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  1. #11
    thebanana's Avatar
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    Practice, practice, practice. It's worth blowing a roll of film to learn how to get it onto the reel effectively in the daylight. Makes doing it in the dark that much easier.
    "While you're out there smashing the state, don't forget to keep a smile on your lips and a song in your heart!"

  2. #12
    DaveOttawa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xia_Ke View Post
    I've got my first my first roll of MF hanging now to dry and man what a difference compared to 35mm! That being said, loading reels is a PITA compared to 35mm....
    "The hard part isnít the decisive moment or anything like that Ė itís getting the film on the reel!"
    John Szarkowski

  3. #13
    Xia_Ke's Avatar
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    Note to self, watch the wine intake after celebrating your first MF roll... Oiy my head...LOL

    I'm using Paterson auto-load reels in a changing bag. I did sacrifice a roll to a quick practice in daylight and didn't seem that hard but, once in the bag I was having a hard time keeping it straight. I just wasn't sure if I should take the backing off or if that even made in difference in helping load the reel. Guess I'll just practice both ways until I find what work for me. Thanks again everyone! This site is great. Everyone has been so helpful in helping me venture into the world of film. I can't thank you all enough.

    Aaron

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveOttawa View Post
    "The hard part isnít the decisive moment or anything like that Ė itís getting the film on the reel!"
    John Szarkowski
    I'll have to agree with that!...LOL
    flickr

    "A good photograph is one that makes the viewer so aware of the subject that they are unaware of the print."- Kodak
    "...if you find afterwards that you made a mistake, the price of the film and chemicals was...tuition!" - greybeard
    "The hard part isnít the decisive moment or anything like that Ė itís getting the film on the reel!" - John Szarkowski

  4. #14

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    One word of warning about using changing bags..

    Sometimes it can all go wrong, with the reel not loading, for no apparent reason. If that happens consider if you're trying too hard/worrying/taking too long in a confined space (i.e. sweating a bit!) - if the atmosphere inside the bag becomes humid, then that will make loading difficult...I remember a couple of my first ever tries, using a changing bag in a class, and for some reason this happened with the first MF roll I tried, but never did with 35mm. If that happens, just leave it & go away and chill out for a bit

    by the way I hated using changing bags, and would say to try and get a blacked-out suitable space to use - but other people seem to do O.K. with them.

  5. #15
    Akki14's Avatar
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    I prefer changing bags but I remember dropping film (35mm out of canister) onto the floor of the darkroom at high school and that's something I do not want to repeat.. hunting around a dark room for the film. At least stuff can't go very far in a changing bag.
    My hints & tips are to keep your fingers spread out and remember you have more than two fingers. When I load a 120, my index and 2nd finger are at the top corner of the film and the thumb and ring finger hold onto the bottom corner. That way I can sort of feel the corners going over the ball bearings better and gently angle the film up and over the balls and can do so at more or less the same time. Actually I find keeping the balls offset helps more than keeping them aligned does when you're loading 35mm. Also once you get it on the reel, you can keep the backing paper at bay by using your little fingers to kind of hold back the curling paper.
    ~Heather
    oooh shiny!
    http://www.stargazy.org/

  6. #16
    Xia_Ke's Avatar
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    Thanks guys Working in the confined space of the bag doesn't bother me at all. I like it for the reason Heather mentioned, that everything is right there and easy to keep track of. That said, I have no experience "out of the bag" so.... Heather, I'll have to try the offset loading. I found out quickly that holding it with just a thumb and finger in the middle is not going to work. I finally ended up unrolling the spool a bit and grabbing each corner to make sure both made it in the track correctly. It's all good though, I have plenty more film so I'll get lots of practice

    Aaron
    flickr

    "A good photograph is one that makes the viewer so aware of the subject that they are unaware of the print."- Kodak
    "...if you find afterwards that you made a mistake, the price of the film and chemicals was...tuition!" - greybeard
    "The hard part isnít the decisive moment or anything like that Ė itís getting the film on the reel!" - John Szarkowski

  7. #17
    tac
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    I unwind the backing until I get to the film, then rip off the backing paper to expose 2 or 3 inches of film. That makes it easier to hold, without the extraneous backing getting in the way.

    With the Paterson reels, I find that it is easier to reach through the reel, pinch the corners of the film, and pull it onto the reel- only a few inches- just until it gets past the ball bearings. From there you can gently "walk" it on.

    Practice, practice.

  8. #18
    dpurdy's Avatar
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    120 is easy. I quickly take off the paper back and tear at the tape and don't bother with peeling the tape off. It is so easy that soon you won't believe you ever thought it was hard. Just don't do the 3 inch 220 rolls. Those are a bad joke..

  9. #19

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    With the Patterson reels, I've found that a light touch is key. Even the smallest amount of pressure against the sides will bind your film. Be "dainty" with it and you'll have no troubles.

    Jonathan

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xia_Ke View Post
    Thanks guys Working in the confined space of the bag doesn't bother me at all. I like it for the reason Heather mentioned, that everything is right there and easy to keep track of. That said, I have no experience "out of the bag" so.... Heather, I'll have to try the offset loading. I found out quickly that holding it with just a thumb and finger in the middle is not going to work. I finally ended up unrolling the spool a bit and grabbing each corner to make sure both made it in the track correctly. It's all good though, I have plenty more film so I'll get lots of practice

    Aaron
    One thing I don't think anyone mentioned is I cut the corners off the leading edge of the film for 120 & 35mm. I honestly don't know if it's essential because I've never tried loading without doing that though - but I've never had a problem with Paterson plastic reels & 120, in fact it is easier than 35mm.

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