Summer or winter I never have trouble loading Patterson or similer reels, I use the pencil trick, run a sharp pencil around the groves of the reel, and the film just slips in no matter how curly it might be, never ever had a film slip,stick or do anything wrong, try it and see,
Pencil trix? Thank you, that sounds like real old-school trickery to me, I will keep that in mind.
Must be the graphite acting like a dry lubricant or something, right?
You have never had any issues with foreign materials floating around in the tank when you do this?
(I always pre-wash 120 film anyway, so I suppose any such material will exit with the pre-was water)
Last edited by Helinophoto; 12-11-2011 at 02:18 PM. Click to view previous post history.
I like to load from the taped end, the extra stiffness of the tape helps in starting, at least with SS reels. I don't use plastic reels often, but I start them from the taped end too.
I've never tried the pencil trick, but if you shake or blow off any excess graphite, it should be fine.
Don't forget the old trick of clipping off the corner tips to avoid hanging up on the sharp edges.
Actually I googled between the frustration last night and found a thread where the exact opposite advice was given when it comes to curly negatives.
Originally Posted by wblynch
In general, clipping the corners will help the film enter the spool and help to avoid it getting stuck.
But when the negative is curling up like a metal-coil, the cutting can actually help the film slip out of the reel. It can also be harder to load plastic reels with ball-bearings like that (works very well with 35mm though).
Generally I saw that people advised against it in 120 format and plastic reels with ball bearings.
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When a film has an UNUSUALLY TIGHT CURL, beveling the corners makes it even harder to load because the beveled corners more easily spring out of the channel. This can make loading nearly impossible.
If you do bevel the corners the bevel should be very small, no more than 1mm x 45 degrees. That’s difficult to estimate in the dark. In this case it’s better to leave the corners square as they are more likely to keep the end of the film in the channel of the reel during loading.
I never remove my film from the cassette to load onto a reel. I clip the leader square, then turn off the lights and start loading directly from the cassette, then cut the film when it reaches the end. This method works especially well with plastic reels, as you can get the film started in the light. If the film kinks loading onto a stainless reel, you are screwed, as it will only get worse if you pull it off and retry. The only cure for that is to pull the film and reload from the opposite end, and pray the kinked portion cooperates. If it wont cooperate, pull out a plastic reel and load onto that. If you are still having problems, use an old fashioned film developing apron instead of a reel. Film aprons resemble a long lasagna noodle, and allows the film to stay seperated from itself. The well stocked darkroom should have the options listed, just in case.
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The worst curl I ever had with 120 film, (which I expect your film to be, since it's Tri-X 320), was Efke R100.
I had trouble with loading it on every kind of reel, except the Hewes stainless steel reels, where it slid on just like every other film does. The curl did not matter at all.
Winters here in Minnesota are extraordinarily dry, with desert low humidity. My problem with curl is always after processing where the films curl along the length of the film, Tri-X 400 being the worst, curling almost 180 degrees to form a half circle along the whole length of the film. Those negs are super difficult to scan for proofing, but fortunately my negative carrier makes it a piece of cake to print at least.
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Thanks. That's the limit of trimming I meant, but failed to convey. It's hard to imagine 1 mm or less being enough to allow the film to jump the tracks, but I've never faced such a challenge.
Originally Posted by Ian C
The other thing I would try myself would be to place the film into the tank with the center spool inside and cover on, and then give it a good soak in lukewarm water to relax it. Of course subsequent spooling would be complicated by the moisture and softened emulsion.
Me too. Except that I just tear the film off at the cassette opening. It tears very easily.
Originally Posted by Rick A