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  1. #1

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    Loading SS film reel

    I picked up a Kalt SS reel and watched a view how to videos on youtube. My reel has a wire clip, but I havnt been using it. I pinch the film and rotate the reel to feed the film. about every half rotation, i gently push and pull the film to see if its moving freely or not.

    Where im having issues is im having trouble with the film buckling, or the next rotation of film laying ontop of the last. Any ideas?

    EDIT. After reading 2 reviews on my reel, others are having my issue. Turns out the welds are kicking the film out. Im going to return my reel. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...teel_Reel.html

    How much simpler is loading a plastic reel to a SS?
    Last edited by zackesch; 10-27-2012 at 12:51 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #2

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    Hewes stanless steel reels aren't foolproof, but I've had fewer problems with them vs the spring-clip reels you tried.

  3. #3

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    Get some scrap film and practice loading. First do this with your eyes open and then with your eyes closed until you can do it consistantly with your eyes closed. If the scrap film kinks throw it away and use another piece. Kinked film will never load properly.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  4. #4
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    All reel styles require some learning and practice.

    I use both stainless and plastic. I find stainless less fiddly but both types are very usable.

    The big reason I use plastic is because I use a JOBO processor for C41 and WD2D+. When developing with DD-X in hand tanks stainless is by far my preference.

    Different brands within each style can be better or worse. The Hewes reels http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/buy/De...8/N/4077265214 have a great reputation. Mine work great.

    In plastic I like JOBO's but they don't fit in my stainless tanks.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  5. #5

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    Being very well made is one advantage Hewes have over other stainless reels but the loading start is a more important feature. The two sprocket tabs that catch the roll ensure that the film is centred on the reel and will *minimize* buckling and overlapping. Experienced loaders will know when this happens and just back up a few turns and continue.

    They may cost more but will pay for themselves over years of use.

  6. #6

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    I returned the Kalt reel and found another photography shop within my area that carries darkroom supplies. After talking with one of the staff members and using my dummy roll of film, I decided to go with a plastic tank. I will try SS when i become more comfortable with developing and enlarging.

  7. #7
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    So you've traded for a different set of skills to learn, that's cool. Now you get to learn how to cut and straighten the leader and properly wash and dry the reel so that the film doesn't catch, stick, and jam.

    Depending on the brand you may also get to see how much "fun" ball bearing advance can be. I prefer no bearings, just let my fingers do the walking.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  8. #8

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    I picked up the SS reel yesterday. Tried the reel, and I found out it had a mfg defect. I returned it, went to another shop that stocks darkroom supplies and thats when I tried the plastic reel. I liked the plastic. I did try another brand ss reel, but still liked the plastic system.
    Last edited by zackesch; 10-27-2012 at 05:11 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  9. #9

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    While it will cost you more, (ok, a lot more) Hewes reels are worth the money it will cost to buy one. Wires are thicker so there is less chance of film going off track. Also the "hook" system to start the winding is easier to use.

    If you are going to commit to the stainless steel reel system, I would recommend it.

    Each type require you to acquire a feel for your reel. The last thing you want to do is go back and forth between different types and makes.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  10. #10

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    The Hewes reels are worth the premium. I've used SS reels for nearly thirty years and when I switched to Hewes reels some six years ago I cut my loading time in half. That's a few hours time spent doing something other than backing up and re-winding loading poor quality SS reels.

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