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  1. #1

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    Super System4 Reels: unloading?

    I'm trying my hand at my first b&w developing (35mm), and have been practicing on some scrap film. I'm able to get the film on the reel no problem, but I'm a bit confused as to the best way to get it off.

    The instructions state:

    arch the free end of the film by bending the edges together slightly. Pull gently on the free end, allowing the reel to rotate on the other hand and the whole length of the film will run out of the reel as it rotates.

    I get the first part... I've just squeezed the edges of the reel together and the film pops out a bit so you can get a good grip. However, when I go to pull on it, I don't get the whole film coming off easily. If the free end is past the ball bearings, I'm OK until I reach the bearings and tabs right before the bearings. Here I need to sort of kink the film one way, then the other, to get it past these tabs that helped to load the film. I'm afraid I'm going to kink my real film too much trying to do this. I've heard of folks opening up their reels to remove film, but it seems that you run a high chance of having the film stick to itself, which I'm thinking is not a good thing...


    any tips from users of these reels/systems would be greatly appreciated..

    Erik

  2. #2
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    It should do turn the reel as you pull it out so it's always coming off the reel.

    Ian

  3. #3

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    I just crack the reel open as if to change the size and take it apart. Easier to rinse clean that way too.
    Frank Schifano

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by fschifano View Post
    I just crack the reel open as if to change the size and take it apart. Easier to rinse clean that way too.
    I think the danger with opening the reels is that the film then uncoils in an uncontrolled way, spilling out and potentially getting scratched.

    When you pull the end of the film out of the reel, don't pull it out in the opposite direction to the way you put it in, pull it out perpendicular to the reel.

    It's difficult to explain, but if you were to look at the reel from the bottom, the film goes in counter-clockwise. Don't extract it clockwise, but lift it up and out.

    Mike

  5. #5

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    I always just give the reel a little twist and take it apart. Yes, the film touches itself, but it is wet and doesn't stick and my hands are always real wet so no problems. I just give it a quick rinse again under running water, then run it through the Photo Flo.

    And as has already been said, the reels are easier to wash when apart. I've always been concerned about chemicals that might become trapped inside the reel hub.

    Dave

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by mpirie View Post
    I think the danger with opening the reels is that the film then uncoils in an uncontrolled way, spilling out and potentially getting scratched
    That's not a problem if you hold the reel in the same orientation as it is in the tank. Then I simply drop the film into a container of Photoflo and hang it up to dry. Been doing it for years. Never spilled it once.
    Frank Schifano

  7. #7

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    thanks for the responses...

    I will probably try both the "unreel" and "take apart" method.

    As far as the "unreel" strategy, when I'm pulling the film out, it does NOT move relative to the reel, which means that as I'm pulling it up and out, it is also forcing the reel to rotate around.... when it's wet, will the film be lubricated enough such that it will just slide out??

    Thanks,
    Erik

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by ErikTurner View Post
    I'm trying my hand at my first b&w developing (35mm), and have been practicing on some scrap film. I'm able to get the film on the reel no problem, but I'm a bit confused as to the best way to get it off. . . . If the free end is past the ball bearings, I'm OK until I reach the bearings and tabs right before the bearings.
    Bearings, that to me says Paterson reels. So here's what I do.

    I pull out enough loose end of the film to attach my film hanging clip. I do that, and hook it on where I'm hanging the film so both hands are available. Then I twist the reel, detatch it into two parts and just take the reel off. The film falls free and (mostly) unrolls on its own.

    There may be a risk of edge scraping with that, but it seems safe so far.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by fschifano View Post
    I just crack the reel open as if to change the size and take it apart. Easier to rinse clean that way too.
    Me too. Attach the film end to the clip while it's still on the reel, take the reel apart and let the film drop. Attach the weighted clip to the bottom end and you're done.

    Bob H
    "Why is there always a better way?"

  10. #10

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    What they mean by "arch the free end of the film by bending the edges together slightly" is that you should make the film exit the reel prior to reaching the little ball bearings. That is, pull it so that it comes out from between the reel halves rather than backing it all the way back out the loading gate. If you've poured your photoflo (or other wetting agent) into the tank as the final step, it makes the process even easier, but either way the film will come off the reel just fine.



 

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