Not to be argumentative but take ten minutes to clean one of your reels thoroughly. If it dosn't work you're at leat sure it's not that. And the reels being new is no quarantee they are clean :-)
on the occasion I experienced the reels jamming The resistance was building up towards the last 1/4 of the film and actually I ruined some frames because of bends of the outer end of the film so don't use to much force. My reels are old and the first times I loaded them I used a darkroom bag. My hands became wet with sweat quite quickly but it didn't affect the loading. Can you borrow a tank somewhere ? it could be your reels are defective.
Ok, this indeed seems to rule out the possibility of the film being "too long".
Originally Posted by ann
Well, it actually won't hurt to give it a try. I will check my spirals again and clean them if needed.
Originally Posted by Soeren
No, unfortunately I have no access to other darkroom equipment than my own. But it would be weird if both spirals are defective (when something goes wrong with one spiral I usually switch to the other one), wouldn'it?
Originally Posted by Soeren
Ann has nailed it. I take a hair dryer, right before I load, and thoroughly dry the reel and my hands. I make sure that when I trim the front end of the film, I get a nice round corner.
Ann: how do you tell the new Paterson reels from the old?
"If You Push Something Hard Enough, It Will fall over" - Fudd's First Law of Opposition
I haven't used 35mm for a while, but I still have my Patterson tanks and reels... Cutting the leading edges of the film at 45 degrees as suggested earlier is, I think, the solution. Can't recall a jam after I started doing that.
The reason it jams near the end of loading is because there is more friction as the spiral gets tighter where the end of the film is, making it more likely to bite in to the plastic & jam if the ends are not angled. Normally, you only need to back off an inch and continue.
Good luck! Cheers, Bob.
One observation - JOBO recommends removing the film from their reels before the "Stabilization" - or "Final rinse with wetting agent" step. They claim that the wetting agent will build up on the inside surfaces of the reels and cause increased friction in the loading process. I don't remove the film before stabilization, but I will regularly disassemble the reels and give them a good scrubbing with a toothbrush and something like Edwal LFN - or dishwashing detergent.
I've been doing this for a number of years, anyway, stabilizer or not ... and have had few loading problems.
Ed Sukach, FFP.
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gosh, that is a good question. WHen i say new, i mean the ones made in the past few years. If you are buying used reels then the only way to tell would be to try to load some test film when the reel is damp.
We tested some right out of the package last year and they would load if damp. we dumped the reel in some water as one would when washing film. Towel dried, but still on the damp side and then loaded some film. Tried the same with some reels that have been around for years and i mean more than 5 years old and they created jamming problems. With the high use of our equipment we have discarded many older reels and at this time all of our reels are less than 5 years old.
With students, we recommend that the reel be completely dry as they lack of experience and confidence has a tendency to create problems. They tend to use plastic vs stainless. Both are available. However,d when it comes to 120 film the favorite reel is stainless.
Some of my more advance students and myself use both stainless and plastic, some times damp more often dry, depending on how many rolls of film are being processed.
Ed, I would exclude this also since I remove the film from the reels before bathing in the wetting agent solution.
Originally Posted by Ed Sukach
I guess will need to start cutting those angles off in my next roll, and will see whether this solves the issue. Also, I will make sure that my hands and plastic are completely dry, possibly using the hair-dryer before loading.
Thanks everybody for the tips
All good advice above - but: I have never found it necessary to cut the corners of film before loading, either 35mm or 120/220
However, I do bend back the leading 1/4 inch of film before loading.
The sure way of perfecting the loading is, practice in the light with a outdated film for the first of many times, then without light for many more.
When you can do it standing on your head - with one hand - then you have mastered the art! Sorry, but good luck.
'Determine on some course more than a wild exposure to each chance' The Bard.
Does it always happen in the same place? If so there might be a small fault in the plastic of the spiral. Have a close look towards the centre and smooth any obstruction with a nail file. Sometimes film will go onto a spiral some way and then stop if you haven't quite loaded it properly, but that shouldn't be what's happening if you are getting most of the way through.
You shouldn't need to cut the leader any further. There seems to be spare room on the spirals. I make up 40 exp films when I use reloadable cassettes and they fit fine on Patterson spirals.
BTW I remember those Ilford 72 exp films. I miss them, they were great for aerial work.
David, it indeed seems to happen always in the same place, when I am about to feed in the last 3/4 frames. I will have a closer look at the spirals tonight and look for anything irregular in the plastic.
Originally Posted by Woolliscroft