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  1. #1
    Wade D's Avatar
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    Got a nice deal on SS reels

    I just received 5 35mm & 2 120 reels from an ebay seller. The name is small and hard to see but looks like Kinderman. Cost was $8.50 for all. I've always used Patterson plastic reels and tank but the tank broke. I have a Nikor SS tank that was thrown in with a previous purchase of a Yankee 4x5 Agitank. Now I need to practice loading the new reels so I don't mess it up in the dark. Any tips or tricks for doing this would be welcomed.

  2. #2
    alexmacphee's Avatar
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    I haven't used my new Hewes 35mm spirals yet, but I have used the new 120, and it was tricky at first. I took an old uncut 120 test roll, and practised feeding that into the centre clasp, then rolling it on. Tricky, as the end of the film strip has to mate pretty neatly and square on in order for the film to feed in to the spiral groove neatly at both sides. In the end, I hit on the idea of taking scissors and snipping the corners off to make a very blunt and shallow arrowhead, and this let me get the end of the film inside the spring catch without fouling at one spiral end or the other. I repeatedly practised with my eyes shut, then in the changing bag.

    Once I was confident, I did it with a roll to be processed. It was trickier still, because the curl was tighter than on the processed roll. I nicked the corners off the trailing end of the film while in the bag, and once it was inserted into the clip on the core, the rest followed easily, and it was easier than pushing into a plastic Paterson reel.
    Alex

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    Alex,

    You may do this, but folding the tape over the end of the film gives it a little stiffness. I think this helps me load 120 reels.

    Mike

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    Lining things up and making sure the film is centered is perhaps the trickiest part, but it's not hard to learn. As Mike says, starting with the taped end of 120 or 35 makes things easier, especially on 120.

  5. #5
    Rick A's Avatar
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    One word--- Practice. Then practice some more. Start with the lights on and watching, then closing your eyes and visualizing, then its lights out and the real deal. It really doesn't take long to get the feel for the process. I've found that the film makes a certain sound when loading properly, and I can hear when it isn't before I can feel it. BTW--wow what a great price on spirals.
    Rick A
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    BTW: the big kid in my avatar is my hero, my son, who proudly serves us in the Navy. "SALUTE"

  6. #6
    Anscojohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralnphot View Post
    One word--- Practice. Then practice some more. Start with the lights on and watching, then closing your eyes and visualizing, then its lights out and the real deal. It really doesn't take long to get the feel for the process. I've found that the film makes a certain sound when loading properly, and I can hear when it isn't before I can feel it. BTW--wow what a great price on spirals.
    ***************
    As above. For yours truly, though; I never got the hang of straight loading of a 120 reel. When I discovered the trick of not attaching the film under the clip, all loading problems were solved. I just hold the film end against the core and turn slightly until friction holds the film in place, then wind merrilly away.
    John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wade D View Post
    I just received 5 35mm & 2 120 reels from an ebay seller. The name is small and hard to see but looks like Kinderman. Cost was $8.50 for all. I've always used Patterson plastic reels and tank but the tank broke.
    I've used Paterson tanks for years. A couple months ago, I had a problem roll -- wouldn't load no matter what I tried. (This was one of my first bulk loads, which was probably somehow the cause.) I remembered that a whole-darkroom load that I'd picked up had stainless tanks and reels. I grabbed those and found that things are easier than my ancient memories (stressed beginner with cramped fingers).

    But one heads-up. Last week was the first time I did two rolls. I found that one of the films would not fit. In the dark, I assumed that I'd bulk loaded too much, bit the bullet and cut it to length. But once I hung up the two films, I saw that they were not the same length anymore.

    It turns out that not all of the reels were the same length. I had 5 reels of two almost identical constructions -- one stamped Taiwan and one stamped Japan. They differed by 1/2 winding (10.5 vs. 11), which on the last pass turns out to be 5-6 frames.

    I was meaning to start rolling shorter rolls, since PrintFiles don't play well with over 36 frames, so this won't be a long term problem. It just caught me off guard.

  8. #8
    fotch's Avatar
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    Kinderman are excellent. I like those plus Nikors, and Hewes. If they are not deformed, should load easily. Practice with with scrap or test rolls with eyes open first. Then with eyes closed. Then next in a changing bag/tent or the darkroom. Then go for it with a good roll.

    A good SS reel is the easiest way of loading film, once you get use to it.

    You got a great price, good luck.
    Items for sale or trade at www.Camera35.com

  9. #9
    Wade D's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the replies. I had always heard horror stories about SS reels when I started out 40 years ago. I used various plastic reels and tanks till the last one broke. Learning something new in the darkroom is always fun.

  10. #10
    Rick A's Avatar
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    We are never too old to learn new things. I've been in and out of darkrooms for the better part of 45 years, and still find new things to try on a regular basis. I suppose that being retired gives me the time and desire to do new things. Good luck Wade and have fun. BTW-- if for some reason you dont like the SS tanks and reels, I'll swap you a Paterson Super System 4 set for them.
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum
    BTW: the big kid in my avatar is my hero, my son, who proudly serves us in the Navy. "SALUTE"

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