duffy

    Tom Duffy Member

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    My reels are for the 2500 series tank, specifically I use the 2523 tank. I don't know much about the Jobo system, but I wonder if my reels have a greater diameter, thereby giving a wider space between the grooves? If you really want to stick with 220, this combination may be worth trying. Best of luck.
     
  21. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    I've thought about trying those reels and tanks, but as I recall, they take a large amount of liquid to fill them for use in inversion agitation (I don't have a Jobo processor).
     
  22. wclavey

    wclavey Member

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    Tom, I don't want to hijack the OP's thread, so we can move this to PMs or email, if you want... but I have the same tank & reels that I think you do. I have been loading them with 220 by using a corner clip to make rounded corners on the leading edge of the film and "walking" it onto the reels. I have no instruction manual or any other information and that just looked like the right thing to do. But it occurred to me as I read this thread that perhaps I am doing it wrong... Are you loading them that way or are you loading them like an SS reel by spiraling the film out from the center?

    Perhaps I have been making this too hard. I use to do 220 on SS reels but that was years ago and I have none now. Thanks.
     
  23. aoresteen

    aoresteen Subscriber

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    Humm. I've never had any trouble loading 220 film onto SS reels except for one time when I was in a rush and got a kiss. Just take you time and gently roll the film on to the reel. It's like 35mm to me.