Developing reel problem?

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by nealjpage, Sep 19, 2005.

  1. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    It was time to develop some film tonite: one roll of Neopan, one roll of Agfapan, and one roll of HP5+. All was going well until it was time to spool the Agfapan onto the reel. School has Patterson tanks and plastic reels, which work like a charm. However, the Agfa just didn't want to work right. I'd get it about halfway on, then it'd jam up. Tried another reel. That didn't work either. Finally got it on the best I could and hoped for the best. A few frames didn't get proper processing, but everything else was OK. Couldn't tell for sure, but it was almost like the film was too straight--not enough curve to keep it in the reel. Anyone else have this problem?:banghead:
     
  2. darin3200

    darin3200 TPF Noob!

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    I use to have that same problem. Do you cut off the film leader? I cut the leader straight, then cut diagonally at a 45 degree angle so the front of the film is angled.
     
  3. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    I did cut it off, but I'm not sure what angle I cut it at. Too dark to see it;) I did cut the spool end off at a sharper angle and that's the way I finally got it to thread. Maybe it was just this one roll of film.
     
  4. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    There are a couple of reasons why it might have happened.
    Your first spiral might have had a bit of damage or a 'sticky spot' - a small bit of silver deposit or dry chemical (doesn't take much). This can cause the film to stall through friction and then it kinks and jams. The film seems to remember this and will do it again if you swap spirals. I know it sounds dumb but I've seen it happen a lot. One solution is to thread the film on the other way around - reverse curl (If you put it on first emulsion side in you put it on again emulsion side out).
    It could also happen through having a small amount of moisture in the spiral. The gelatine in the film absorbs it, swells and goes sticky. In bad cases of this the only solution is to load the film on underwater. Honest.
    The final thing to check is the ball bearings. They can drop out - but then the film tends to not load at all. They can stick because of silver deposits in which case they can jam the film.
    Patterson spirals can also warp slightly causing problems.
    The bottom line is that Patterson spirals work fine until they stop working. They just do. Once a film jams in one it just seems to become a problem child and sticks in all spirals. One of life's mysteries.
    Identify the 'problem' spiral. If it jams again put it to one side and buy a new one.
    Last count I had 30 of them!
     
  5. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    Thanks, guys. I'll look at 'em tomorrow when I check the dried negs.
     
  6. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

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    I have seen a few films like Agfa have problems because the base is a little thinner then some other brands. They just don't have the rigidity to make it all the way. This is where the steel reels come in handy.
     
  7. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    We have steel reels and tanks, too, but I never figured out how those worked. The plastic ones seemed to work easier in the dark. And unfortunatly, I'm the only one that uses the darkroom, so there's no one to show me how to do things differently.
     
  8. 303villain

    303villain TPF Noob!

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    i feel your pain. i seem to be going through some sort of funk or something. never have i had a hard time getting film onto a reel and the last two two rolls ive done have given me problems! i cant for the life of me figure it out. its starting to make me REALLY mad and making me want to stick to digital :) not really, but its annoying. my teacher says its a psychological thing. that jerk called me crazy!
     
  9. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

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    At our camera club we have a few dozen patterson spirals and out of about 10 rolls which i developed myself, only 2 actually fed all the way. It got so frustrating that I just threw out the unfed portion and developed only the first 24 rolls or so.

    About a week ago I got ahold of a steel spiral and will learn to load that.

    It also may be the actual film problem with it being thinner. All of the other negatives I've seen are thicker and heavier. Go figure
     
  10. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    Roll from the inside out? That's how those work? I'll have to go check 'em out this afternoon.
     

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