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  1. #21
    Nigel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Toronto, Canada
    Medium Format
    Quote Originally Posted by timeUnit View Post
    Loading steel reels is 100 times easier than plastic, IMO. The 120-format rolls can be a bit of a challenge. That said, I roll both 120-film and 135-film back to back on Hewes steel reels. I've had a few mess-ups with 120-film, but never with 135-film.

    Practice in the light. I a few tries you'll be the master. :-)
    I find the exact opposite. 120 is a walk in the park but 35mm is tougher. I attribute it to length. 120 is short so being a degree or two off square translates to a couple of millimeters by the end of the film. With 35mm being more than a meter long, a degree or two off square is a long way off at the end of the film.

    In my experience, loading metal reels is easy if you get the film square to the reel, otherwise it is difficult.

    Plastic reels are relatively easy to feed correctly, but take much longer to load.

    In my mind, the reel debate is a matter of preference. Slow and sure vs. fast but requiring some skill/practice.

  2. #22
    PhotoJim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Regina, SK, CA
    Multi Format
    I wouldn't even say that plastic reels are slow to load. I've loaded film onto plastic reels thousands of times. I'm very fast at it.

    Conversely, I am much slower at loading metal reels. Perhaps it's because I have only done it a few times, but I find that it takes a lot of fussing to get the film started. Once started I'm usually good. I don't find it so much more difficult that it's a big deal, but I do find it to be more difficult.

    I prefer plastic reels and find that they are much easier to learn how to use, but metal reels have their place. I use metal occasionally primarily because if I'm doing a lot of film and I don't have any dry plastic reels, I still have a few metal reels I can use. I don't disdain so much that I won't use them, but I use them as my last choice, generally.
    Jim MacKenzie - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

    A bunch of Nikons; Feds, Zorkis and a Kiev; Pentax 67-II (inherited from my deceased father-in-law); Bronica SQ-A; and a nice Shen Hao 4x5 field camera with 3 decent lenses that needs to be taken outside more. Oh, and as of mid-2012, one of those bodies we don't talk about here.

    Favourite film: do I need to pick only one?

  3. #23
    Anscojohn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Medium Format
    Quote Originally Posted by bessa_L_R3a View Post
    yeah!!! thanks ... and how do I avoid the double tracking? i'm terrified of developer not making contact with all surfaces.
    Once again, you should practice with a junk roll with your eyes closed. You will feel the film double loading if you handle it correctly. It really is a matter of "feel." There are little devices available which go go into the core of the reel, and then you slip the film into a kind of curved metal sleeve to give your film the correct "bowing" of the film. I always found them more trouble than they are worth. Someone might have an extra one they would send you. My gut tells me that with the film still in the cannister, you won't get too much of the slight bowing needed. Sometimes, also, you can hear the film make a slight "clicking" sound if it double loads.
    Trust us, if you practice enough with junk film, and you get the "hang' of it, it will be a no brainer. You can then begin to give knowing, smirking smug looks to those people who still use plastic because "it's im--poss--ible to load ss reels." Stick with the practice. And like whistling, it will come to you and you shall be ok with loading them. We've all been there.

    John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA

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