This may be a bit off topic, but I don't see a better forum for it and it is somewhat chemistry related.
As the years go by, I have more and more trouble using stainless reels. I have gone to using plastic reels. Sometimes the film loads effortlessly, other times there is great resistance. I clean them thoroughly after each use and they are allowed to dry at least a week between use.
I've wondered if a bit of food grade silicone would reduce the friction, but am afraid it might contaminate everything. I know once applied, it is virtually impossible to remove and it does creep (spread).
Has anyone tried this or know what the results would be?
i would test -- find some similar plastic, put a bit of silicon on it, see what happens, but i think you will find it makes the situation worse -- the film slides because both it and the plastic are perfectly dry, anything damp/wet tends to make it bind. Even a bit of oil on your fingers, perhaps?
I've never been fond of plastic reels for this reason -- with long rolls, especially, they just don't work well.
The best of the plastic reels, IMHO, is the Jobo. All plastic must be dry. I only use the Jobo reels, have both the small and large size reels/tanks, when doing color. I prefer quality Stainless Steel and use that for B&W. Nikkor, Kindermann, or the currently made Hewes. You can load them wet however, I never have needed to do this. I use quality film, either Kodak or Ilford, some Fuji.
I use to have problems when starting out & used cheap no name reels, very hit & miss. Since upgrading as stated above, never any problems.
I would practice first in daylight then again with eyes shut, with a sacrificial roll, usually off brand freebee or well expired film & would not otherwise use.
I would encourage you not to give up.
You answered you own question.
It is better to clean reels with a soak in dilute bleach in my experience. Bleach will remove any residual gelatin along with any stains. If you use Photoflo, don't let it touch the reels. If the film is sticking you probably have some residue. I use Jobo reels and I literally just push the film on them. If the reels are clean, I never have any problems.
I wonder if anybody still manufactures a roll film apron.
As fotch hinted at, there are two types of plastic reels made by several manufacturers:
-) Paterson style: true ratched system with balls serving as automated wedges
-) Jobo style: a simple, two reels system with your thumbs holding and releasing the film edges (foolproof with 35mm)
I got in my workshop, but rather consider it as contaminant...
I use it in few situations only
You don't want it on the emulsion.
The term "creep" is usually applied to the degree to which solid materials deform under long-term, discrete stresses, not the spread of viscous lubricants.
Ive never heard of this problem with reels. How was your technique using stainless?
Due to a workplace back injury, pain medication for it and sleep deprivation from the pain, my coordination is shot. Therefore I need the simplicity of the plastic reels. I wish it were otherwise and maybe it will be in the future, but I need a solution for now.
Originally Posted by Nikonic
Do NOT use silicone.
Some will come off in the developing process and contaminate your film.
As a mater of fact, there is someone making an apron for 35mm film.
I have roll film aprons for most sizes but need more. All my darkroom stuff is in storage after a move and need to
use my Kodak roll film tank which I have with me in temporary darkroom.