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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZenonG View Post
    using a pair of scissors, cut two small 45 degree pieces off each edge of the lead of the film.
    This is what I was going to suggest. It works very well for me.
    Steve.

  2. #22

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    A dry reel is important but so is a clean one. Also, I'll slightly bend back the first part of the film against the way it curls. This makes all the difference in starting the roll. After that, it's all good. I find steel reels much harder than Patterson. I've done a whole lot of 120 on steel but I would still occasionally find some overlapped film which is unacceptable. I haven't had a single one loaded wrong on a Patterson. I get good development with the Patterson but the downside is that you really have to take some time to keep them clean. Film edge contamination is a good indication you haven't been.

  3. #23

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    All great advice received so far; but here is a simple trick to getting the 120 started on the reel.
    It gives the stiffness and guide to get the roll started in to the flanges...


    Cut a piece of the film box to be the same width as 120 film and about 2 or 3 inches long.

    Before you go in the darkroom slide this piece of card along the reel tracks into the beginning of the reel but not past the little ball bearings. Now when in the darkroom take your film and slide it along the card until it is past the ball bearings and pull in a bit more then remove the card and load in the normal way. You see the card acts like a guide and makes those springy films easier to get started.

    I most often reverse curl the first 1/2 inch or so of my film before loading to help with the springiness.
    I still have the same bit of card I cut out of a Fuji box a couple of years ago, I only replace it if it gets lost of to banged up.

  4. #24
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    One trick I do is to thread the uncut end first. So, I cut the tape end to separate from the paper, then unravel the whole thing and start the end with the perfect 90 degree cut into the reel first. If you just yank the tape off, then this method would make no sense, though.

  5. #25
    CBG
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    I can't speak for plastic reels. The last time I fought with plastic reels was some forty years ago. I have used stainless reels ever since.

    Pardon a bit of digression on the state of the art in stainless reels....

    Despite the fact that stainless reels are my favorites, I have to acknowledge they take getting used to. I recently bought some Hewes reels. They are the best made 120 reels I have found in current production, and they have a very positive clamping action so that the film, once grabbed, is held well and doesn't easily wriggle free. They are also beefy, robustly built, which I can't say for some bargain / cheeeeepo reels now on the market.

    But. Hewes reels can be "interesting" to load in the dark.

    Back in the day, my favorite reels had no clamping mechanism and it was a breeze to push the end of the film into the middle of the stainless "cage" and thence to wind it out onto the spiraling. One merely had to refrain from tugging on the film. A slight positive pressure so the film wouldn't pull free from the center of the reel was all it took to not need some sort of clamp. The rest was a cinch.

    The Hewes reels are a good bit more finicky to start. Getting the film into the clamp, and getting it centered and square enough to wind true out through the spiral takes a bit of fiddling. I, like another poster, cut off the corners of the film, and I unroll the whole roll and used the stiffness of the adhesive strip to make the clamping process easier. If the film is inserted and clamped not quite square with the reel, it just won't wind properly.

    Nonetheless, I have got the hang of it, and most rolls go on in a reasonable time. I have not had a roll refuse me utterly. But I do sympathize with anyone having a hard time. The advise to work with a waste roll of film in the light, eyes closed till you're really really stuck, and need to see again what you are doing, is the best and only advice I've ever heard. It does get better with practice. Promise.

  6. #26
    Metroman's Avatar
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    Hewes also make stainless steel reels for Paterson and Jobo tanks. Hewes also make very sturdy stove enamelled and stainless steel loaders for 35mm & 120.

    The problem maybe not having a supplier in Australia but you can buy direct from Hewes but again, the delivery costs may make this impractical.
    Andy
    Per Mare, Per Terram
    Filmus Monochromus | Project Double-X | Daily Blog

  7. #27
    wotalegend's Avatar
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    Now this was never meant to be a competition for the best tip, just a cry for help in my frustration. But I have to say that the most useful, and certainly the cheapest, tip so far is the one from mwdake in post #23 above.

    That is to cut a piece of film box cardboard to the width of the film and insert it in the reel before turning off the light to use as a guide to start the film. So far I have used it three times with instant success every time. I found that it works better with the Paterson reel than the Jobo one because it has its ball bearing "grippers" about 2.5cm into the slot, whereas the Jobo reel has little "chicanes" right at the start of the slot which prevent the thickness of the cardboard entering the slot.

    Thanks to everyone who suggested stainless steel, particularly Hewes reels. There will be one in my future, but for the moment plastic and cardboard is doing the job.

  8. #28

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    Now this was never meant to be a competition for the best tip, just a cry for help in my frustration. But I have to say that the most useful, and certainly the cheapest, tip so far is the one from mwdake in post #23 above.
    Thanks, but to be honest I am just passing it along as I too learned that trick off someone else many years ago; I don't remember who or where.
    Even after years of loading 120 reels I still use my little piece of card to act as a guide to slide the film in to the start of the reel.

    So thanks to whoever taught me that trick.

  9. #29

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    I found geat difficulty with this for years- then 2 weeks ago, I suddenly got it !
    I used to move both the reel and film holding hand back and forth to load it, while holding them up off the surface. I could never do that holding them perfectly aligned to load smoothly. NOW, I lay the reel on the surface (in the black bag or tent) and "roll" the reel towards the left, while only guiding the film with my right. Suddenly, it works ! Try that.

  10. #30

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    After pushing film into the clip check to make sure the film is centered on the clip. The film will have a curl above and below the clip. By feeling the amount of curl you can tell if they are equal. If not move the film up or down in the clip until the curl is about equal. 120 film is less forgiving if the film is not properly centered in the clip. Also less forgiving is if the reel is out of round, never by reels off ebay, it's worth buying them new. Roll it across a table, if it wobbles side to side or up and down suggest you get a new one. One final suggestion, Make sure there isn't burr somewhere in the threading that could be catchig the film and causing it to double trac. Good luck.

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