On a smaller scale you could remove the film from its cassette, spool, or paper backing, place it into a dry developing tank with a packet of silica gel, cap it, and put the reel with a silica gel pack in a sealed plastic bag.
I suspect humidity and dampness are the problem. Also, try snipping the corners off the film, making sure the snips are between sprockets. And dustbin the changing bag as soon as possible, even if you must live in the dark at night and block off all the windows with layers of newspaper.
John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA
With Paterson tanks it's crucial to make sure the two ball bearings that grip the film are totally dry, you need to use a finger nail and move them to make sure there's not a drop of water there.
You can think a spiral is dry but if they don't move freely you'll really struggle loading any brand of film.
to answer your question in one word -> Hewis. I started out with a patterson tank, then tried a stainless steel and never looked back. Never had a problem with any film on Hewis reel, 35mm or 120. Plus they do not crack or absorb chems like plastic, drying times is fast if you wash them with hot water.
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An old trick with any plastic reel is to run a sharp pencil around the reels in the film groves, which leaves a film of graphite on them, does no harm to the film but makes loading film a doddle, it is something I have done for many years, and I have yet to have a stuck film,If the film does get stuck if you hav'nt pencilled the reels then try giving the reel a sharp tap, that sometimes that frees the film, The only other way I can think of is to take the film out, trim the end and start again,Richard
Third recommendation for trimming the end.
By the way, Adox CHS Art 25 on the top of my list, I think this is the same recipe so I can understand your desire to get something working.
I have a Yankee plastic tank and I have several Jobo reels (small diameter and large diameter). The films I have the most problems with are Ilford due to (I think) the stiffness and curl of the film stock. So I have to trim the ends and sometimes I have to load them backwards as in emulsion side out. Though when I do load emulsion side out it is never for rotary processing. What I find is there is enough play with the reel that as you wind there is enough twisting motion that the tips of the film catch or can catch on the spokes of the reel. As Richard alluded to, a sharp tap frees it sometimes. I no longer load plastic reels in a bag. (and I pretty much stick to 120 for roll film) I just unwind the backing paper to the point where the film is, then grab the tip of the film with my finger while standing in the darkroom and purposefully unwind the whole roll, separate the backing paper and let the weight pull the whole film straight down. I leave it in that fashion for a moment or two hoping that process helps to straighten the film. Then load on the reel. I do not do full end to end turns of the reel. Just a bunch of little ones. On the Jobo, there's no ball bearing, you have to use the fingertips on the back of the film. When the film is already past one revolution it is easier. I try to wind it up the whole way with fingertips alone. Sometimes that is doable and astonishingly easier and 10 times faster than turning the ends of the reels because the film rides dead center through the channels.
As for metal reels comments above, I find that with the Adox film, the reels are too loose. I have lost too many rolls due to falling right out of the tracks and they stick to each other on the outer stainless tank. For me that was so depressing. I don't know about others. Maybe some people like losing their film. It happened a lot to Adox film which is thinner like your Efke (and same emulsion I believe).
I love the wilderness and I love my trail cameras, all Fuji's! :) GA645, GW690 III, and the X100 which I think is the best trail camera ever invented (to date).
In 50+ years, I have used about everything. The only plastic I found that loads fairly well all the time is the Jobo reels. However, a good Stainless Steel reel always loads. Nikor, Kindermann, and Hewes. I think Hewes is the only one still being made.
East to clean and can load when wet or damp.
If they would have had Stainless Steel for the Jobo when I purchased it new, I would have like it. I know they have it now but for the money, I am happy with doing B&W in a SS tank and color on the plastic Jobo.
Well, this is interesting, because while I haven't had that problem, I've had the opposite one: some common films, especially Tri-X, seem to be a little too *wide* for my SS 120 reel. Efke films are maybe slightly loose, but not problematic, and Fomapan seems to be just right.
Originally Posted by Perry Way
So I guess there are small differences in the width of a medium-format roll, and your reels are sized for Kodak and mine for Foma. It's another connector conspiracy! :-)
Last edited by ntenny; 06-27-2010 at 05:10 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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San Diego, CA, USA
The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
-The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_
I am puzzled now, how can the reels be too loose? Are you saying that your batch of Efke is not wide enough? How were you able to shoot if the width is not right? If what you meant is thinness of the film then I do not see how it matters, since you just clip one end and then roll it onto the reel.
Originally Posted by ntenny