Many thanks, Konical.
Originally Posted by Konical
I've been using Paterson reels and tanks since Ansel was a boy and have a substantial stock of tanks and reels.
I have had occasional problems with loading, but always have an additional reel on hand for those events. If I get a reel that sticks regularly, I clean it with a toothbrush and paste to help the film glide through in future. I'll use scissors to chamfer the leading edge corners to stop them digging into the reel on it's way through, bit more difficult with 35mm. If it sticks at any point when loading, a sharp tap on the bench is usually enough. So there are occasional issues with Paterson tanks and if I were starting again I'd go SS. I would now if there was a processing benefit.
Gave up on changing bags years ago. Utter waste of time, IMO, for anything other than emergency us in the field. Clammy hands and arms quickly jam the reels and dust is an issue. The table top changing tents are a much better option, IMO.
Good Afternoon, Gary,
My comment above should have been more specific. I was referring only to SS tanks and reels. SS reels will certainly fit into Paterson tanks, but those tanks require the large center post to be light-tight. That post has a diameter which is too large for any SS reels I've ever seen. It is not, however, any problem to acquire SS tanks; they're easily available on the used market, usually at almost give-away prices. The ones with plastic lids (Kinderman is typical) are less likely to leak than those with SS lids. Replacement plastic lids are not hard to find either.
If you want hewes reels for cheaper, keep an eye out on Ebay or here in the classifieds. You can get them for $8ish/reel. I use them with the generic plastic top steel tanks that Freestyle sells. They work fine. But in the big picture, $40 for two nice reels that will last a lifetime is a good purchase, especially if it prevents you from ruining film.
Plastic reels are fine too, I just found Hewes easier to load when I started, so I stuck with it. One thing I do to make my life easier with 35mm film is to use a film leader retriever. In daylight, I extract the leader of all my rolls and trim them straight with scissors. Then you can load it all into a bag or your dark room and finish the process in darkness. You can either load your reels directly from the film canister or pop them open and do it that way. But why try to make that first cut in darkness when you can do it in daylight?
Well, I tried last night using my bedroom as a darkroom to try eliminating the changing bag. Blinds closed, the only other concession to "darkroom" was throwing a towel under the door to block out light from the kitchen. The film came out fine (to my untrained eye) despite a car driving past and blasting headlights through the cracks in the blinds. But, it did still take far too long to load 120 onto the paterson reels (estimate 10 min), with all the same loading difficulties as in the bag.
Conclusion: I'm replacing the paterson reels with AP or clones, as soon as I can find some. Anyone know how to get some to Aus without the $40 shipping?
Also, whilst the room was dark, it was light enough that about 5 min was required for eyes to adjust to the point I could see almost normally. Once my eyes adjusted I was freaking out that it was too bright for 400 film, turns out it was ok. Which raises the question, if it is light enough to see with some difficulty after 5 min adjustment, what films will be ruined? 400 is OK so I assume anything slower will also be fine, but I've got some Ilford 3200 I was planning to push a stop or two, will it be OK under those conditions?
Fun fact: the human eye responds to a single photon, and registers light as an image at about 4-5 photons per receptor cell. That's better than high-end astrophysics and photometry sensing gear. That's why I ask about films threshold.
You may think you didn't get fogging with ISO 400 film, but you can have fogging and it not be visible to cursory inspection. Until you do test strips to test it, you don't know.
ISO 3200 is three stops more sensitive. If (if) 10 minutes is the edge of fogging at ISO 400 in your conditions, then 600/8 = 75 seconds would be the edge of fogging with ISO 3200 film. Push it a stop or two and it will be 37 seconds or 17 seconds.
I think if you can "see almost normally", then it is much to bright to use for ISO 400, let alone 3200. I personally would not load ISO 25 under such conditions.
Last edited by Monito; 06-06-2011 at 03:22 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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Loading reels is like playing a musical instrument. If violinists can hit and control 1/16 notes in pitch and key without frets while bowing with it all in the air, then millions of photographers can load film using Paterson reels in changing bags. Oh, wait ... millions of photographers load film with Paterson reels in changing bags. But really, it is much easier than playing the violin.
Practice and you will be able to do it in a minute or less.
But, it did still take far too long to load 120 onto the paterson reels (estimate 10 min), with all the same loading difficulties as in the bag.
And try the piece of card trick I posted in an earlier post, it is cheaper than a wide flange reel and works just as well.
I was thinking this exact same thing as I was doing it. Then I realised that I'm not playing a violin. I may be a new user, but I still think the fact that it requires skill or practice should make you stop and think. Taking the picture should require skill and practice, loading a reel should be loading a reel.
Originally Posted by Monito
Defend paterson if you want, but from an engineering point of view, the fact it takes practice says it's a bad design. (Gee... Can you tell I'm getting frustrated?)
Postalman, when I failed my second attempt to load my reel I felt really frustrated and I considered buying some Hewes reels. Now that I know where my mistake was, I load reels with the greatest ease. I'm sure there is some mistake in your "tecnique". It is very likely, although not impossible, that another make of reels will not cure your problem.
As many persons find these reels easy to use, it must be easy. You just have to find where is your mistake, or mistakes, with the help of this forum.
If you can, I suggest you have somebody take a film of you while completing the operation in daylight, and linking the video here. That might reveal where the mistake is.
My personal mistake was a wrong way to cut and chamfer the leader. Doing it properly made a world of difference to me, and gave me a lesson, that if it is easy for everybody else, it must be easy for me as well. I've got two hands and ten fingers just like everybody else in fact.
Now that I do it without problem I don't plan any more to buy Hewes reels as I cannot see how can they ever be simpler to load than my Jobo ones.
Sounds a bit like riding a bicycle, doesn't it?
Originally Posted by postalman
I understand where you are coming from, but I think part of the problem is that loading reels is one of those things that are really hard to learn from materials on the internet or in writing. What really helps is to have someone observe how you practice, and give suggestions.
“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