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  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anscojohn View Post
    ********
    Back when our college mentor started us out in darkroom, we were sent to the dorm on Friday with a length of film and a plastic reel (FR or Yankee?) and told to come back being able to load film in the dark.

    I practiced and practiced in my dorm room, with my eyes closed. Monday, I passed my "test." Now, almost fifty years later, I sit there in the dark loading reels------still with my eyes closed.
    This seems to come up a lot. So last week, when I was loading film after a long absence, I was paying attention to what I did. I was a little surprised to note that I had my eyes wide open. That is, they were open until I ran into a problem and was trying to feel where the film had jumped the track. When I finished doing that, I realized that my eyes were clamped shut.

  2. #12

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    my first attempt at loading a 5x4 film holder in the dark still makes me shudder with horror........ (how rubbish is that??)

  3. #13

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    Welcome to our world. There will be carnage.
    As everyone else has said: practice, practice, practice.
    Stainless, plastic, that'll be a personal choice, but get to where you can do them without thinking about it. Trust me, if I take a break of a few months, or switch from one type to the other, there will be cursing and cold sweats in the dark for a few minutes. If all else fails, try these two tricks: 1) if you get too frustrated, wrap the film up and stick it in the tank and get out of there for a few minutes and come back and try it again, or 2) leave the first few inches of the 'leader' out of the can and pre-load that in the light. (if you're using plastic reels, trim the loading edge of your film to rid it of sharp corners-especially if you've cut across a sprocket hole-then they won't snag on the reel.)
    Good. Fast. Cheap. (pick any two)

  4. #14
    Colin Corneau's Avatar
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    Congrats on your first roll of film! Trust me, it only gets easier, and more fascinating, from here.

    Best advice I can offer is what you mentioned -- get an expired or spare strip of film, and practice loading it in daylight. When you're comfortable with that, do it with your eyes closed or in a darkened room. It won't take long, don't worry.

    Plastic or metal, the advice is the same. You'll get it...best of luck in the future!

  5. #15
    lilmsmaggie's Avatar
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    I figure I should stick to practicing with stainless steel since that's what we have in the darkroom.

    I don't seem to have a problem finding the nibs on the reel; its keeping the darn film from krinkling or jumping a track that's frustrating. Teacher said to listen for a "swoosh, swoosh" sound. Supposed to mean the film is being loaded onto the reel without any problem. Yeah right! Maybe if I slow down a tad.

    Last night, the lab assistants helped with mixing the chemistry. Reel (pun intended) test comes when I can do everything (loading film, and mixing chemicals) by myself.

  6. #16
    Ektagraphic's Avatar
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    It really is not that hard. After a few times it will become second nature. After two weeks I don't even need to read the bottles when I mix chems (I do usually check myself).
    Helping to save analog photography one exposure at a time

  7. #17
    Chris Nielsen's Avatar
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    I think I just finally figured it out. Only been trying off and on for 3 years :-)

  8. #18
    JBrunner's Avatar
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    Some one gave me a plastic reel once. The first time I used it, I decided it wasn't for me. I would have passed it on, but after I had jumped up and down on it several times, nobody wanted it.
    That's just, like, my opinion, man...

  9. #19
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lilmsmaggie View Post
    Teacher said to listen for a "swoosh, swoosh" sound. Supposed to mean the film is being loaded onto the reel without any problem. Yeah right! Maybe if I slow down a tad.
    Your teacher gives very good advice!

    The secret to loading any reel is to learn to recognize the feel and sound of film as it loads properly, so you can detect problems immediately when something goes astray.

    Slowing down is a great idea. When I load reels, I do it an inch or two at a time. It's worked for 40 years or so, so I see no need to change .

    Matt

    PS until recently I really struggled with stainless steel reels for 120. Based on some observations here on APUG, I tried the reels again, but made a point of ignoring the clips. For me, that made a difference.

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by JBrunner View Post
    Some one gave me a plastic reel once. The first time I used it, I decided it wasn't for me. I would have passed it on, but after I had jumped up and down on it several times, nobody wanted it.
    I wonder why no one wanted it ?

    Some people are just too fussy !

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