35mm format:

Pre-placed onto the reel


For film that has been pre-placed on the reel, wind the film onto the reel by using your fingers to twist the reel back and forth. When twisting the roll, the right hand side is used to transport the film further onto the reel, so hold the film while twisting the right reel. Once in the end position, twist the right reel back, but this time holding down the film with the left fingers and not with the right...in this way, the film stays advanced on the reel.  Continue doing this until the film no longer comes out of the canister.

Cut the film as close as possible to the canister felt-opening. Take care not to cut the bag!


Now load the reel into the tank and close the tank securely.





Step 2:

At this point, everything is in the film changing bag, and both zips are closed perfectly.

Put on the gloves, and get your arms into the bag using the appropriate elasticised openings. It’s time to load the film onto the reel, and place everything into the tank.


Medium format:

Firstly, start unravelling the film by tearing the little bit of securing tape that holds the paper backing together. I usually place the role in my left hand, and use my right to unravel the film while curling up the paper backing.


Once I reach the film, I position the curled up paper backing and the unwinding film into my right hand, holding the film up using my middle and index fingers. Using the tip on page 1 (Medium format paragraph 3), I load the film by sliding the film on the reel edges, from left to right, until I hear the film click past the opening. At this point, I push the film to the left as far as I can. Sometimes I can load a entire role of film just by pushing it in.

Quick tip: I refrigerate my film for a few hours before I develop. It makes loading thin film (EFKE and Rollei film) much easier.

Once on the reel, use your fingers to twist the reel back and forth. When twisting the roll, the right hand side is used to transport the film further onto the reel, so hold the film while twisting the right reel.

Once in the end position, twist the right reel back, but this time holding down the film with the left fingers and not with the right...in this way, the film stays advanced on the reel.

Continue doing this until you hit the mark where the film is taped to the paper backing.

Gently peel off the tape, fold it over onto the film, and continue to wind the film until the end is past the reel opening. Now load the reel into the tank and close the tank securely.

35mm format:

Film loading requiring bottle opener


For film that needs opening with a bottle opener, gently open the flat end of the canister side as illustrated in the picture. Now pull out the wound-up film, and carefully cut the film leader off. It is important to cut as straight and as perpendicular to the film length as possible.


Load the film as described above in the medium format method (paragraph 2), advancing the film using your fingers by twist the reel back and forth. When the film is completely unraveled from the film canister reel, cut the film off and advance the remainder of the film onto the developing reel.


Now load the reel into the tank and close the tank securely.

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