View Full Version : Unloading Readyloads

Ed Richards
28-Oct-2005, 13:24
Any tips on getting the film out of readyloads? I cut the exposed tape before I go dark, but it is still a battle to get the metal ends out with the film.

Dean Tomasula
28-Oct-2005, 14:18
I don't bother cutting anything. I just pull the metal clip off the bottom, slide the film and the handle out all together and tray develop with the handle intact. I pull the handle off when I'm washing. It helps to keep my fingers off the film that way.

Michael Gordon
28-Oct-2005, 14:18
Grip the metal end with your fingernails and pull it firmly but carefully straight out of the packet.

Ed Richards
28-Oct-2005, 14:20
> Grip the metal end with your fingernails and pull it firmly but carefully straight out of the packet.

That is what I do, but sometimes the film does not want to come out of the packet. I have wondered if the high humidity here swells the envelop a bit and makes it harder to get the film out.

Joel Kitchens
28-Oct-2005, 16:30
I sometimes grip the metal strip with a very small set of pliers (arc-joint style) and pull the opposite end. I try to be very careful not to catch too much of the end in the teeth of the pliers lest I damage the film. This is usually my last resort, but it works for me. I always try to remember to put the pliers within easy reach before turning out the light.

All the best,

Brian Ellis
28-Oct-2005, 17:17
Just yank the metal strip off with your fingers, it's simple to do and there's no need to be delicate, you aren't going to hurt anything. Then just slide the film out of the envelope. This is one of the few times in large format photography where you don't have to give much thought or care to what you're doing, it's pretty hard to go wrong as long as the room is dark.

Donald Hutton
28-Oct-2005, 17:59
I use Brian's technique (I seldom use the "exposed stickers" anymore - if there's writing on the white strip, it's exposed...) - I simply pry the metal strips off with little regard. With a bit of practice, you can have them out, leaders removed and ready for processing in a couple of seconds (just processed 30 sheets today!).

BTW, Robert White have a very good deal on Readyload TMax100 at present - 20 GBP a box. I just did a trip to the UK and was very pleasantly surprised that I could purchase TMax Readyloads from RW for a whole lot less than in the US...

Paul Butzi
28-Oct-2005, 18:40
I use a box cutter to slit the 'exposed' stickers (actually, mine are stickers that read "N", "N+1", etc.)

If you're having trouble pulling the clip, stub, film, and handle out of the envelope, the problem is likely not at the clip end, but at the other end of the packet.

Look at this photo

Note the 'handle' end of the film assembly - with the hole that makes it easy to firmly grasp it and prevent the packet from coming apart when you withdraw it from the holder after exposure.

It's important to NOT grasp the envelope in a way where you pinch the 'handle' end of the film carrier. If you do, even herculean force will not draw the film from the packet. Instead, grab just the very edge of the envelope. It was easier with the old two sheet readyloads, which had a handle end that only covered half the space.

I know this seems like it's unlikely that you're grabbing the non-clip end tightly enough to cause a problem but I have watched several students struggle with opening duffer readyloads I've handed them so they can try it, and I can assure you that even the slightest pressure will make it nearly impossible to exert enough force to open the packet.

Ed Richards
29-Oct-2005, 06:42
> I seldom use the "exposed stickers" anymore

I had the edge of the metal clip snag on something when I was working in the field and it pulled the film right out - I went back to the stickers.

> It's important to NOT grasp the envelope in a way where you pinch the 'handle' end of the film carrier.

Ah ha! I bet that is my problem, which would explain why it is so much easier to get the film out in broad daylight, snagged on my pocket.

Ed Richards
29-Oct-2005, 10:20
Just processed 6 sheets - giving up the death grip on the envelope solved the problem.

Brian Sims
29-Oct-2005, 11:35
The first time I unloaded a Readyload, I pulled it out fast enough to cause a static arc. It didn't fog the film...but it freaked me out. Now I add some humidity to the darkroom before film processing (i.e. I turn the shower on hot). No more static problems...

Ed Richards
29-Oct-2005, 11:41
Lack of humidity is not a big problem in Baton Rouge.

Brian Sims
29-Oct-2005, 11:50

It's usually not a problem here in Olympia, Washington either. But our rain tends to fall along a portrait orientation. Yours seems to follow a landscape orientation. Good luck down there. Keep your film dry.