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  1. #1
    KPT
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    Reel & tank advice needed.

    I recently started with medium format 6x6 and im having trouble with loading the reels. I have never had issues with 35mm but with 120 i cant seem to load the reels right. I used Jobo for 35mm but for 120 i only have a Gaf and a unknown tank and reel. The first 6 rolls went ok with a few jambs but i got the reels loaded and developed.Today it all went to hell when i tried to load a roll of Tri-x, it got stuck 4 times. I had to seperate the reel 4 times to reload it and on the fifth time i got it loaded except for the last frame. I gave up and loaded the tank with the last frame hanging off the reel and developed it. My film is all crinkled and it had a pre-soak with my sweat inside the changing bag. Is there a certain tank and reel that loads 120 without these issues.

  2. #2
    Anscojohn's Avatar
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    Make sure the reel is very clean and completely dry. I use a bristle "vegetable" brush, Bon Ami, Zud, or Bar Keeper's Friend on the reels, scrubbing from the "inside' with the reels separated. My GAF reel and tank is so old it's an Ansco.
    John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA

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    As cheap as they are, I'd try to get a couple stainless steel ones.

  4. #4
    KPT
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    John, They were clean and dry.

    Mike, I will try a stainless tank & reel.

    Thank you for replying!

  5. #5

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    I've had problems such as you describe with 35mm film on plastic reels, and switching to Hewes SS reels certainly helped me. I've had mixed luck loading generic SS 220-format reels, but the consensus seems to be that they're harder to load than SS 120-format reels, since the 220-format reels have tighter spacing. I recently picked up a 120-format reel, and it loaded easily the one time I used it, but that's just one time so far. Lately I've been using an odd plastic Russian tank because it uses less solution volume when developing a single roll, which appeals to my frugal side, particularly when using relatively expensive color developers. So far I've had no problems loading it.

  6. #6

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    One other thought: You mentioned sweat inside a changing bag. I suspect, but cannot prove, that sweat increasing the humidity in a small bathroom caused me problems with my 35mm plastic reel loading. You might want to try darkening a room and using that instead of a changing bag, if that's at all possible. That might reduce humidity and improve your chances of loading the reel.

  7. #7
    KPT
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    Quote Originally Posted by srs5694 View Post
    One other thought: You mentioned sweat inside a changing bag. I suspect, but cannot prove, that sweat increasing the humidity in a small bathroom caused me problems with my 35mm plastic reel loading. You might want to try darkening a room and using that instead of a changing bag, if that's at all possible. That might reduce humidity and improve your chances of loading the reel.

    I think you just solved my issue! I load in a darkroom/toolroom in my basement using a changing bag. With in 1 second i start to sweat while my arms are in the bag and i now think the moisture gets on the film and causes the film to jam. I used to sit in my livingroom loading the film in a bag and never had an issue. I want to load film without the bag but my darkroom/toolroom has small light leaks that worry me. I print in the room with no issues but i worry about exposing film in there. If printing is not affect by very small light leaks how would film do? Is film more sensitive than paper?

    Thanks for your reply.

  8. #8
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    [QUOTE=KPT;671190]John, They were clean and dry.



    Dry, perhaps; but not clean. For years, I loaded 220 film on the Ansco reel without problems. Some people say don't use a wetting agent. I've never had a problem; but I scrub the plastic. Some of the olde lab rats I knew insisted the only cleaner to use is Bon Ami Cake--the same stuff they used for ferrotype tins. You may have to look long and hard for it; but it is still around.
    John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA

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    Yes, film is generally more sensitive than paper. FWIW, my own darkroom has light leaks -- I can see very faint splotches of light in certain areas. This has never caused noticeable fogging of my film, though -- even high speed emulsions exposed at up to EI 1600. (Maybe laboratory instruments could detect fogging, but I've never noticed any.) You could always try an experiment: Pull a measured amount of film out of a 35mm cartridge and let it sit in the darkroom for a minute or two where you'd normally load your film tank, then pull a bit more out, let it sit a bit longer, and so on. You'll need to measure the film by feel and have a timer that beeps or chimes and that you can operate by feel to measure time. You can then load it all into a developing tank and see if you can detect fogging in any of the segments. If so, since you measured everything coming out, you'll know how long it takes to fog film at that location in your darkroom.

  10. #10
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    KPT,
    When concerned about light leaks fogging your film, reflect upon how long a camera exposure would have to be to make in image on the film if you were photographing under that light.
    Again, getting back to ye oldene lab rats who mentored me: we loaded film in hotel rooms at night. Keep your back to the obvious light leaks; load the film from the free end, keeping the film shielded with the paper and your hand whilst it is going in; detach the tape, and get the fella into the tank ASAP.
    John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA

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