Yep. I have had your problems, and the reels and film have to be 100% dry, or they won't work well. Sometimes a little bit of water gets trapped with the little metal ball that prevents the film from sliding backwards out of the reel, gets on the film, and it sticks as the film gets closer to the center of the reel.
120 film is usually thinner in the film base than 35mm film, and it's also wider, so when it sticks to the reel it flexes more and kinks easier. In return, 35mm film strips are usually longer than a 120 film, which makes it difficult to load in its own right, but I also thought that 120 took more patience than 35mm using the Paterson plastic reels.
All my problems were solved when I got myself some Hewes stainless steel reels and stainless steel tanks. They can even be damp, and it won't matter one bit. This is great in environments of high humidity.
Good luck, and have fun developing film.
Originally Posted by BardParker
"Make good art!"
- Neil Gaiman
"...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera".
- Yousuf Karsh
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit".
Well, I move around a lot and have never had a dedicated darkroom so my film is always changed in a changing bag -- I bought the biggest one I could find which helps a lot. I also live in Japan which is very hot and humid in the summer, which means getting the film on the reel as quickly as possible as it is important to avoid sweaty hands. I mostly shoot 120, I only use Hewes steel reels, and once my hands are in the bag I can get the film unspooled and loaded on the reel and into the tank in less than a minute.
I think what most people are saying here is that they figured out a way to make their film/reel combo work for them -- whether it's knowing how smoothly the film should feel when going on the reel, or the curve of the film as it gets clipped to the steel reel, whether or not to keep the tape on the film, etc. It may take a few wasted rolls or kinks in the film, but once you have it, you'll be set.
My favorite thing is to go where I've never been. D. Arbus
Last evening I tried spooling 120 film on my new Paterson reel, but this time used a dark, air-conditioned closet. I was able to spool the reel in about 1 minute! Clipped the corners, gave it slight backward bends to straighten out the film curl, and it spooled on the reel in no time. Thanks, apuger's for all the great tips! I guess if I have to use a changing bag in the future, I will put a large box inside to keep the fabric from collapsing around the film. But for now, will stick with the dark closet, at least for 120 film.
There are "changing rooms" and tents.
Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO
"We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin
Glad you got it done successfully. I forgot to mention one trick for using a changing bag, even with 35mm. Roll up a clean, absorbent, lint free towel and put it inside the back of the changing bag. It really keeps the humidity down while loading the reels. I used that method when I was between darkrooms and on the road for loading film holders.
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