Thank you Carlos.... good advice. It is very hard to advance the film in the reel for some reason, bought this set up used..not sure if that would matter?
I grasp the concept, but for some reason it does not want to advance most of the time. When I go to advance it, it will buckle or bend the film as if its hitting something and wont go forward.
Will keep playing with it.
Sounds like the reels may need cleaning.
Originally Posted by jdhart73
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
First, I go ahead and use four fingers placed firmly on the film to advance it onto the reel. You're touching the non-emulsion side of the film so there's really no issues. At least, the 100+ rolls I've developed in my Jobo tanks haven't seen any issues.
At the same time, it does sound like your reels need cleaning. Soak in soap water, brush with a toothbrush, then maybe soak in bleach water over night. It also helps a lot to heat the reel with a hair dryer immediately before loading, which serves to (a) make sure there is absolutely no moisture on the reels and (b) I'm guessing it also expands the grooves just a tiny bit to allow for smoother transport of the film.
Another thing that works well is to advance the film by holding the two sides of the film, just where the reels have those two indents.
Jobo 1501 reels, are loading very easily. They are for the 1500 system tanks. Jobo 2502 reels are even more easier to load (2500 tank system, rotation).
If you have hard water (Calcium) the balls from the Paterson tanks are blocked and the system is not working well. But you can read above that the loading technique is a bit different.
(Have Jobo and Paterson but I prefer the (Makrolon) Jobo reels)
A mistake I was doing, and which results in difficulty in advancing the film, is to cut the film leader with an "inverted U" shape. When the film advances inside the reel, the bottom of the U (the most advanced part) is past the contact points of the film with the reel, it protrudes a bit. When you advance the film into the reel (especially a small one like those for the Jobo 1500 series) the protruding part will touch the film in the outer spire.
The leader must be cut as a Π not as a U, rounding the corners just a bit.
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Thank you again everyone. Am soaking the reel and will brush clean and practice some more tonight. I did taper cut the end of the film to see if that helped it from getting caught up on the splines during loading but it only helped the film come off the track easier. I am sure it is user error, I just need to keep playing with it!
If you bought it used (how else, nowadays) the reels could already be silvered (a grey tinge on the white plastic). This precipitate, while not in itself a problem, is rougher than the plastic underneath. I'm too lazy to use a toothbrush on it, I just pop them in the dishwasher at the lowest temperature. Does the job.
Of course you noticed that the reel's guides have a section that is thiner in order to allow your index fingers to touch the edges of both sides the film. You must press and release each finger alternately at the same time you twist each half of the reel. Right hand: press-twist-release, left hand: press-twist-release, right hand... .Is much easier and intuitive than it sounds.
In order to work, reels must be clean and absolutely dry. Also, you must clip just a little bit of the corners of leading end of the film, avoiding to cut through the perforations in order to "round" the leader and prevent it from catching the reel's ribs.
The harder I work, the luckier I get.
Thanks MP, I have been playing with it and its getting easier since ive washed and practiced. I am loading 120 film, so no perforations.
Before loading I bend the corners of the film film in the opposite direction to the natural curl. Not an angular bend, just easing it a bit straighter.