I like the wider flange AP reels for 120, but I really don't have any problems with the ball bearings. I do check them before each use though, to make sure they move freely.
I've never had success using a changing bag. If I'm somewhere where I cannot make a room totally dark during the day, I load my tanks at night and develop the next day.
I prefer stainless steel for 35mm. I would prefer it for 120 as well, except I have difficulties using the clips, and I need some way of affixing the film, because I use rotary processing.
I truly don't know how anyone could load reels wearing vinyl gloves. It might be possible to use nitrile gloves or cotton gloves - but I've never tried.
One lesson that I have learned is that loading reels requires a gentle hand - one shouldn't push or hold them heavily - fingertips are best. And the film should go on in small steps, with frequent checks to ensure that it moves freely when on the reel.
I also recommend that one listens to the sound of the film as it advances on to the reel. That sound provides excellent feedback.
Cut the leader off (35mm only). Bring scissors into your dark room (or bag if you insist on a bag). Wash hands, no gloves necessary. You doing full inversions or agitating by twisting that rod? I only do the inversion-twist-180-method. I also make sure that both sides of the reel are aligned when feeding the film in. Not sure any of this will help? Toss that changing bag is one big thing I would do and get in a light tight bathroom/closet, etc
I learned on metal reels and tanks and recently transitioned to the Patterson and have been quite thrilled. I loaded many old expired 120's on it no prob. Old rolls seem to curl more and still had no prob. Gosh I sure hope you get it down if you use Patterson or metal. I personally find loading the film in the dark to be the most zen moment of the whole photographic process. Threading a needle in the dark per se is so exciting to me.
Konical - I'm mostly 120 with a dash of 135 thrown in, and I'm really (pun not intended!) looking for a 120 solution. I think that Hewes idea of saying "we'll do 135 well and 120 well, rather than adjustable less well" is great, but after having a quick play with their 120 reel at my local shop, I'm not ready to give up on a plastic solution yet.
Flink - darkroom isn't possible. I'm using a fairly large bag (25") and I'm still finding that a bit cramped with the system 4 tank in there too. Next time I'll try latex gloves and long sleeves to see if that can keep moisture down a bit. If the light is cooperating tomorrow.
Ive used both plastic and SS reels, and I prefer the plastic much better for some reason. I have used some that work flawlessly and others that just dont cooperate at all.
I suggest you wash your equipment with a tiny bit of detergent and let fully dry. they use a pencil and run it through the tracks to "lube" it.
Take your time and guide the film into the reel when ratcheting with your thumbs. for doing 120 defiantly get the larger take up plastic flanged ones.
I always add just a little bit more of each chemical, if it asks for 10 or 12 oz. I put in 12 or 14 oz of solution for a single reel. and also if you are doing a single reel in a 2 reel tank, always keep the one with film on the bottom. and agitate vigorously, flipping and rotating as well regularly.
You don't necessarily need a darkroom - just a dark room.
As for the bag, do you have a box or frame you can put inside it to keep it off your hands?
I don't know, but would guess, that vinyl gloves plus long sleeves would increase the warmth and humidity.
I don't have a dark room either unfortunately, as our bathroom has a huge skylight and there's always some light getting in. I'd call it dark enough for something less sensitive than film, although I could do an experiment tonight and see.
As for the bag, I bought a tank that does 2x120 rolls, so it is a bit of a squeeze as it is. I'll ferret around for a cardboard box and give that a try if I find something suitable. And I'd hope that the moisture would all be trapped in the gloves rather than making the film sticky. I think if I could load simpler and faster and get out of the bag sooner it would be the ideal solution.
Does anyone know who sells reels with wide flanges in Aus? Or charges less than $45 to ship here?
I like my paterson ones. I've had some paterson-compatible ones which were terrible. The real deal is what you want.
For 35mm, I trim the leader off and pull the film into the reel past the ball bearings. Then I ratchet the film in as intended.. Practice in light as necessary.
I'm a little Dutch and try never to spend more money on something unless I have to. HEWES SS REELS ARE TO MUCH MONEY! Now, what kind of reels do I use? I use nothing but Hewes SS reels. And yes, they are pretty much idiot proof. I used Nikkor and Paterson for years. I used the Nikkor for 35mm and the Paterson for 120. I just never could believe Nikkor SS reels would be any different than the more expensive Hewes reels. Boy, was I ever wrong. This is one of those "you won't believe it until you try it" type of things. Yes, I might be an idiot, but I ain't stupid. Spend a little more and make life in the dark worth living. JohnW:D
Originally Posted by postalman
There's always the under lots of blankets at night option in lieu of a light tight room. I actually find steel easier with 120.