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  1. #11

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Multi Format
    Quality brand reels are definately superior. But the most important part about getting the reels to work is getting your film on square from the beginning.

    If your film buckles on one of the first several turns, you didn't start square. Feel the ends of the reel for film sticking out near the center. It will tell you how much you need to adjust when you back off to the clip.

    If your reel allows it, don't use the clip and rather stick it in center that doesn't have anything blocking it. It will usually square up the film for you automatically while you start reeling it.

    You can get some older ones that don't have any clips. Those are by far the easiest to get started.

  2. #12
    Bill Burk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    4x5 Format
    Hi zackesch,

    Loading a plastic reel is easier to begin with... But as WayneStevenson says, the important thing with stainless steel reels is to get the film started square and centered on the reels. I don't know exactly but I imagine you have 1/16th inch tolerance on the centered-ness. By feel, as I start the film under the clip, I feel left and right to make sure it's equal.

    After that, I listen for crinkling and of course if the film finishes dimpled or if the film runs out before the spirals run out (35mm/36 exp should finish on the last spiral). If there is a winding error - there is no option. Unwind all the way to the core and start over more carefully.

    On a good day the film always goes on right the first time. On a bad day I have to unreel and re-reel three times. With gloves on and careful handling, there is no harm done. But there is risk of fingerprints if you do it bare handed.

    Good luck, you can choose plastic if you want. You've gotten some good advice (dry reels load easier because water will cause film to bind).

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