Hewes Reels-How have I missed them?

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by ben_hutcherson, Nov 22, 2017.

  1. I have a couple of Nikor 120 reels I've been using for years, but my 35mm reels have been an assortment of no-names for a while.

    I've not had any issue with the no-names aside from the fact that they seem to bend with the slightest provocation, and once they're bent I consider them junk.

    In any case, when I bought my Focomat V35 last week, it came with a two-reel tank with reels in it, but I didn't pay much attention to it. I needed some clean, dry reels last night so just tossed these in my changing bag without really even looking at them.

    All I can say is that even just handling them, my immediate reaction was "wow." They are MUCH sturdier than the no-name 35s, and feel and handle every bit like my 120 Nikors. Like the Nikors, they seem to just load themselves.

    After I was finished processing, I looked enough and saw the Hewes tag on the center clip. I had heard of Hewes reels before(usually lumped in with Nikor and Omega) but I guess I hadn't paid much attention in my used equipment hunts. I also don't generally look for darkroom equipment these days-I just buy it if decent looking stuff comes up and I can use it.

    Also, as a British car owner, I have to say I'm amazed at the fact that the Hewes branded tank they were in leaks less than pretty much any other SS tank I've used :) . My workhorse tank is a two-reel Omega with a stainless lid, but it does "weep" a bit around the seam.
  2. If "too much" liquid is placed in any of the name brand ss tank's, they "weep". Use a 2x paper towel around the tank to keep everything "dry". Bill DSCF6514 ffr.JPG
  3. My first attempts at loading a reel was on no-name stainless steel model and I had all kinds of problems. I could see why people would much prefer plastic. But, I'd seen Hewes recommended somewhere and bought one. It made a world of difference.
  4. I've only used Nikkor reels, and they are GREAT, once you learned to load them.
    I never used the clip in the center of the Nikkor 35mm reels, so the teeth on the Hewes does not buy me anything.

    We used to run a strip of masking tape around the cap, to seal it and keep the cap from 'accidentally' opening during agitation.
  5. I've never used any sort of clip either-I learned to load by just tucking the center in.

    As I said, I feel like my Nikors virtually load themselves. Once they're started, all I have to do is just turn the reel in my left hand while I feed with my right. The Hewes reels load just as smoothly.
  6. I'm perfectly comfy loading an UN-BENT Nikor 35mm reel. But my Hewes reels are just luxurious to load. Only problem with Hewes 35mm reels is that two of them don't fit in a Nikor Q15 tank, you need the much rarer Q18 tank.
  7. I too was a recent discoverer of Hewes reels. I use one for 220 and it's the only one that works. My previous 220 reel would make a comlpete mess of things.
  8. OK now you guys have got me curious.
    I guess I have to go find some Hewes reels to try for myself.

    And I got to check to see which Nikor tank I have. I have my doubts that I have the Q18 tank.

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