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  1. #61
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Rochester, NY
    Multi Format
    In the ~60 years that I have been developing film, I have used just about every type of film reel ever made for 35mm and 120. This includes the old Kodak reels, the Kodak spiral wound separators, Ansco reels, Nikon reels, Jobo reels .... I could go on. I've also used reels for sheet film and rack and tank. The bottom line is this. If I am careless or inexperienced with a given reel type, I have problems and need to practice. If I have practiced enough, I don't have problems. It is as simple as that.

    I get a new reel and a roll of old film and sit in the light using it over and over until I get it absolutely perfect. Then I shut my eyes and repeat it. Then I turn out the lights and try again. I've worn out dummy rolls and worked for an hour with a new reel.

    The bottom line to me is that all reels are good, as long as you know what you are doing. You know what you are doing by practice.


  2. #62

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    I too have had countless problem with the ball bearings in the Paterson reels jamming the film. Might have to do with the hot and humid weather in Singapore, coupled with working within a warm changing bag. Finally I found the trick to recover the situation is to lay the reel on its side and give it a few knocks on the table to dislodge the ball bearings. Keep doing it until the film starts to go in smoothly, or when either the table or film reel falls apart.

    Having a spare reel in the dark bag helps too. Or if need be, just carefully twist the dark bag and pull your hand out, do some anger management routines first before trying it again. Don't force the film when it gets stuck, for sure it will leave creases that I don't know any other ways of salvaging the frames other than disguising them as having Holga like qualities.

    After experiencing other reels without the ball bearings, I would say that I much prefer those over the Paterson ones.
    Last edited by losheng; 06-20-2011 at 11:03 PM. Click to view previous post history.

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