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Would i be better off buying plastic or metal tools for developing?
-- Brandon Lobb (email@example.com), January 31, 2002
Regarding the reel in the developing tank: For 35mm, I find the plastic reels much easier to load properly than the steel spirals, provided that the plastic reel is BONE DRY. I routinely dry the plastic reel with a hair dryer after I dry it with a towel. That way there is never a problem and loading is easy as pie.
-- Ollie Steiner (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 03, 2002.
Although the plastic reels are easier to load (given they are completely dry. They are better insulators than the metal reels. This means they take longer to come up to temp in development and can contribute to development variation. The impact to your film is probably going to be minor, but if you start getting super critical with development, it would be better to use metal reels.
The other issue with using any plastic with chemistry concerns the absorbtion characteristics of plastic. Believe it or not, but the plastic tends to absorb some chemistry. I have seen this happen with plastic tops. After extended use, the plastic had become impregnated with just enough fixer to continually cause fogging. It drove me crazy for 2 months before I finally figured it out and replaced the plastic tank top with a metal one. The problem was immediately solved.
If you are going to use plastic, be sure to wash the reels and top thoroughly after use. At the first sign of fogging, replace the plastic.
-- Don Sigl (email@example.com), May 29, 2002.