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  1. #11

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    Do I have to use reels?

    There was a tip on another forum for loading 120 on reels. Bend the leading end back against the natural curl. About 4 or 5mm from the end. Bend it enough to make it stay that way and then load. I've tried it and it works for me. This is for loading plastic reels, not stainless steel. Alex

  2. #12

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    In pre-history rollfilm (meaning wide and not inconveniently long) would be see-sawed through trays containing a few inches of the chemicals.

    Dunk one end in the tray and lift while dropping the other hand with the other end of the film. If the hands going-down and lifting-up are at the same speed, then a part of the film should stay in the liquid. Repeat steadily for the appropriate time. The drips from the film mostly stay on the film if the speed is not too fast, but nevertheless don't put the dev-tray within splash range of the stop-bath if you want to re-use it!

    I have only ever tried it once, and that was for an ortho film so I could more or less see in the dim safelight. Far too messy for me, but I'm sure it would get easier after the first dozen rolls - it was common for half a century or so after all.

  3. #13

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    Are you using plastic or steel? I use generic steel for both 35mm and 120 and have less trouble loading 120 than 35mm. I'm at the point of considering the upgrade to hewes for 35mm at least because i just dread loading 35mm , but then i keep thinking I'd rather get the 150mm lens for my 645. Decisions , decisions.

  4. #14
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    See-saw is not a bad idea. I was considering it for 110 film which I don't have a reel for.

    I don't know if any old "aprons" would be brittle - but they are just rolls of plastic with wrinkly edges that you roll the film inside. Easy loading for sure.

    I saw a video showing a dip and dunk processor where they lay the film over something like a curtain rod. (Richard Photo Lab).

    Also encourage practice and learning to reel onto stainless steel. Practice is free and it will get easier. (People swear by "Hewes" brand but I don't have those and seem to do alright).

    The mystery to me is - with all this fumbling, sweating and handling... I rarely saw fingerprints or scratches on my finished film when I used changing bag. I have no idea how it survives the trauma. (Disclosure: Now I wear gloves to roll film and have a full darkroom and Infrared viewing device).

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by snaggs View Post
    hands get sweaty in the change bag, so if you dont get it right it just gets more complicated!
    Won't you need total darkness to develop the film in the ways you are thinking of? If so then you can load the reel in the same darkness without a changing bag.

    pentaxuser

  6. #16

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    There is a device to help loading film in SS reels. It consists of a small piece of SS which is slightly narrower than the film and about 2.5 inches long. Two edges are folded over to hold the film and it cups the film slightly. Very handy especially for beginners.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  7. #17
    StoneNYC's Avatar
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    Do I have to use reels?

    Quote Originally Posted by snaggs View Post
    Im not very good at them. Ok on 35mm, but a bit daunted on what to do with 120 hands get sweaty in the change bag, so if you dont get it right it just gets more complicated!
    I always wear gloves, I wouldn't want my finger oils to mess up the film...

    Also, though I find JOBO TANKS to be leaky crap (Prefer Patterson super system 4) they have really great self feeding reels that are super easy (unlike the Patterson ones that are a PITA and I don't like) why can't one company have all good things... Lol


    ~Stone

    The Important Ones - Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1 / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    ~Stone | "...of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong." ~Dennis Miller

  8. #18

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    The only problem with reels is getting the film onto the reel. You become more successful with constant practice, but these days many of us don't get that much practice. It's worth noting that there are reels (like the SS spiral reels) and reels (like the Ansco and Patterson autoload reels). Some people get along better with one kind or the other. For beginners or seldom users, the autoload reels are generally easier, but not for everyone. Film sometimes runs off track with any reel, and you have to take it off and start over. Very frustrating, especially after the third try.

  9. #19
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    Really big photo labs in the old days would just put your film on clips then dunk it in deep tanks. I saw an article in a photo magazine where they would use golf tubes with plugs each end as a tank. You would leave an air bubble in the developer so you can agitate. Stainless steel reels have worked for decades for me.
    "Photography, like surfing, is an infinite process, a constantly evolving exploration of life."
    Aaron Chang

  10. #20
    fotch's Avatar
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    Practice makes perfect.
    Items for sale or trade at www.Camera35.com

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