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  1. #31

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    I've never used plastic reels, but IMHO in stainless, 120 is easier to load cleanly than 35mm. The spacing is wider, so it's easier to feel if something is wrong, and you don't have to back up as far to fix it.

    In switching from an el-cheapo no-name 120 reel to Hewes, I didn't experience huge changes in loading ease, *except* with Tri-X. I'm not sure if the strip is minutely wider than the other films I work with, or if there's something slightly different about the way the base flexes when handled, or what, but my batting average on loading Tri-X on the cheap reel was well below the Mendoza line. I don't think I've ever had a loading glitch with the Hewes reel.

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  2. #32
    chazz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by michaelbsc View Post
    Chazz,

    Been there. Let me explain, and then offer a solution that others may cringe at.

    But first let me offer that a SS or a Patterson style tank isn't a bad investment.

    The 35mm Rondinax merely feeds film onto the developing spool and the knife blade cuts it to disconnect it from the factory cassette. Nothing ever sticks to cause the accordion problem like the 120 tank.

    You can see that with the 120 processor the film spools into the little receiver compartment when you are pulling the backing paper out. This is the step where you have trouble, and this is the step that I meant where I noted in my previous post that Bakelite was a superior material to polymer.

    What happens with the polymer, and doesn't happen with Bakelite, is that the very flat back of the film becomes electrostaticly attracted to the very flat polymer receiving chamber. And since they're both so flat they present a *LOT* of surface area to stick together. And modern film is thin and crumples.

    First, technique is important. If you can pull the film smoothly so it doesn't stop it is less likely to get stuck. But don't pull too fast either. This one of those, "Man you're just gonna have to practice it yourself" things.

    Second, knock down the very slick mirror like finish on the inside of the receiving chamber. You absolutely do not want it to be rough and scratch the film. But if you can take a piece of 600 grit sand paper (this is where others may cringe) and gently scour the inside of the chamber it will have less contact area with the film as you're pulling the backing paper. Just make sure that it is smooth to the touch with no sharp point.

    The best surface "feel" you could get would be about like the inside of a piece of CPVC pipe.

    Now, having said all that, let me reiterate that either SS or Patterson style tanks aren't a bad investment.

    Michael

    Thanks for the advice Michael..........What you have described might just be the problem. What I found and thought might also be the problem was that the ends of the film spools had over time worn a groove on one side, which caused the spool to not sit level. Pulling the paper from both rolls was not smooth at all. I sanded it down with an emery board and it now sits level and is very easy to turn, compared to what it was before. I'll try my third roll tomorrow, and if I have the same problem, I'll sand the inside of the receiving chamber as you suggested. It's hard to imagine that someone could have used this thing enough to wear grooves in the plastic. If this unit will eventually work as well as the 35mm version, developing will be a breeze. I'll let you know how it works out.

  3. #33

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    I use a Paterson tank and go down the basement to load the film in the dark. Some people find loading the reel finicky but I have had to restart the loading only a few times. When I develop B/W I use Calbe R09 diluted 1:65 and standing development for 40 minutes. Works like a charm! I have even got a Tetenal C-41 kit and have, to date, developed 4 120-rolls of colour film. What a change of feel in the pictures!! Try it!

    Some of them can be seen at flickr, look for user sm5jab.

  4. #34
    michaelbsc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazz View Post
    Thanks for the advice Michael..........What you have described might just be the problem. What I found and thought might also be the problem was that the ends of the film spools had over time worn a groove on one side, which caused the spool to not sit level. Pulling the paper from both rolls was not smooth at all. I sanded it down with an emery board and it now sits level and is very easy to turn, compared to what it was before. I'll try my third roll tomorrow, and if I have the same problem, I'll sand the inside of the receiving chamber as you suggested. It's hard to imagine that someone could have used this thing enough to wear grooves in the plastic. If this unit will eventually work as well as the 35mm version, developing will be a breeze. I'll let you know how it works out.
    I found that the Bakelite Load-o-mat did work just as smoothly as the 35mm Rondinax. But I never tinkered with the Rondinax 60s beyond making the observations I described to you. Since I use a Phototherm for most of my processing it was more intellectual curiosity than anything else.

    But as I said earlier, I can see that a folder and a Load-o-mat could have kept someone very satisfied.

    MB
    Michael Batchelor
    Industrial Informatics, Inc.
    www.industrialinformatics.com

    The camera catches light. The photographer catches life.

  5. #35
    michaelbsc's Avatar
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    One more issue!

    Never try to use these to process film from a Tamar Adapt-a-roll 620. It won't work with the film spooled backward.

    I thought it through, and I could not figure out a way it could work. So I just tried it.

    When you get to the tape you have to break the handle and extract the receiver to get the lid off. Ruins the film and leaves you with a broken handle.
    Michael Batchelor
    Industrial Informatics, Inc.
    www.industrialinformatics.com

    The camera catches light. The photographer catches life.

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