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  1. #21

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    In my experience, film sticking in plastic spirals can be caused by moisture in the grooves. The gelatin picks up the water and seems to act like glue!. You could avoid this by drying off the spiral off with a warm hairdryer. Loading 120 backing paper into the spiral helps pick up any hidden moisture.

    I can't remember how many films i wrecked with crescent marks and dents when i was learning to load the tanks. 120 is more prone to sticking than 35mm - i've rarely had problems with 35mm sticking, only with the film being too long for the spiral. As you rightly say, patience is the key! :-)
    testing...

  2. #22
    rusty71's Avatar
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    Well, if you fight the film it will win every time. I recall the first time I actually loaded film...so long ago, but still so vivid. Could not get it on the plastic reels. They were old, and had so much hard water deposits on them nothing would load right. My hands started sweating and left all kinds of fingerprints and palm prints on the Panatomic X. No brand or type of film is easier or harder to load. More depends upon how much humidity the film has picked up or sloughed off. Film curls more in low humidity, and it gets thick and sticky in high humidity.

    First off, skip the changing bag. There is not enough room in there to let the film have its head. It MUST unfurl to its natural curl which is the lowest tension position. This is usually done in a darkroom by just letting it unfurl. Yes, I pop, rip, or annihilate the 35mm cassette. Leader retrievers are just one more thing to drop on the floor! Buy some quality stainless reels. Get old practice film to load in the light. Try it with your eyes closed. Buy Hewes reels if you can spare the money. They will be passed down to your grandkids' grandkids if film is still around. Resolve NEVER to lose a roll of film. You shot it, so it must be somewhat worthwhile, right? Remember the old expression about cutting off your nose to spite your face. Roll and unroll that damn film a million times if that is what it takes. Play music. Dream of how wonderful the processed negs will look. It's all about the zone. Sure you could cheap out and shoot digital like any monkey, but you're putting the time in for a craft....do you think winemakers say "Aww Hell, I'm tired of waiting for these these damn grapes to ripen. Rip 'em out!" Nope.
    Most of all don't fight the film. After you've done 1000 rolls, you'll be only "pretty sure" you've rolled the most recent one properly. Then the lovely silvery strips emerge from the water and you know you've done well.

    Yup. It's analog.

  3. #23

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    I've found that if I add half a shoe box to the changing bag (making it more tent-like), that my hands don't get as sweaty. Also, I just plain gave up on plastic reels--can't use 'em, don't even bother to try. Steel all the way, baby!

  4. #24
    Mateo's Avatar
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    "Leader retrievers are just one more thing to drop on the floor!"

    Ummmm...why not just pull the leaders out before you turn the lights out? You ain't gonna expose any more of the film than was already exposed when you loaded the camera. In fact, if you are very careful you can attach the film to the spool with the lights on and not lose a single frame. This may not work with them plastic tanks but those ought to be used as paper weights or doorstops anyways.

    If you wash your metal spool in scalding hot water, dry with a towel and then flip the thing in the air a few times, you'll get the thing super dry and save yourself a bunch a misery. I think the biggest piece of good advice in this thread is to quit using the changing bag. I never even thought of trying that; it's just too simple to go in the dark and do it with breathing room.
    "If I only had a brain"-Some badly dressed guy made of straw in some movie I think I saw

  5. #25

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    There was a trick I saw years back, used to do leader retrieval and all the guy used was a short piece or two of exposed film to do it with... Anyone know what I am talking about?

  6. #26

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    [QUOTE=Mateo;613210I think the biggest piece of good advice in this thread is to quit using the changing bag. I never even thought of trying that; it's just too simple to go in the dark and do it with breathing room.[/QUOTE]

    My thoughts exactly. I've never used a changing bag and always regarded them as being for emergency use only. Think of a way to load your films in free space - there must be somewhere in the house that can be made dark, even if you have to wait until midnight, stuff a towel under the door and kill the TV set!

    I never liked the idea of loading out of the cassette - another pass of the film through the light trap means a third opportunity for tramlines.

    Steve

  7. #27

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    I've had the exact same problems. I switched to Hewes steel reels, but stick to the Paterson tanks. Since then I've had NO mess-ups with 35mm film, and I even load two films back to back on the same reel. 120-film can be more difficult on steel reels.
    Be careful his bow tie is really a camera
    timeUnit

  8. #28
    Lee L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Absinthe View Post
    There was a trick I saw years back, used to do leader retrieval and all the guy used was a short piece or two of exposed film to do it with... Anyone know what I am talking about?
    Yes, it requires a short length of film and some double-stick tape. You put the tape on the length of film, slide it through the light trap with the tape facing the core, then spin the core as if winding the film into the cassette. The double stick tape will grab the leader, which will try to pull in the taped film. If you do it right, the leader sticks to the tape and can then be pulled out with the spare bit of film.

    You have to get a feel for it, and time the extraction for when the leader is in a position to be pulled out of the light trap.

    Lee

  9. #29

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    No, that's not it. This was like you had 2 pieces of film, one a little longer than the other. You stuck them in that way, with the longer one on top. Then you wound the film backwards until it clicked or something then you went forwards and somehow the leader came out between the two, or you had to squeeze them and pull them together or something like that.

  10. #30
    Shadowplay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Absinthe View Post
    No, that's not it. This was like you had 2 pieces of film, one a little longer than the other. You stuck them in that way, with the longer one on top. Then you wound the film backwards until it clicked or something then you went forwards and somehow the leader came out between the two, or you had to squeeze them and pull them together or something like that.
    Yes, you would take two pieces of film (leaders would work well), one about an inch longer than the other one.

    You put the longer one on top of the shorter one and insert them into the canister near the top. You then turn the "knob" on the top of the film canister counterclockwise until you hear a click (usually about two turns).

    Now push the bottom piece of film in so that the same amount as the top piece is sticking into the canister. Rotate the knob on the top of the canister clockwise 2.5 turns (900 degrees) you should feel resistance. This should push the leader in the canister in between the two pieces of film you've inserted.

    Now you pinch the two pieces of film together as best you can and pull them back out of the canister and hopefully the leader you're trying to retrieve is stuck between them.

    Didn't mean to drag up a month old topic, but hopefully this is helpful!

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