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  1. #21
    Rick A's Avatar
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    Trying to load film in a changing bag is difficult at best, add high temps and humidity and it becomes an exercise in futility. The mere presence of your hands inside the bag causes the temp to increase as well as the humidity. The "fix" is to not use the bag, and either change to a tent or open darkened room. Covering the door and any window to a small bathroom is one common fix, thats how its done at my house.
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum
    BTW: the big kid in my avatar is my hero, my son, who proudly serves us in the Navy. "SALUTE"

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by laroygreen View Post
    @Matt King: They are lucky I chose not to really express myself . As for the bending back tape, I tried it once, and all the film in that batch had dissolved tape over it. Not sure why, it might have been because the film I tried it on was old so maybe the tape was close to decaying already.
    So did bending the taped end work for you as far as loading? My professionally developed film comes back with the tape still on it. Try some new film. By the way I do all this on the couch in a dark bag watching TV on days with 90% outside humidity.

    Quote Originally Posted by laroygreen View Post
    @Matt King: They are lucky I chose not to really express myself . As for the bending back tape, I tried it once, and all the film in that batch had dissolved tape over it. Not sure why, it might have been because the film I tried it on was old so maybe the tape was close to decaying already.

    Consensus seems to be (other than trying to fix the infernal things) the SS reels. They look harder to me...
    Your instincts are partially correct. They may not be harder but they have their own set of difficulties. Sometimes people do better with one versus the other but with enough practice people seem to use both. There is no silver bullet. The thing about SS reels is if you use a film with a sturdy base like TMAX 100 and you get it started correctly it pretty much loads itself. The problem I had was getting it started straight and denting thinner base emulsions like Fuji Acros. You have to bend the film in two axis to load it. I consistently ended up with semicircle dents all over my Acros. Wasn't a problem with TMAX.

  3. #23

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    I see some very very expensive (Jobo of course!) loaders on eBay. Is that something I should consider and that might work for me? They look a little fragile, but I have no experience with them.

    I recently converted my living room into a fold out studio (easy to pack away everything) and I do portraits, so what I wanted was that on days I had a portrait shoot, I can set my chemicals to get up to temperature in the morning (takes about 1hr in my temperature bath if the water is room temperature), and while my model waits (usually a friend) I would load and process the film. This shouldn't take more than 30 minutes really - and I hit that time easily with 4x5, but as it is right now, it typically takes me 2 or more hours to process a few roles of 120

    I mentioned this because it just isn't fun for me to sit around loading film and anything I can do to ease that discomfort (cheaper is obviously better) is worth it for me. I've been able to solve all my analog related workflow problems, but I just can't seem to fix this one and if I can't find a working solution, I am going to only shoot 4x5 going forward.

    In any case, if the auto loader is not recommended, then I will buy some Hewes SS reels and tank and give that a try (this video made it look dead easy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwiESmJiP4Q)

  4. #24

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    Oh, I said the same thing about 4X5 until I found the MOD54 and it changed everything for me, so I am really hoping something is out there that can do the same for 120, and I know being a magic bullet chaser is a bad thing, but photography is a stress release for me, and right now loading 120 is giving me a high blood pressure

  5. #25

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    I don't use Paterson, but I do load in a large changing bag.
    But it has a box in it!!!
    I got a box at Staples, that is flat when purchased, and you 'put it together' and is suppose to be used for storing office stuff in.
    Cut out the bottom, ah.. about two to three inches from the four bottom corners.. with that facing the zippers. The open end towards the sleeves.
    What works nice, is the MF paper, ect, can be gotten out of the way, into that zone between what was the box bottom, and now is the back, and the zippers of the changing bag. Gets it out of the way.
    Hopes this helps with the changing bag, if it is fact, part of the problem.

  6. #26

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    All the responses you received so far are very good especially with regards to making sure the Paterson reels are very clean and dry and the problems related to using a changing bag.

    If you are having trouble getting the film started on the reel and it takes too long this will add to your frustration and the humidity build up.

    Here is a simple trick to get the film started on the reel.
    It gives the stiffness and guide to get the roll started in to the flanges...

    Cut a piece of the film box to be the same width as 120 film and about 2 or 3 inches long.

    Before you go in the darkroom, or changing bag, slide this piece of card along the reel tracks into the beginning of the reel but not past the little ball bearings. Now when in the darkroom take your film and slide it along the card until it is past the ball bearings and pull in a bit more then remove the card and load in the normal way. You see the card acts like a guide and makes those springy films easier to get started.

    I most often reverse curl the first 1/2 inch or so of my film before loading to help with the springiness.
    I still have the same bit of card I cut out of a Fuji box a couple of years ago, I only replace it if it gets lost or too banged up.



    Don't give up on Paterson reels, I have used them for 40 years or more and never had problems with 120 film I have plenty of reels so I always have dry ones and after each development job I give the flanges a scrub with hot water and an old toothbrush. I have stainless reels too and I can load them without too much trouble but I learnt on Paterson reels so stuck with them.

  7. #27

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    Thanks mwdake. I tried a lot of the recommendations found on the forum, and as I mentioned, they all work but don't fix the problem completely. Never tried this one before though, and did a quick test with my eyes closed and it seems to be a lot better now! I also incorporated all the other things mentioned here. Speaks volumes about the design of these in that you need to mod it to work and for something designed to be submerged, it does not tolerate water well (mine is bone dry and clean btw!).

    Will the paper scratch my emulsion (not a big issue going forward, I'll just leave the first frame blank)?

    I won't know if it works for sure until I try to develop a few rolls so I will see if I can load up a few rolls and unfreeze my chemistry before bedtime ... I'll let everyone know if it works.

  8. #28

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    You might want to try a Durst 120 tank with loader which is essential for it but both items should be sold together by a retailer or e-bayer. No point in keeping the loader without the tank or vice versa.

    It is a plastic reel but the loader winds the film into the centre and under a sprung holder and then turning the reel winds the film from the centre towards the outer edges like a stainless steel reel. The film leader is automatically led to the sprung holder in the centre and you simply lift the holder with a finger or thumb and push the leader in. No further skill required

    I do this in a darkroom and not a changing bag but the great thing about it is that sweaty slippery hands should not affect things i.e. it does not require manual dexterity and dry hands.

    As an added bonus it uses only 450mls of liquid so probably the most economical tank for 120 there is and it has proved to be the most leak proof tank I have ever used.

    pentaxuser

  9. #29
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    I can load plastic 35mm reels in about a minute for 36 exposures. I could not load 120 on plastic in 10 minutes. I got a Hewes reel, watched the JBrunner video I found through his website, and now I can do 120 almost as fast as 35mm. I think you might have better luck with either type in a changing tent, rather than a bag, but I do recommend the Hewes reels.

  10. #30

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    Will the paper scratch my emulsion (not a big issue going forward, I'll just leave the first frame blank)?
    No, it won't scratch your emulsion, at least not on the part with the first frames.
    Just leave the piece of card in the reel until you have the first several inches of film securely in the reel, then remove the card.
    I think it might help you get the film started more quickly thereby reducing the amount of time you struggle and build up humidity in your bag.

    Don't get frustrated as Paterson reels will work, good quality stainless reels like Hewes or Nikkor will work. It just takes practice and patience.
    I can load a 120 reel in about a minute or two but I still struggle with 35mm when it is a 36 exposure, I hardly ever use 35mm so I don't worry about it.



 

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