I haven't been in a darkroom in decades...soon I will be getting back.
I didn't remember having problems rolling 120 film onto stainless steel reels when I was 18.
I shot a roll for WPPD last week, and it came out of the camera with the paper facing the lens (that's another story).
I had it processed, and sure enough it was blank, one big 6x75 cm or whatever frame.
So I thought, cool... lemonade...I'll use that to practice spooling onto reels.
I have some Nikor and Nikor 'style' reels, including a 220 one , 'just in case'.
Not too bad on the 120 with the lights on, but I had no idea what kind of feedback I was supposed to be sensing that normal loading was happening (so I can tell in the dark), but I guess I'll become more perceptive with practice.
2-3 times, & I thought I was ready to try the 220 reel (with a 120 length strip). I think that is going to take about 50x for practice. I can't even get the film under the tiny spring clip without several tries. Avoiding the spring clip didn't seem too fruitful either.
Hmm, maybe I can shoot 120, then cut it into strips and do it in trays
You have my sympathy -
I've been rolling 120/220 on ss reels for decades- sometimes it just will not cooperate- frustration seems too weak of a term.
When I was assisting in the early 80's an RIT grad came to town looking for work. I was the usual assistant for two studios, but when both needed an assistant at the same time, they would use other people. This new person came in to work one morning for the first time at one of the studios saying he knew how to load RB and Hassy backs. The photographer went through a couple of product shots using multiple models and pulling backs off the camera early because they felt wrong when advancing film. In the middle of the third back he double checked the loading and found the paper facing the lens in all three backs he'd used.
Originally Posted by Murray@uptowngallery
So at least you weren't charging a photographer good money to blow film, shooting time, and a few thousand in modelling fees. That's a pretty high price for three practice loading rolls.
Good luck getting back into the darkroom.
Just practice a bit, rolling 120 film on a straight 120 reel is very easy to do. Rolling a 220 roll on one of those tight 3 inch 220 reels is near impossible. Or actually in my experience, completely impossible.
I remember in high school there were two kids with 120 and everyone else had the dropped & dented 35mm reels to fight with.
I had a Yashica...124? that had a 35mm insert. The other kid had a Hasselblad she hated, but wouldn't trade it either. Rumor had it her father was a CIA photographer. Never confirmed that. Maybe her name wasn't her real name.
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I used Kindermann SS reels for years, and eventually got proficient with them. The trick is to only use ones that aren't bent, that means that you can't drop them...EVER.
Some years back I changed to Paterson system 4 reels and tanks, much, much better, especially with 120 film.
So, keep practising with your SS reels, don't give up...... or maybe just go plastic.
I went off to the uni-darkroom to develop a roll of 120 a few weeks ago. The school use plastic paterson reels for everything, and I use stainless steel at home, so it'd been a good two years since I loaded a plastic reel. 20 minutes in the little film-loading room swearing and sweating and I finally got it in there (it was just curly and wouldn't take up). It actually came out fine, but I've started bringing my own S/S reels with me. With practice it's just second nature, but I'd say one in every dozen rolls just decide to be frustrating.
One of the best investments that I have made is a loader for my Kindermann SS reels. Perfect loading every time, and fast too.
I went through this just last night, except the other way round, sort of. I've mostly been using 120 for the past year or so, but just shot a roll of 35.
It took three reels and using both ends of the film to get it loaded. While 120 feels pretty flimsy if you are used to 35, my hands had forgotten how small 35 feels if you're used to 120.
As for loading 120, I like to unroll it completely while separating it from the paper, then start spooling it from the taped end, leaving the tape on. The extra stiffness of the tape helps in getting it into clip. One exception might be with Kindermann reels, at least the one I have has a large metal spring, and the tape almost adds too much thickness. I'm sure I could get used to it, but I always avoid that reel in favor of the ones with wire clips.
Interesting, I tend to unspool 120 just enough to catch the end and cup it with my right hand. Using plastic reels, Patterson-type, I place the index and middle finger over the feed slot and curve the rest of my hand around the reel. It is then fairly easy to point the film edge toward and under my fingertips, thus starting the film feeding on the reel. Once it is a few inches onto the reel, I then pull off about 6 more inches of film, ratchet it up and repeat until I hit the end and tear it off the paper.
I feel keeping the paper on as long as possible lessens the chances for inadvertent scratches, but thats probably just a rationalization...