Reels...What's the difference?

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by Josh66, Jul 6, 2009.

  1. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Looking at these reels, there are the 'regular' ones, the 'delux' ones, and the 'professional' ones. Other than price, what is the difference?


    The professional one looks a little heavier (thicker wire), but the regular and delux ones look the same to me.


    I'm assuming that it doesn't really matter, and the regular one for $10 is just as good as the professional one for $50. I thought I better ask though...
    I can't see how the professional one could be "5 times better".


    Is there any real reason why you would need the professional one over the regular one?
     
  2. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I can tell you from experience ... a well designed metal reel is a dream to load ... while a cheap one is so frustrating (which can lead to misloading and film damage/fingerprints/bends).

    I am not familiar with this brand ... but the Pro looks like larger gauge steel.
     
  3. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    That makes sense.

    I'm not going to spend $50 on a reel (not right now anyway), but maybe I'll try the delux one.
    I just noticed that the review on the cheap one said that it needed tweaking right out of the box.

    BTW, what brand would you recommend?

    EDIT

    Then again, the reviews on the pro one are all very good...
    Maybe I'll have to try it. OK, after reading the reviews - I think I will get it...
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2009
  4. Actor

    Actor TPF Noob!

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    I recommend getting a plastic reel that can be loaded with a ratcheting action. They're a lot easier to load. I've never used a metal reel because I could never get the hang of loading the darn thing. I don't think there's any advantage of a metal reel over a plastic reel.
     
  5. CW Jones

    CW Jones TPF Noob!

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    I have used both metal and plastic ones.. I actually think the plastic ones are easier to load... I just use the patterson plastic ones. Super easy to load IMO, never got a single finger print or bend in my film from loading. Also never took me more than about a min or 2 to load 2 rolls of film, the reels were just that easy.
     
  6. DSPhotography

    DSPhotography TPF Noob!

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    I've never used plastic reels, just steel and have never had any issues with them. Granted it took me a few times practicing with a dead roll of film to get it right, but once I got the hang of it, doing it blind in the dark was a cinch. From what I've heard though, the downside to plastic reels is that they generally need to be replaced after several uses as the chemicals will start taking a toll on the plastic (which is why they're cheaper). It pretty much boils down to ease of use (plastic) vs. lasting practically a lifetime (steel). In a perfect world, someone would have designed an easy to load (ie: ratcheting) steel reel.
     
  7. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    That's kind of what I suspected...

    I think I'll go with the "pro" steel ones I linked to. Should be a one time buy.
     
  8. CW Jones

    CW Jones TPF Noob!

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    I have to disagree 100% there. Mine look brand new and have been used well over 200 times in the past year. There were some other plastic reels at the college I use to go to that had been there for 4 years and still looked new and operated flawlessly.

    There is nothing wrong with plastic ones at all. Patterson reels are great and I have never seen or heard of one being eaten by chemicals.

    Think about it this way... what types of bottles are the chemicals stored in? Plastic.... if it doesn't eat away at that plastic over time... it doesn't eat away at the reels, relatively simply logic.
     
  9. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    I have had 12 plastic Jobo reels for 9-10 years now and they are absolutely still useable (still white, I clean my equipment)! Now maybe in another 10 years, it may not be the case. But longevity wise, I am happy with them. And the nice thing about the plastic reels is I can change from 35mm to 120 / 220 with a simple adjustment on the reel. With metal you have to have 2 sets!

    I have used both metal and plastic. And the ratcheting action of the plastic reels are easier. But the biggest thing is to make sure the leading edge corners are clipped / rounded over so they don't catch. Thats the biggest hang up with reels (and make sure film / reels are dry). Amazing what a little moisture will do to make things stick.
     
  10. CW Jones

    CW Jones TPF Noob!

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    ya I always hated having to cut between the holes in the film... haha perfect dark, can't see an inch in front of your face and you have like a 1/16 of an inch to cut between haha

    Just make sure you rise them off real good and dont put them away wet or damp and your all set.
     
  11. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  12. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I think I'll still go with steel for longevity. Even if the chemicals have no affect on the plastic reels - steel will still last longer.

    It might be harder to load, but I'm sure I'll get the hang of it.
     

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