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  1. #11
    zsas's Avatar
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    Use your hands, no gloves. Of course with all photog a wash of hands before. You will learn to touch the sides of the film. After tons o rolls, you might touch the middle of the film, very rarely....

    I think, like Leigh does, getting yourself in the dark turns on your "other seeing" ability and your touch takes over so intently you "feel your way" through it all. If you get in a jam, put the film back in the light tight tank, put on the lights, walk alway, stay calm...come back ready to do it....zen and the art of film loading.

    Of all the processes of developing, the dark room load is my fav!
    Andy

  2. #12

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    I had myself convinced that I was "never going to be able to do this" before I got my tank and reels. With a little practice I was loading film on reels like it was second nature. Your sense of touch really becomes much more 'aware' when you get in the dark. Don't stress on it and you'll do just fine. =]

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick A View Post
    A note of caution, changing bags turn into saunas in just a few short minutes. Film doesn't like to load onto plastic spirals when there is moisture present. Learn to start the film onto the spiral before loading into the bag, this means while it is still in the cassette. Never rewind the leader back all the way into the cassette. Just trim ith end square, start in the reel, close the reel and film in the bag and finish loading. It is super easy to snip the film flush with the cassette when you get to the end.
    Sorry, I should have mentioned this. I'm doing only 120 film so no cassettes.

  4. #14
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    It's normal to occasionally invent new swear words whilst loading film reels.


    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  5. #15
    MattKing's Avatar
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    First - if you worry about it, it will be worse .

    For 120, see if you can get some of the Arista/AP/Generic reels that are designed to work in Paterson tanks, but have wider flanges at the entry point. I find them easier to load then the Paterson reels.

    If you have any opportunity to load in a darkened room rather than a changing bag, do so. Humidity is something to avoid if at all possible, and changing bags trap humidity. Remember that tanks can be loaded at night, labelled and then used for developing the next day.

    If you must use a changing bag, do everything possible to maximize the space, "coolness" and "dryness" in the bag. Some sort of internal box or frame will help with a changing bag, even if it is something impromptu, like a milk crate.

    Can you swim or ride a bicycle? If so, was it hard at first to learn, but easy now to do without thinking? Loading reels is like that.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  6. #16

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    I'll have to see if I can make a room totally dark in my house. Every room has a window so that might not be possible. I am guessing that the standard of dark room means that you cannot see your hands in front of your face. If you can see ANYTHING, then it is not dark enough. Correct?

  7. #17
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RattyMouse View Post
    I'll have to see if I can make a room totally dark in my house.
    I was thinking about that yesterday (my house, not yours!). I have a bathroom with just a small window so I am going to make a board to fit over the window to be held with Velcro.

    I'm happy using a changing bag for roll film but I need a bit more space for putting sheet film into and out of holders.


    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  8. #18

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    From experience -the two most important points already made : humidity can make the experience miserable, and having an improvised frame inside the bag makes a HUGE difference.

  9. #19
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    Here's a good tip, assuming you are using plastic reels and not SS. Prior to loading, take the spiral apart and run a pencil lead round the spiral on both sides. This slight coating of graphite will make loading much easier.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  10. #20
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    For 120, I seperate the film from the backing first, then load the film taped edge first. I use black-out cloth over a small window and draped over the door to a utility room for my dark room. I can load film any time of the day I choose.
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum

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