Tough to Load Ilford Pan F Plus

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HowieP

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Hi, I developed my first rolls ever of Ilford Pan F Plus and could not believe how difficult it was to get the 35mm rolls onto my reels. It was virtually impossible to get the rolls to catch onto the bearings of my Paterson tank and then to make it roll onto the reel. I had to play with it forever and even then couldn't get to go on properly. I've been in the darkroom forever and never had this problem to any degree. Anyone know if I got two old rolls or if the film is always like this?
 

Kawaiithulhu

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Now that the hazing is complete we can let you into the fraternity.

First fraternal secret to loading plastic reels is that they must always be well washed, *especially* if photo-flo is used as a wetting agent. The last half of that secret is that the reels must be very, very dry.

Second fraternal secret is how to set up the leading edge of the film. It must be cut between sprocket holes so that the leading edge is unbroken. Then, carefully at each corner clip off a little diagonal so there is no sharp corner to catch on any imperfections and so will slide forward in the groove more easily.

Third fraternal secret is if you're using a changing bag try and keep calm, those things get hot and nerves will make your hands humid and that will make it harder for the film to slide. Now that you have a roll of film to play with you can use it to practice loading those reels out in the open until you've got it down to a calm science.

A little scotch and an ice cube are optional.
 

brucemuir

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My guess is he knows the procedure Kawaiithlhu ("I've been in the darkroom forever and never had this problem to any degree.) he is just having issues with the film stock

The scotch is a good idea.:unsure:

Not sure I have anything useful to say although I've never had a problem with any Ilford product.

Kawaii makes a good point regarding photoflo buildup.
I'm assuming your reels are clean and the bearings are freed up.
 

DannL.

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I can't speak for or against Paterson reels, but when it comes to reels with ball bearings installed at the beginning of the film track, I simply remove the bearings. In fact, a replacement universal tank I received yesterday came with two reels that needed the procedure.
 
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mfohl

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Hmmmm. I can't ever remember having problems with 35 mm film. I can only cut between the sprocket holes and cut the angles if I unload the film at home; if I unload on the road, I wind the leader completely back into the can and have to cut it off in the dark. Rarely an issue, and easily resolved if there is one. And I recently put a roll of Pan F 120 onto a Paterson reel without any incident. Does the film seem thinner or thicker than the film you normally use?
 

Xmas

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Hi, I developed my first rolls ever of Ilford Pan F Plus and could not believe how difficult it was to get the 35mm rolls onto my reels. It was virtually impossible to get the rolls to catch onto the bearings of my Paterson tank and then to make it roll onto the reel. I had to play with it forever and even then couldn't get to go on properly. I've been in the darkroom forever and never had this problem to any degree. Anyone know if I got two old rolls or if the film is always like this?
I only get that when I've left a film for a few weeks in a reverse wind (Leica style) camera and try and dev it immediately/soon after rewind.
I either wind it outside in (emulsion out) or start from other end of film. Sometimes helps...
I never clean the Patterson's or remove their balls. Other than the dish wash detergent in final rinse.
PanF does not seem to be different from other films.
 

cmacd123

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Should not be a problem. - one gotcha with the ball bearings is that they can get jammed in place, normally they can get unjammed with a finger nail.

The base on Pan-f is the same as all the other Ilford films in my experience. I wonder if your rolls were exposed to higher humidity than normal?
 

Xmas

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the reels need to be dry 24h in airing cupboard...
 

Gerald C Koch

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ROL

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Now that the hazing is complete we can let you into the fraternity.

First fraternal secret to loading plastic reels...


Ha, Ha! Yes, that is the hazing. Actually, to be more accurate, the practical joke of film reel loading. Either use butter on those plastic reels (i.e., real butter from real cows, not that man–made margarine stuff) or learn to load simple stainless steel reels and be happy.

:laugh:.
 

cmacd123

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Try Hewes, Nikkor, or Kindermann reels, never have a problem again.

After the tenth time managing to get a kink in the film resulting in large unfixed blank areas. Stainless i s very easy and quick to load once you get the hang of it. But the film must be acsoutly stight of it will go off the path and kink, once the edge is kinked, it is almost imposible to get on the reel straight.

I will say the Patterson reels do varry in ease of use. And there are many clones that interchange in the patterson system, Some better and some worse. The AP compact reels are the slickest, but the film guides make it difficult to "Peek" at the fim after fixing and before washing.

My absolute favourite are the JOBO 1500 series, but since Jobo re-organized, they are a bit on the pricy side.
 
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I could see how this could be difficult. I've shot a fair bit of HP5+, FP4+, and Delta films in my days, but recently tried a couple of rolls of Pan-F+, and noticed that it seemed to have a thinner base.

That didn't make a difference as far as loading it onto the developing reel goes, because I use Hewes stainless steel ones, but when the film was dry and I sleeved it, it was more difficult to insert into the Print File sleeves than any other film I've ever tried, which surprised me. Could have been my imagination, obviously.

In addition, all other films I use cup along the length of the film, with the emulsion on the concave side, but for some reason it was opposite with Pan-F+ where the emulsion ended up on the convex side. I thought that was a bit strange.

I don't know if this explains why the OP is having difficulty loading it, but it does at least explore the possibility that Pan-F+ might be different than its Ilford family members.
 
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HowieP

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Hi All, Thanks for your great responses. In no particular order, I've been in the b&w darkroom for 30 years or so but have never developed Pan F Plus until this time. I'm a dedicated user of Ilford Delta 100 & 400 since it was introduced but wanted to try some other films. I bought two rolls of about ten different films; the Pan F Plus was the last that I put in the camera. It had sat around for about two months. I have used Paterson plastic reels all these years and never had a substantial problem with any film loading until this time. It is unlikely that I will use PF+ again unless the prints come out more impressive than the negatives appear. So I will not be purchasing stainless steel reels or modifying the Paterson reels anytime soon.

The Pan F Plus definitely had a thinner base than any other film I've experienced and that contributed to the difficulty of loading it onto the reel. I assiduously clean the reels after each use and they were perfectly dry. The ball bearings were not locked and were no more or less of a problem than they ever have been. The problem was with the film and how tightly it was wrapped into itself. I think, now that its been mentioned, that I left the film out too long and that environmental issues might have worsened the film's condition. I also suspect that I will not be purchasing Pan F Plus again!

Thanks again. The hazing was so mild. And scotch sounds like a pretty good idea.
 

frobozz

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After the tenth time managing to get a kink in the film resulting in large unfixed blank areas. Stainless i s very easy and quick to load once you get the hang of it. But the film must be acsoutly stight of it will go off the path and kink, once the edge is kinked, it is almost imposible to get on the reel straight.

And that is exactly the genius of the Hewes 35mm reels. The prongs catch the sprocket holes, guaranteeing absolutely perfect alignment.

Duncan
 

MartinP

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Jobo and Paterson reels are used successfully by umpteen thousands of people, as are stainless reels. PanF is successfully processed by zillions of people too. I'd suspect some unfortunate coincidence of circumstances rather than any single factor . . .
 

donkee

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I have one plastic tank and reel. I use it for 16mm for my Minolta-16 cameras and for 616. 35mm and 120 go on stainless reels. I learned to dislike plastic reels years ago.
 
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