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Thread: Lock 'n Load (practical)

  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2018

    Lock 'n Load (practical)

    Hi guys,

    I wonder, do you ever have problems loading 120 or 35mm upon a patterson tank reel?
    Loading 4x5 is no problem for me, but am always struggling to get that 120/35 film on the reel.
    Any tips about this?
    Because I'm afraid that I'm about to damage my rolls while loading them up.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jun 2014

    Re: Lock 'n Load (practical)

    Snip the corners so that the leading edge of the film that goes onto the spiral has nicely rounded corners. This prevents the film snagging on the reel, which is the primary cause of problems loading the film.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    North Dakota

    Re: Lock 'n Load (practical)

    Humid or damp? Any wet or moist area on the holder can cause problems. Not rinsing well after using the reel in Photo Flo can cause problems as well.
    "My forumla for successful printing remains ordinary chemicals, an ordinary enlarger, music, a bottle of scotch - and stubbornness." W. Eugene Smith

  4. #4

    Join Date
    May 2018

    Re: Lock 'n Load (practical)

    Yes, but my main concern is more that the roll, rolls up on the loose end while rolling it up into the reel..
    This must sound confusing. :-)

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Los Angeles, CA

    Re: Lock 'n Load (practical)

    Are you new to using these reels? I am. I got started by practicing loading in daylight. Also watching YouTube videos. Then practice with eyes closed. Then in changing bag. Then in changing bag with eyes closed.

    My tips (as a novice): bend film tip backward to flatten film helps it go under the ball bearings easier. Then put thumbs over loading gate sides so film doesn’t “flip out”. I let the film curl but keep the curl aligned with the loading gate, Guiding with pinkie fingers. Also, found it easier to twist only one side of reel rather than twisting both simultaneously...
    Last edited by BrianShaw; 13-Mar-2020 at 07:56. Reason: Spelling.

  6. #6
    C. D. Keth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Salt Lake City, UT

    Re: Lock 'n Load (practical)

    Yeah it can be tricky for a while, especially those tight 220 reels. You just have to practice in the light, then close your eyes and only look as a bail-out, then move on to doing live film.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Hamilton, Canada

    Re: Lock 'n Load (practical)

    I let the curled film run between my pinkie (towards me) and ring (away from me) fingers just below the reel.
    And yes, clip the leading corners to round them off, a 45 degree clip of about 1/8 inch on each corner works.

  8. #8
    Tin Can's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Re: Lock 'n Load (practical)

    I HAD to get these new style with big ramps, my beat up fingers love them.
    sin eater

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Aug 2000

    Re: Lock 'n Load (practical)

    Try loading roll film with a thumb and the 2 adjacent fingers having no feeling. I do it, but not like I used to.

  10. #10

    Re: Lock 'n Load (practical)

    All the above suggestions are good advice.

    I always dry and warm up the reel with a hair dryer before loading the film …….... even if it is a dry hot day.

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