Both steel and plastic reels have zillions of successful users, so there is only personal preference at work in the choice. Every now and then, plastic reels can be soaked, scrubbed with a nail brush and dried because if there is a consistent problem it is likely to be due to some crud dried on somewhere - prevention is better than cure. Plastic reels need to be bone dry and if steel reels are used wet (ie. mostly dry but with an occasional drip) then the film might want a pre-soak to avoid wet patches of emulsion showing up overdeveloped when the dev time is short.
A steel reel can theoretically be dunked in almost boiling water to heat up, then rely on the absorbed heat to dry the reel off for re-use -- on the other hand, plastic reels are much cheaper than steel (so you can have two rather than one), more robust (no invisible bending when dropped, meaning also that second-hand ones are more reliable) and dry out quickly in film drying cabinets. It's choosing between the swings and the roundabouts.
In low humidity locations, will a humidifier in the (pseudo-)darkroom help with the curling of the emulsions before loading? The O.P. was talking about curl but I'm not clear which direction he meant, along the film where it has been rolled up or across the film due to contraction of the emulsion in a dry environment.
For hanging the processed film to dry I use the well known tip of drying in the shower, after steaming up the air to raise the humidity. When it eventually dries out the film has much less curl like this, in both directions. If necessary, the neg sheets then go under some large photo-books. Unfortunately there seems to be no photo-quality osmosis effect from the Salgado book to my negs - maybe I should use a paperback edition instead of hardback?
Originally Posted by hdeyong
Well with Acros specifically the problem seems to be bending the emulsion too much causing dents. It's not a matter of mechanical damage from rough skin or nails. The damage doesn't happen where my hands are touching the film. It happens in the middle of the frame. With steel reels you have to purposely fold and bend the film to some degree to get it onto the reel. Interestingly I don't seem to have this problem with emulsions with a thinner base. I guess they are less stiff and not as inclined to permanently maintain inadvertent kinks.
I have problems with Acros curling a lot.
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Come on you curly (/&% Tri-X film
Hey guys, I know I've mentioned this before so sorry those that have seen it already, the samigon plastic reels have a different design then the Paterson/JOBO ones, the samigon has this tongue that sticks out on both sides, makes it REALLY easy to load 120 film.
Also, I always bend the tip back (sounds wrong), as in just the first 1cm I bend it because often it's just curled too much and pops out of the track.
Also keep pressure between the two reels as you first start twisting the plastic reel, again just helps curly film stay in the track. Just did some plus-x tonight, those samigon's are way better...IMHO
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SonrNYC, I've seen those reels here and there as of late, are they some sort of new design?
- Can't seem to remember seeing them before at least.
It was curling, as though it wanted to get back onto the original negative take-up spool.
Originally Posted by MartinP
Indeed, up here (when this situation occurred) it is very dry and cold (During winter, I actually need to use body lotion after showers, because my skin dries out).
Simon clarified nicely the reason why I got the immense curl I got with my film that day, so maybe your humidity suggestion isn't so far fetched.
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As does the Kaiser reel (also makes 35mm easy to load).
Originally Posted by StoneNYC
Re: Come on you curly (/&% Tri-X film
Can those be used with JOBO tanks?
The Samigon/AP/Kaiser/Arista Premium et al reels with the wider flange are sold under a number of different names. They are designed to fit into the Patterson tanks, so probably wouldn't work in a JOBO tank.
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I didn't know that. I always use mine with the Kaiser tank they came with.
Originally Posted by MattKing
Originally Posted by Steve Smith
I used those Kaiser reels too before I got into stainless, and in my opinion they were by far the easiest plastic reels to load.
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