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Tips for loading 120 onto Paterson reels
Old 11-01-2019   #1
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Tips for loading 120 onto Paterson reels

Hi there. Despite shooting and developing 120 film off an on for the past 20 years, I am still struggling with loading rolls onto Paterson reels. My success rate is 50/50 in that every second roll will suffer some damage to some or all frames (creases mostly), which is not ideal obviously. Despite trying all sorts of tips (ensuring my reels are clean and very very dry; ensuring the ball bearings are loose; loading from the inner end of the roll; snipping off the corners; loading with chilled film after a spell in the fridge; etc), I still can not get the hang of it. Whereas with 135 I can expertly load roll after roll with ease. I suspect the main culprit is that I have no option but to use a film change bag and here in Australia the high level of humidity and high temperatures (especially this time of year) make hands and film sticky in the bag quickly. Other than switching to metal reels (I have so many Paterson reels that I really would prefer to stick with the system) are there any tips on offer for ending this tedious and ongoing disappointment? It annoys me so much that I am thinking of selling off my medium format gear and staying with 35mm just because it seems so wasteful in time and money to always loose images (or ruin great negs with damage) ... thanks in advance.
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