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  1. #1

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    Loading 120 film on developing reel

    I need some help. I can't seem to manage to load 120 film into the damn developing reel. Is there a great trick to do this? Are there some reels easier to load than others?
    Thanks

    Christian

  2. #2

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    Good Evening, Christian,

    There's no real trick involved; in fact, I think you'll find that loading 120 is quite a bit simpler than loading 35mm. (Now, 220 is another story!) If necessary, just do a little practice in the light before heading for the darkroom.

    Use a high-quality SS reel. The main thing is that the reel should have a very positive method of gripping the film at its core. Kinderman reels have a spike, an arrangement which I've found to be vastly superior to the spring-type device found on Nikkors and a lot of others. While I haven't used Hewes reels, I understand that they have an equally effective (some would say even better) method of grabbing the beginning section of film.

    With practice and a little experience, you should be able to go from taped roll of film to film completely on the reel in less than 30 seconds.

    Konical

  3. #3
    Flotsam's Avatar
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    It is particularly important, and difficult, to have the film centered between the top and bottom spirals before starting to wind the film. Concentrate on this at first and it will become easier and more natural with time.
    That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
    =Neal W.=

  4. #4
    Daniel Lawton's Avatar
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    You didn't mention what reel you are using. If it is a plastic Patterson type then jump up and down on it and never use it for 120 again! I'm being a little sarcastic but honestly those things are a serious problem when it comes to 120. (at least for me) All too often the wider more flexible film base of 120 bends,buckles or jams with the auto loading reels despite ensuring that they were bone dry. Stainless steel is a piece of cake and can be loaded wet as well.

  5. #5

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    Dry hands are very important, once the film gets damp it'll stick to the reels.

  6. #6

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    I suggest practicing with blank roll of film in the daylight. I did this and was able to see what I was doing wrong. Then try it again with your eyes closed. If you jam up again you can take a quick look and see what you are doing wrong. After a little practice you will be ready for the dark.

    I also vote for using a good stainless steel reel.

  7. #7
    Travis Nunn's Avatar
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    echoing everyone else, practice with a roll film in the light. I must have rolled my test film 50 times, first with my eyes open to see exactly what was going on and then with my eyes closed to make sure I could get it in the dark.

    Even though I use SS reels and consider them easier to load, I have on occasion had to use plastic reels and experienced no problems with them.
    ____________________________________________
    Searching my way to perplexion

  8. #8
    Curt's Avatar
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    Oh yea, two points here; the reel must be absolutely dry, any dampness on either the film or reel and STICK. Two, practice with a roll in the open with the lights on until you can do it without looking.
    I used to use the plastic reels with the grasp and release scoot it on method because I tried to use the metal reel once and failed. A couple of years later I thought the plastic reels were too slow and switched to the metal reels and finally got the hang of it. And it's like riding a bicycle, once you learn you never seem to forget it. So practice, and when you get it, you'll feel very accomplished.
    Regards,
    Curt

  9. #9

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    Ok I do have stainless steel reel, I believe it's adorama brand, though it doesn't say anywhere. It does have a metal spring clip so I assume you hook the end of the film and start spinning the reel hoping the film will wind up perfectly in its track. I am no astronaut so this seems utterly difficult. Way easier is to do 12x20 in trays.

    Film is on its way so it will be a few days until I try it.

  10. #10
    Kevin Caulfield's Avatar
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    You don't really spin the reel. You should turn it slowly whilst slightly kinking the film as it feeds onto the spiral. Sacrifice an old film and practise in the light. Good luck.

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