how many films should i load into a reel

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by tom_vin, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. i tried loading 3 reels, and it fits and all.
    then when i developed the films. what happened was that some films were sticking to each other. and there were blue sticky liquid where one of the picture is suppose to be.......what should i do here? should i refix it or....put it in the developer again?. or just wash it.
    i put it in the developer again...and pretty much screwed that frame up. it turn out black/brown. :(
    do you think i put too many films into the reel?
    this didnt happen when i used to just put one roll in there.
    maybe two would work ?
    and this is a 120 film.
    oh, and one more question, is it ok if i develop tri-x and tmax together in one tank ?.
  2. Maybe it is possible to put 2 rolls, (back to back) in one reel and have it work. But, I would have only 1 per reel. That's why they have multiple reel tanks.
  3. Ive only loaded ONE roll per reel. I wonder if taping the ends of the films together would help/work making one longer roll.
  4. You should only load one roll on the reel. The issue is that the film was touching and not allowing the chemicals come into contact with and flow around the emulsion (ie, blue sticky liquid). Once you did this and exposed to the light...there is no fixing it.
    Tmax and Tri-X are two rather different films, so no you can not develop them together as they require different times with different developers.
    So one roll at a time and if you want more...get a multi reel tank.
  5. what about the developer....can i reuse the developer ? its a kodak professional developer. i mixed it to make 1 gallon.
    because if i develope the film like this, my developer will run out really fast?
  6. what about the developer....can i reuse the developer ? its a kodak professional developer. i mixed it to make 1 gallon.

    because if i develope the film like this, my developer will run out really fast?
  7. Haven't used all developers. But, ones such as D-76 can be used several times. But, there will be a point where it will be exhausted
  8. Tom,
    I have put 2 120 rolls on a reel with success... and sometimes I haven't. I think with lots of practice and care, you can get better at it. You may want to try crimping the end of the first roll so the second will stop when it encounters it.
  9. I would assume you are talking about Kodak D-76. Yes it make a gallon of what is called "stock solution". This is how you store it and you can develop with it that way. If it is D-76, then it is a one shot developer meaning that you can not reuse it.
    You also have the option to dilute the "stock solution" into a "working solution" of 1+1 or even 1+3. Meaning that with 1+1, you mix one part D-76 with one part distilled water to make the total volumn that you need. So if you need 500ml of total solution for your tank, you mix 250ml of D-76 StocK solution with 250ml of Distilled water. Then you will need to adjust the development time due to the weaker develop.
    Some like the results better with the diluted developer and it makes your stock solution last a lot longer. BtW, the stock solution with only last about a month maybe two. I have use nearly 3 month old D-76 but I left it in stock solution and I added about a minute to the development time.
  10. Well, in its stock solution maybe it can be reused, however I would still suggest you use a diluted working solution and use only once.
    As scott has pointed out, you can put two rolls on most of the adjustable plastic reels as they are made for 220 film as well. 220 film is the same as 120 but the roll is twice as long. The trick is to not let it overlap and touch. Many of the metal stainless steel reels are for 120 only and I don't think you could fit two rolls on it....although I have not tried.
  11. i routinely develop two rolls of 120 on a single reel by carefully taping the second film to the first. it must be parallel and the corners flush or it will get stuck on its way in. if you didn't have them taped together, the film could have overlapped and failed to develop or fix, as you describe. two films per roll shouldn't be a problem since the reels are designed for developing 220. if you're new to med format, you should practice taping them together several times so you can do it without touching the film very much or getting stuck. also, keep the paper dry in case you have to take the second film off and start over.
    i usually dilute and reuse once on the same day. it's also possible to reuse stock solution several times at different occasions with adjustment to time but to be more consistent i avoid this.
  12. do i know when my developer is exhausted ?? will it change color?.... :( ?
  13. I routinely develop 2 rolls on Paterson reels. I spool the first roll into the reel, then push it along the spiral with my hand until I feel the end hit the end of the spiral. Then I spool the second roll on and stop just after the end of the film has passed the ball bearings. On rare occasions I'll get a little overlap, but it's usually on the clear leader of the film anyway.
  14. Jobo plastic reels can safely load two rolls of 120 on one reel ( But, the reels don't interchange with those of the Paterson type.
  15. When you loaded two films onto a single reel they overlapped and there was not a good flow of liquids around the film where the two touched. It is possible to fit two 120 rolls of film onto a single spool, but you must figure a way to prevent the two rolls from overlapping. Loading them back to back is not the best idea. The emulsion of both films will develop ok, but there are also coatings on the back sides of the films that need to be washed out. This occurs with normal processing. If the back are touching, it won't.
    The developer question is a little more complicated. I suggest you read the Kodak tech pub. for your developer. Find all things Kodak at
  16. jtk


    If you can find a local amateur photo club or public darkroom (they do exist) someone can help you face-to-face with these issues...better that way than from the written word.
    You could also try an old camera store (the older the better) because someone there may have had some exposure to photography :)
  17. Think about it a bit differently. D76 costs $6/gallon. That's 128 ounces or enough to do 16 rolls at 8 ounces/roll. That's 37 cents per roll. Cram two rolls onto one reel, and your massive savings amounts to:
    19 cents per roll
    Are any of these bizarre suggestions worth it? Tape and hope for "perfect alignment" so it doesn't jam? Or better yet, push one roll all the way down the spiral by hand without adding any fingerprints or scratches, them worry about "a little overlap, but it's usually on the clear leader". But "usually on" implies "not always on" which implies "sometimes off". How many "sometimes" do you need before that 19 cents seems like a foolish economy.
    I can't picture any student, any hobbiest, any starving artist so desperate for 19 cents a roll that they would go through so much trouble and take so much risk for a few pennies.
  18. Joseph,
    I don't do it to save pennies, but time. It takes an extra 30 minutes to process and wash a roll. That adds up if you have a large quantity.
  19. Use a larger tank.
  20. I understand that not everyone who is doing B&W photography expects to create fine art or the highest quality photos. Some people simply want "usable" pictures as easily, quickly, and simply as possible. If that is the case here, then sure, go ahead and try taping together two rolls of 120 film onto a 220 reel, or try rolling them on top of each other onto a single 120 reel. And go ahead and re-use the developer two or three times. With some practice you can probably get it to work "good enough", most of the time.
    If, on the other hand, you want high quality, consistent results every time, then I don't recommend that you do any of that! Instead, I would follow the instructions that can be found in numerous online tutorials online, or in numerous books in your library or available for purchase, that explain how to develop consistently high quality B&W negatives. These instructions were created after almost a century of different photographers and scientists figuring out what works and what doesn't.
  21. Scott,
    Alan nailed it. I have about 8 different tanks, everything from single roll to about 8...I can queue up whatever I need, efficiently, without endangering shoots. Important shoots get their rolls interleaved, so no more than half are in any batch...
  22. I have not read the whole thread, but are you talking about putting two rolls of film onto one reel? I have only used one film , one reel. That way your film will be adequately developed, and won't stick together.
  23. wow, such a hot topic -- two films or one :) i like the suggestion to "follow the instructions". that surely sounds like the best way to create art. to do what you are told. be consistent. experiment not with our ancient law.
    and anyway, joseph, your math doesn't work everywhere. in my neck of the woods id-11 is $10 per liter -- when i can find it. economy applies to more than just the pennies, but also, as scott said, to time and resources. by your calculation, the fiscal economy is $1.25 per roll plus 30 minutes of my time which i bill at $100/hour. so, indeed, the savings is $51.25 when i develop two rolls of 120 per reel designed for developing 220. plus i get the bonus of having more consistent results (if that's really a benefit i'm still not sure) because they are developed exactly the same way.
    i am glad though that you interpolated my description as a quest for perfection. indeed, this is my goal.
  24. Robert, your analogy is flawed. An artist breaks rules in order to experiment and stretch boundaries. The purpose of Toms experiment was to reduce the cost of achieving a high quality of developing. The experiment failed.
    And, I am afraid that it is your math that is flawed, and not mine. You make the assumption that time is proportional to the number of rolls of film developed. This is not true. Had you loaded both rolls into a two reel tank, instead of processing them sequentially in a single roll tank, you would have very nearly the same time. (seconds saved pouring into the smaller tank vs. seconds lost taping rolls together).
  25. This thread is getting bizarre!
    Do you want consistently good quality results or "hit and miss"? If the latter, go buy a Lomo, Holga or Diana. It won't matter much then if you stuff up the processing.
    If the former, just put one roll per reel, read the chemical user instructions carefully and follow them. Don't keep your stock solutions past their use-by date. Don't reuse mixed developer unless it's the same day and you adjust the time according to the instructions. And if it's truly "one-shot" then don't reuse it at all!
    If you develop more than one film at a time, make sure the chemicals match the film type and the development times are the same.
    Anything else you're gambling with the results.
  26. Robert J, i don't see how your math works out for getting 8 rolls out of 1 liter of ilford id-11 unless you are diluting 1:3. The sad thing is that is not all you are out. Robert, you state you charge $100 an hour. Ok, how much time did you waste if it doesn't turn out?? How much time did you spend taking the pictures?? How much time did you spend getting to where you shot the film?? How about the shots themselves, will you be able to recreate them?? How much was the film in the first place?? Here, ilford hp4+ is like $5.59 a roll. Here ilford id-11 is $6.50 for 1 liter but for 5 liters it is only $11.
    wow, such a hot topic -- two films or one :) i like the suggestion to "follow the instructions". that surely sounds like the best way to create art. to do what you are told. be consistent. experiment not with our ancient law.​
    I have no problem with experimenting. I am just about to take a roll of color 35mm and respool it backward so the emulsion side is to the back. Let you know what happens if you are interested.
  27. boy, clay, you're right. i forgot to adjust (or "flaw" as some might have it) for many more things. we should add the expense of quick drying agent plus distilled water for a 3 stage rinse. not to mention the expense of waiting 6 months for a shop to restock chemistry.... at 100/hr over 6 months it gets very expensive. i must be saving about $20,051.35 -- when adjusted for time and resources -- by developing two rolls ;)
    look, sorry if i came across as a bit strong. the original ":)" was evidence that i was being tongue in cheek. i realize it's not fair to be sarcastic when discussing beginning developing techniques so i'll tone it down.
    let me recant my original post and just add an anecdote that i have been developing two 120 hp5+ rolls in id-11 1:1 13 mins two inversions per minute single use for a very long time. the results are always the same: good shadows and contrast, prints or scans easily, never overlaps or touches. i can rely on this method when i shoot for a client and the time and resources saved by doubling up are tremendous when added up. however, i don't suggest doing this without practice loading and confidence in getting it right. i am sure that others feel differently about their methodology. the key is to experiment and see what works best for you.
    by the way, clay, i'd love to see what happens with your experiment. i wonder if you'll need longer exposures due to the density of the base? i have shot on some x-ray film that has emulsion on both sides but i can't really see much of a difference and i suspect that only a single side was exposed.
  28. I am just about to take a roll of color 35mm and respool it backward so the emulsion side is to the back. Let you know what happens if you are interested.​
    Interesting experiment. I suspect that either the anti-halation layer will block pretty much all the light resulting in very long exposure times, or it will let some through and you'll have tremendous halation, or both...
    i have shot on some x-ray film that has emulsion on both sides but i can't really see much of a difference and i suspect that only a single side was exposed.​
    I suspect that what you saw as "emulsion on both sides" was simply a film lacking an anti-halation layer. Not surprising, since x-rays are not subject to halation.
    For shooting with light, such films will nearly double their speed if shot in a camera that has a polished metal pressure plate (such as old aerophotography cameras) because most of the light goes through the (mostly clear) emulsion, reflects from the plate, and makes another pass through the emulsion. This technique requires a pressure plate in perfect contact with the film, polished perfectly, and also only works with long lenses. Using them in a more conventional camera, with a less polished (often times "brushed" or "dimpled" to keep film from sticking) pressure plate, with the film les tight against the plate, leads to dramatically increase halation, and ghosts and doubled images.
    That was the fun part of shooting Kodak infrared films. Designed originally as aero films, the halation lead to a "glow" around bright objects that most people simply believed had something to do with infrared or "heat". And from a myth, a legend was born...

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