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  1. #1
    BWGirl's Avatar
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    Steel Reels....Real Hard? MF film

    Hi All!
    I just bought a steel reel for the 120 film, and I'm a little concerned about trying to get the film into this thing in the dark. Up to now, I've used the plastic ones, and even though they are a PITA in the dark for MF, I do eventually get them on the reel.
    I hunted all over for SOMETHING that shows me how to get the film on the reel. I tried pushing in thru the spirals, but that does not work. I tried hooking one end under this little wire thing-y in the center and turning the reel while holding the film flat, but I'm concerned about my hands against the film.
    HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    TIA!
    Jeanette
    .................................................. ................
    Isaiah 25:1

  2. #2
    rbarker's Avatar
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    Let me see if I can use less than 1,000 words to paint the picture.

    Assuming you're right handed, first make sure the little step created by the end of the spiral is facing to the right. Break the seal on the paper backing, and pull off a few inches of the backing so you have about 2-3" of film free, holding the film spool in your right hand between your little or ring finger and the heel of your palm. Cup the film slightly between your index finger and thumb - just enough so it will pass between the spirals.

    Holding the reel in your left hand, thumb and ring finger in the opposing center openings, rotate the reel until you feel the retainer clip with your left index finger. Then, guide the film to the underside of the retainer clip, lift the clip slightly with your left index finger, and slide the film underneath the clip. You can feel that the film is centered under the clip with your left thumb and ring finger. Make sure the film is square to the center sprocket of the reel. If not, you can adjust that easily by loosening the tension of the clip slightly as you reposition the film.

    Once the film is secured under the retainer clip, start rotating the reel counter-clockwise to load the film. Keeping your right thumb and index finger on the edge of the film, you can maintain the even curve by resting those fingers of your right hand on the outside edge of the reel. As you rotate the reel with your left hand, just allow the spool to rotate in your right hand as the film is pulled from the spool. If you lose control of the spool (held between your right pinkie and the heel of your palm), no big deal - just let it drop toward the floor. Unless you're really, really short, it won't hit the floor. As you load the film onto the reel, you can feel for any kinks or misloading with your left index or middle finger.

    Once you come to the end of the film, where it is taped to the backing paper, just rip the tape and fold any excess tape over the end of the film. At this point, you should be at the outer-most spiral of the reel, and you should be able to feel an inch or so of space between the end of the film and the little step of the end spiral. Become one with that space difference (Grasshopper), so you can use that as an indicator of the film being misloaded - if the film jumps a spiral, the end of the film won't be in the same spot.

    Sounds complicated, but it's really (reel-ly?) quite easy. Some people have an easier time by keeping the edge of the reel on the counter top.

    [COLOR=SlateGray]Wow. I did it in 484 words! [/COLOR]
    Last edited by rbarker; 01-11-2005 at 12:43 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
    Rio Rancho, NM

  3. #3
    Flotsam's Avatar
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    I think that MF is easier than 35mm because the spirals are looser.
    Tips that apply to both are: Make sure that the film is centered on the reel before you start winding and, while winding the film, occasionally stop and move move the film back and forth to ensure that it moves freely in between spirals and isn't binding. Nothing beats practicing with an scrap roll of film until you get the feel for it.
    That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
    =Neal W.=

  4. #4

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    Jeanette, Neal is right - waste a roll and practice with the lights on, you will get the han of it. Also, I found that by cutting the corners off, on the end you insert into the clip makes it much easier. Ralph, has given a very good explanation of what you should do, the only thing I can add is I use the index finger of my left hand to 'feel' the film - it should not have any flat areas, which means it is binding.

    Hope you picked up a Hewes reel, they are the best. But for MF steel is sooooo nice once you have a feel for it. BTW, have never used a plastic reel so can not comment on that. If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask here or pm someone.
    Mike C

    Rambles

  5. #5
    Max Power's Avatar
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    Hey Jeanette!
    Too weird, I dealt with this just last Sunday after my Paterson tank cracked.

    What I initially found very frustrating was that I didn't know if the film was wound correctly until it kinked or jammed, which doesn't happen with Paterson reels.

    In the half-hour that I spent practising the winding with an old length of film is the following: every turn or so, try to move the film back and forth in the reel. If the film goes back and forth a bit, that means that it is wound correctly, if there is no movement, it has jammed somewhere. If it has jammed, just do as we say in the Army: 'Suck back and reload'

    Truth is, in my newbiness, that I figured that 120 would be really difficult on SS reels. I found that after practising a bit that it is infinitely less frustrating than 120 on Paterson reels.

    Hope that this helps,
    Kent
    Max Power, he's the man who's name you'd love to touch! But you mustn't touch! His name sounds good in your ear, but when you say it, you mustn't fear! 'Cause his name can be said by anyone!

  6. #6

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    Hey Jeanette!

    The other way is to find the tape end of the film. Take the film and tape off, fold the tape over. This gives you a stronger end to put into or the spring thing. Just one more way to work.

    Jan Pietrzak

  7. #7
    Thomas Wagner's Avatar
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    Checked the box on my film reel. You might be interested in the "loading accessory" they provide. check out http://24.68.159.15/thomaswagner/images/lplbox.jpg
    I was going to try pornography, but could not find any used pornographs

  8. #8
    BWGirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Wagner
    Checked the box on my film reel. You might be interested in the "loading accessory" they provide. check out http://24.68.159.15/thomaswagner/images/lplbox.jpg
    Looks like an apple peeler! haha Dang, now that's the thing to have! Auto winder!

    Thanks for all the suggestions! I do have a scrap roll of 120 that the dealer who sold me the Hassy gave me so I could practice doing just this!

    Also, I actually am LEFT handed...however since most of the world is geared to work with the wrong hand I can do many things right handed! haha I've been practicing, but these tips have cleared up 'bad' things that I was experiencing but did not know why!

    (good ob on the word count, Ralph!)
    Jeanette
    .................................................. ................
    Isaiah 25:1

  9. #9
    rogueish's Avatar
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    The first roll of B&W film I processed was 120 and it was on the plastic spools. Took a little practice, but in the end I prevailed. Much easier (for me anyway) than the SS spools I've tried. Could never get the ends square to the clip.
    The first roll I put on the spool ended up with the paper backing half wound into it too. What a pain that was.
    I think it was Ann and Mr. Barker who helped with some timely advice on removing the whole paper backing first :rolleyes: then trying.
    Don't give up on the plastic ones

  10. #10
    rbarker's Avatar
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    Part of the trick, I think, is not to assume the retainer clip is in the center of the reel. Often, they will slide to one side. Even so, they will usually hold OK. Just make sure the film is centerd by feeling the stub end through the side openings of the center of the reel, and hold the film square to the reel. By keeping the fingers of your "feed hand" against the edge of the reel, you'll avoid getting too much curve going in. It almost jumps onto the reel that way.
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
    Rio Rancho, NM

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