Developing 35mm Film on Steel Reels - help!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by MDS, May 27, 2009.

  1. MDS

    MDS TPF Noob!

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    Hi - Apologies if this question is even too basic for the beginners' forum, but I've just developed 2 rolls of 35mm on a new steel reel and I keep getting pink sections (blotches) on the film. I've lost approx. 1/3 of my photos each time. I'm experienced with plastic reels and have never had this problem. Any advice would be really appreciated! What can I do to stop this? Thanks so much!
     
  2. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Hmm, can you post what the negs look like.

    Are you loading the reel in such a way that the film is in contact with itself?
     
  3. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    As I gaze into my crystal ball, I see you loading the film onto the reel. [Yeah, I know you did it in the dark, but you don't know my crystal ball!] You felt the film buckle slightly. As you continued to load, the film strip seemed to change direction toward the top or bottom flange of the reel. You tried to straighten its direction and continued to load. This might have happened a couple of times as you loaded the film.

    What happened was that one edge of the film 'jumped' the track into the next track toward the center of the reel. Part of the film was in contact with itself and was not affected by the developer and fixer. The opaque film still had its antihalation coating intact. When you 'straightened' the film it jumped back, but the damage was done. It might also have jumped back by two tracks and the problem began again. Once a jump occurs, it's best to go all the way back to centering the film in the clip, as this was what most likely caused the problem.

    Practice with an old strip of film until you can load a reel without even having to think about it. Key to seccesful loading is:

    1) Center the end of the film precisely in the film clip at the center of the reel. It's worth while, when rewinding a cassette in your camera, to stop when part of the leader is still sticking out. Cut off the leader and trim the end of the film into a convex arc. This will help you when you're inserting it into the center reel clip. Always compress the width of the film slightly with your thumb and forefinger as you clip and wind it onto the reel.

    2) After the film is secured by the clip [you can feel the corners of the film from outside the flanges with the fingers on your non-film-holding hand and check that the end is really centered] apply a bit of tension to the strip. Remember to keep the film compressed slightly just past the reel flanges to insure that it is guided into the start of the tracks, both top and bottom. Even with a precisely centered strip, you can still manage to get it started wrong if you don't control the tension at this point.

    3) Keep the edges of the film slightly compressed as you continue to load. This will guard against a track 'jump'. If a jump occurs, go all the way back to centering the film end -- don't try to 'straighten' the remaining strip.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2009
  4. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Torus' advice is spot on. And while I may get flogged for this, I would recommend using the Patterson system with the ratcheting, plastic reels instead of the SS ones.
     
  5. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    [Torus uses metal reels, but mainly 'cause that's what he has. They're old nikkors -- almost indestructable.]
     
  6. MDS

    MDS TPF Noob!

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    Thanks everyone - I appreciate it. I guess I just need some good old fashioned practice. Lousy though that I had to lose so many pictures in the process. Thanks!
     
  7. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    np! With practice, you'll be a pro in no time.
     
  8. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    We have all been there, so not to fear.
     

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