Quote Originally Posted by Ed Sukach
....some deleting....

Even if I try to "push" the film onto the tank, I only put pressure on the very edges, to create a "stiffening arch"... which also works well.

I really do not know what to say ... I haven't seen the necessity for touching the emulsion.
Nor do I. I have had my problems loading reels (like the time the whole mess "popped" out of the reel and ended up on the floor). I employ Ed's methods for the plastic reels. However I find the metal reels more to my liking for both 120 and 35mm films.

One trick I use with the 35mm is to square up the leader end and insert the end under the clip (metal reels) with lights on. There is always sufficient leader and handling the film is minimized. I have not opened a cassette in years, but then I do so little 35mm too.

For 120, I find it quite useful to snip the corners of the leading edge (45 degrees) which allows much easier loading on metal and plastic reels. And like Ed, I hardly ever have to touch the emulsion. If the film is not perfectly centered, a little backward tug usually aligns it.

Truly, dr bob.