Great replies, thanks everybody. From what I've read I believe I'm going steel. I'm tired of the frustration and losing frames. I've never heard of using photoflo pre-development. You guys are so helpful and supportive.
BtW I try to limit my use of the changing bag for anything. I learned early about the sweaty/ limited space situation. I always load film onto reels in the darkroom.
Last edited by scarfish69; 05-06-2008 at 02:27 PM. Click to view previous post history.
I use steel reels, when developing by hand - the Hewes 35mm reels are fantastic - head and shoulders above anything else. I find loading 120 to be more difficult than 35mm regardless of if it is plastic or steel.
Most of my processing though is done in a Jobo CPP, in which plastic reels are much easier than steel - despite being harder to load. The reels need to be completely dry, so I have lots of them. They also say that it is possible to load two rolls of 120 on one reel, and although I have managed to do this successfully a couple of times, it is generally not worth the bother or savings in chemistry.
I use Rokunar plastic reels. They have a larger flange for loading film, really great for 120/220. And they fit in the Paterson's tanks. I have found that if your hands are slight moist it doesn't matter if you use SS or plastic reels you will have problems loading the film especially when the humidity is high. I put a fan next to me to keep me cool, hands dry and it seem to work.