The OLder paterson, and the "compact" AP (arista samagon etc) reels are very slick. They have to be REALLY CLEAN and very dry. I find I can normally just PUSH the film in 6 inches at a time. (reel openings lined up).
Stainless is also not too hard, but I sometimes dislike the tendency for a undeveloped and or unfixed streak in the "rebate" / "edge print" area of the film.
I still live just beyond the fringe in Stittsville
how about trying hewes reels?
they alot more expensive, but do not buckle and bend like the cheap ones. I started off with plastic reels, but despite some learning curve, if you in it for a long haul you would be better off with stainless hewes
After 30 years of using a GAF plastic tank that I bought new in 1979, courtesy of another APUG member I now have a Nikor SS tank and reel. According to him the tank and reel are probably 30 years old, fits right in here....
Originally Posted by lilmsmaggie
This is what I plan to do:
Waste a roll of film, cheap expired film is fine, heck it can even be expired colour film. I have a roll of Fuji Superia 800 that I will never use in 100 years, so I am probably going to sacrifice it. I prefer B&W and find 400 is fast for the kinda stuff I like to shoot. Besides if I really want high speed colour I have the Canon d*****l SLR.
Then start in the light, you want to load it on there watching what your doing to make sure you get it right, do it several times, until you can do it repeatedly, then close your eyes and do it again a few times. Next go into the dark or use your changing bag, and do it again several times. Let it sit for a week, now do it again a couple of times, if it's working really well. Take another roll of film, go out and shoot crap, the dog, neighbours cat, flowers in the garden, the car, doesn't matter. Load that roll onto the reel, put it in the tank and process it, using your normal chemistries and regular processing times. If this roll turns out perfect, then you know you have it down and can process a roll that matters.
When I was in high school (1979), I found out that school darkrooms are notorious for contaminated chemistries, where the developer should have been replaced 3 weeks ago and if they use a replenishing developer, it happens only when the teacher notices the 1 Gallon developer bottle is down about 6 ounces and tops it up with replenisher. I bought my own tank, some graduates, a thermometer, some film clips and chemicals, and processed all my film at home, then printed at school. This way I knew that my film would always be properly processed, because I was the only one using that equipment and chemicals.
I used the school darkroom only for printing, if a print doesn't turn out due to old or contaminated chemicals, like someone topping up the tray of tar coloured Dektol with stop bath, reprinting was always possible. If you spent three days out to get the perfect shot, and your film processing got screwed up, you were sunk. I think most of the class spent 20 minutes on new assignments and 3 hours re-shooting stuff that got screwed up.
See my Blog at http://clickandspin.blogspot.com
The greatest advance in photography in the last 100 years is not digital, it's odourless stop bath....
I have been using stainless reels for over 35 years. I did get a new "cheapie" a few years ago, a 120 reel. It gave me nothing but grief. My older 120 reels were Nikor, they were and are still the best. The Hewes reels are definitely worth the extra premium. Practice with an old waste film, then you will be comfortable.
If you don't want to stand behind our troops, please feel free to stand in front of them.
Yeah, we did that last week in class before the real deal. I have a roll of Long's Drug Store B&W that I'll use for practice. Bought a Hewes SS reel from the local photog store. So, I'll be practicing probably until I start dreaming about it or until I go bonkers; whichever comes first. I'm sure my cat will have fun trying to wack the film out of my hands.
Originally Posted by wogster
At this point I'm pretty jazzed about the whole idea of doing my own processing but I need to figure out if I REALLY want to invest in doing my own processing at home. But maybe I'm just jazzed about the class.
I still need to put the Canon EOS 7E I found used through its paces very soon to find out if I truly bought a find or a dog, despite it looking new. Probably within the next few days, I'll take it for a test drive. It didn't come with a manual but I found one at KEH which arrived last Friday. I'd like to drive down to Point Reyes National Park this weekend and take the 7E along.
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SS user here also - one more thing about practicing (or final for that matter) - if you keep trying unsuccessfully to get the roll started, it could likely get kinked around the first couple of inches, and may not load at all then. You may have to cut off those first couple inches and go at it again with a fresh lead edge. Patience, patience...
Ha, that's awesome but also kind of true. When it's on right it's kind of humming. You'll get the feel for it.
Originally Posted by lilmsmaggie
That said...after my year of forced SS usage in grad school with generally no real frustrations... I still went back to plastic for home usage and am perfectly happy with that decision.