I'm not trying to start a plastic vs stainless argument, either. I am wondering what I am missing in not using the 1/2 dozen stainless tanks that have found their way into my home. I would like to know what is to be gained by fighting through my inability to properly load them.
What I find incredibly nice about Stainless steel reels is that if you clean them in hot enough water, most of the water will evaporate from the heat that transferred to the reels. If the reels happen to be a little bit damp it doesn't matter anyway, so if I have a lot of film to process I have enough of them by owning two sets. Load one set while I process the other... Easy peasy.
For me this is a huge advantage, because about 70% of the year my darkroom is in a fairly high humidity basement. Plastic reels simply don't work for me unless I happen to be processing film during the four months it's actually dry in there.
"Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank
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"...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh
Funny you should say that - I have two hands, years of developing experience and seem to manage well enough with plastic spirals with 120 and 35mm. In fact I've never used anything else. Here's a tip - you don't have to hold the cartridge/spool when loading a spiral...
Unless you're using a changing bag, where 35mm film is likely to curl into a tangle in that limited space.
Given a dry reel, the Jobo 1500 series reels are a very slick way to load film in a tank. They alos take about the same amount of chemistry in inversion mode as most stainless steel tanks. the patterson/Photoplast style varry from slightly harder to almost the same as the Jobo to load, but do take more chemistry. The Slickest of the Bunch is the AP Compact reels which also have the built in Guides for Roll Film. Unfortunately those guides get in the way of you want to chek the film just out of the fix and before the wash.
With Practice Stainless is easy to load as long as the reels are not bent. If a stainless reel is misloaded, it can easily result in blank spots on the film. Also if you do detect that there is a kink forming when reloading stainless, the kink will work very hard to prevent the reel from loading smoothly.
I used stainless for years. Then I strted with teh Jobo and hardly use the stainless unless I am short on Tanks. I just which the price of the Jobo stuff would come back down out of the sky. 30 bucks is now cheep for one reel.
Charles MacDonald email@example.com
I still live just beyond the fringe in Stittsville