Steel Reels, Steel Tanks VS. Plastic Reels, Tanks
I've allways used plastic reels/tanks for developing film, and would like to try steel for the first time. Just by looking at steel reels, it would seem they'd be much more efficient than the plastic - more open space for the chemicals to flow through in and out/back & forth/up& down - whatever style you agitate by.
Is it they're more $$expensive? Are they so harder to load? I can allways practise...
I've worked with a couple of hundred professional photographers, starting in the late 1950s, and I cannot think of one that used plastic reels. But if you use steel reels, buy good ones. Cheap ones are a hazard as they bend out of shape much too easily. But remember -- whatever works for you is the best.
I use the Paterson reels only because I'm used to them, but one of these days I'm going to try the metal ones.
Good Evening, DF,
Do an APUG search on the topic. It's one we've really beaten to death. Opinions, well-informed and otherwise, abound and should easily provide all the background you need for making a choice.
Last edited by Konical; 01-09-2013 at 09:07 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: added missing comma
I started out with plastic using 35mm. After being forced to use steel in a class, I found steel reels easier and faster. Granted it took three or four runs before I felt that way. We used hewes reels.
I've only used plastic for 120 but at some pint want to try steel.
In order to really know, I think a person just has to try both and decide for themselves.
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GEEZ, not again! Doesn't anyone think to look in the archives. This subject has been talked to death.
All you will learn is that those who use plastic like plastic and those who use SS like SS. Haven't really seen a definitive reason presented for using either one.
Last edited by Gerald C Koch; 01-09-2013 at 10:13 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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
Steel is the way to go, especially for 35mm. Far easier to load and they last forever (just don't drop them).
I have to admit that I find it easier to load 120 on to plastic. Maybe I just need more practice with the steel reels.
I use ONLY paper reels... (just kidding)
I use steel. Hewes 35mm reels costs more to buy but they are SO easy to load. It is well worth double the cost of ordinary ones.
Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?
You could put this thread into the Ethics and Philosophy forum, because the question is essentially one of religion .
For me, I prefer SS for 35mm, and the wider flange plastic reels that fit in Paterson tanks for 120.
And for convenience, I use those wider flange plastic reels and Paterson reels for 35mm too.
Have you tried film aprons?
“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
I use Jobo (plastic) drums and reels, which are particularly useful when you develop colour. The bleach/fix component releases gas and hence pressure and the Jobo lids have room for expansion build into the lid. Systems without expansion would most likely leak in that case. Also, plastic gives better insulation and thus keeps the process temperature more stable. I have not seen metal systems with that feature, but that does not mean they are not out there.. Apart from this, its all a matter of preference and what feels right to you.