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Post by Digitaltruth »

If you are having problems rolling 120 film onto steel reels, then you probably just need to modify your technique. The Hewes reels are the best, they are rock solid and don't bend like many other brands, so there is no reason to change your equipment -- if you do the problem will probably get worse.

If you are use to loading 35mm reels, then perhaps you are holding the 120 film too tightly. Try unravelling the entire reel and removing the paper before you start. Let it hand toward the floor and clip it off. Then clip the film to the center of the reel and hold the film more loosely than you might with 35mm and gently put it on to the reel. Once you get a feel for it, its easy.
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Post by brianmcgloin »

Steel reels are just as easy as plastic - even easier if one is developing a lof of film and the reels aren't completely dry.

You should be able to pull the paper off of the film carefully and let the film just hang.

Maybe you should use a fogged/exposed/dead/borrowed roll of film and try it in the light, then with your eyes closed and then in the dark.
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Post by waitew »

There is a way that is Much much easier than any type of reel!!& that is the old photo aprons.I've never had a problem loading one of those!I don't understand why they went out of fasion!?Anyway,they are still available from freestyle photo in Los Angeles & cost a faction of any type of reel...If you're just developing Black & white film There's no reason to use anything else!If you're not familar with them research it.

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Post by wcakey »

Well I do my loading a little differently. First I unroll the film completely and gently tear off the tape and toss the paper out of the way. BTW, I never get sparks with 120 film, but have had them with 35mm film. I don't let the film hang down as I have found that it is too curly and gets messed up. Instead, I reroll it with the tape now at the center of the roll. The reason I do that is because the clear, unexposed leader is longer at the end of the roll than at the beginning of the roll. So if you roll it so the end of the roll (the tape end) is in the center, then you have a longer, unexposed leader to work with when you are you are fiddling about feeding the film into the center of the reel and under the catch spring. This makes it less likely that you will damage the first exposure (well, actually the last exposure) on the roll of film.

Holding the roll of film loosely in my palm and using my index finger to keep it from moving about, I extend the leader with my other hand and slide it under the spring catch on the reel. As I load the film (by revolving the reel with the hand not holding the film), I periodically stop and wiggle the film on the reel back and forth a short distance. If it is loaded correctly, the film should slide back and forth on the reel with no resistance --you can hear it and feel it moving. If I feel any resistance to sliding, I unwind a bit of film from the reel and test it again. I keep unrolling film off of the reel until it will again slide freely back and forth at which point, I continue loading the reel.

I learned this technique from my father-in-law and have found it to be fool-proof.



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Post by noexit »

I always load my 120 while seated. That way I can hold the film reel with my knees and keep a length unrolled while preventing it from twisting. My darkroom is a bathroom, so I can just sit on the toilet. :-)

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