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  1. #1

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    AP Plastic Reel Broken?

    I've got a set of 2 AP plastic reels. I find that I cannot load 35mm film any longer onto one of the reels. The other loads the film no problem. What happens is that the film gets stuck going onto the reel a short while after I start to load it, and then it will not load any further. I don't know what the issue is since its dark Any ideas as to what the problem could be with the problematic reel? I've looked at it and cannot see anything obvious...

  2. #2
    Kevin Caulfield's Avatar
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    If they are the same as the Paterson ones then the reel will have a ball bearing on each side. Check if each ball can move around fairly freely. You may find that the ball on one side has become stuck in one place due to some kind of debris, etc.

  3. #3
    bowzart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dfoo View Post
    I've got a set of 2 AP plastic reels. I find that I cannot load 35mm film any longer onto one of the reels. The other loads the film no problem. What happens is that the film gets stuck going onto the reel a short while after I start to load it, and then it will not load any further. I don't know what the issue is since its dark Any ideas as to what the problem could be with the problematic reel? I've looked at it and cannot see anything obvious...
    Have you tried the same reel with another roll of film? That roll on the other reel? Could it be a problem of that particular roll of film on that particular reel?

    I guess I don't know what an AP reel is, but if it is anything like the Paterson or Jobo systems, frequently a corner of the film gets persistently hung up on the radial bars. Once it starts, it never seems to go any farther but sticks at exactly the same place no matter how many times you try. What it feels like is just as you describe. A good solution for that (I've learned always to do it with Jobo, and never use the paterson's but we have them at school) is to clip the leading corners on the roll at about 45° (doesn't have to be anything like accurate, it's hard to do precision in the dark, or worse in a bag). Then, they ride up across the bars easily. It has saved lots of serious frustration.

    The other frequent problem I encounter (among the students) is that they complain about the film going on the reel but slowing down gradually and becoming more and more difficult to turn the reel until it eventually stops altogether. This is because they didn't check to see if the reel was dry.

    Peter Cooper (American industrialist/philanthropist and founder of Cooper Union) and his wife introduced the gelatin desert (aka Jello) as an adjunct to the glue business. Gelatin and glue have a lot in common. Sticky when wet.

  4. #4

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    The same film went on my other reel no problem. The reel was totally dry. I also tried clipping the corners a little, and that made no difference. 120 film goes on the bad reel, no problem. 35mm, however, is another story

  5. #5
    bowzart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dfoo View Post
    The same film went on my other reel no problem. The reel was totally dry. I also tried clipping the corners a little, and that made no difference. 120 film goes on the bad reel, no problem. 35mm, however, is another story
    Wish I could help! There is almost nothing more frustrating than reels that don't work! good luck.

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    I'll probably toss it in the trash and get a set of steel reels.

  7. #7
    MattKing's Avatar
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    I've just started using the AP reels for 120, and I like them for that film, due to the larger input flanges. Otherwise they seem very similar to the Paterson reels. They will, of course, work in the Paterson tanks.

    Is there any chance that the problem reel is warped?

    You might consider loading a scrap roll of film in the light, to see if you can observe what is happening.

    Good steel reels are good (I prefer them for 35mm) but if you have the AP tanks and like them (or Paterson tanks) than it would seem a shame to give up on them over what might be a single damaged reel.

    Matt

  8. #8

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    The reel used to work just fine before. I've no idea why it suddenly stopped working, but it sucks because its not only frustrating, but also damages the film!

  9. #9
    Murray Kelly's Avatar
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    Once upon a time, Like, 50 yrears ago, I had sticky reels and I used to give the two (upper/lower) spirals a scrub with the shoe brush. No polish, just what was on the brush. Worked wonders.
    Another thought is - do you use detergent (Photoflo) at the end of your cycle? I have heard that some sticks to the plastic spiral and binds the works up.

    Goood luck
    Murray
    Quote Originally Posted by dfoo View Post
    The reel used to work just fine before. I've no idea why it suddenly stopped working, but it sucks because its not only frustrating, but also damages the film!

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by MattKing View Post
    I've just started using the AP reels for 120, and I like them for that film, due to the larger input flanges. Otherwise they seem very similar to the Paterson reels. They will, of course, work in the Paterson tanks.

    Is there any chance that the problem reel is warped?

    You might consider loading a scrap roll of film in the light, to see if you can observe what is happening.
    I agree.

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