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I had a stroke of genius today..................


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I shot a couple of rolls of T-Max 100 120 with the Hasselblad the other day down in Charleston, SC. I mixed up the chemistry this morning and got all ready to go. As anyone who has had to load 120 B&W film onto film reels knows, the film base is rather thin and at 2.5x the width of 35mm it makes loading reels a little tricky. 35mm is easy, I can load a 36 exposure roll in about 10 seconds with no problem. 120 not so much, even though the film is a lot shorter. And for those of you who have ever shot 220 back in the day you know that it is even worse.  My 120 reels have a strong little clip in the very center that hold the film while you are loading but you have the get the film centered perfectly in that clip or you are going to have all kinds of alignment issues, which is never a good thing. I always trim the edges at an angle to make it easier to get it into the center of the reel.. In pitch black it is difficult at best to get them at the same angle. It was then that a stroke of genius entered my head. Panchromatic film is insensitive to IR. Why not use my Night Vision Goggles (Gen III+ PVS-7B's) and turn on the IR illuminator so I can see what I am doing? The IR Illuminator is which is necessary when there is essentially no light which was the case on many a black ass night ini Baghdad. NGV's multiply light up to 50,000 times but 50,000 time zero is still zero. Loading those reels was a snap! Why have I not ever thought about this before? 

Edited by scott_murphy5
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  • 4 weeks later...

Very good idea if you have the goggles - I assume they must hold light tight around the eyes, otherwise it wouldn't make much sense.

Anyway, I don't use the clip in the center of my 120 steel reels - they make more mess than good.

I place my thumb on the end of the film and roll until the thumb is in the way, from there there is enough resistance to continue rolling the film onto the reel.
This works well for me on 120 Hewes and Kindermann reels. I actually find it easier to roll 120 than 35 now after applying above method.


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  • 2 months later...

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