Well, you can use a bit of Zen visualization here. I have successfully developed 2 rolls of 120 BW. I am just beginning to develop my own negatives because I don't feel like being held hostage by some pro labs in Cal. And taking weeks for the turn around time and $25 per roll developed and scanned. I am free, finally. :) Anyway, still waiting for my Canon 9000f scanner to show up in order to scan my negatives. My first try took me 15 min +. My second roll was a lot easier. I also practice with an used roll in my room with light on but with my eyes closed. I use my bathroom as my darkroom. Just cover the window. Then, I put a large blanket over my head and sitting down on the bathroom floor. I put the reel (paterson system) on top of the tank so that it won't roll around on the floor. Once the film has been unwrapped, I used 2 fingers on each corner of the film lead. Then, I slowly guide it to the reel. I make sure each corner is successfully passing through slot. I don't rush because there is no point. You either get it to load correctly or you give up and ruining your film. :) I may need to try few times but would eventually get the film to pass through the ball bearing. The rest is just easy.
OK, looks like its steel reels then (only thing I can get off the shelf for 70mm). Do the film loaders help? (Hewes make them).
Do I have to use reels?
Hello from Brazil. Sorry if my English is poor.
Originally Posted by TooManyShots
One advice: take a scissor and do a small cut at the edges of the film, angled 45 degrees. This little angled cut will make it easier for you to load the film.
If you didn't understand, look for it over the web. At the AP reels manual you can find a better description.
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Yes, I find cutting the corners of the leading end of the film on a 45' angle helps, too. I start the film onto the reels in the light, Just pull out enough film, which is wasted anyway, cut off the leader and angle-cut the corners, start the film and then do the rest of the loading in the dark. The canister dangling on the end of the film while it's going into the reel acts as a little weight to keep the film from curling up and tangling. Been doing this for decades and never had a problem, (as long as the reels were DRY and CLEAN).