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why cant I open my patterson reel to 120?

Jennifer Edwards , Feb 28, 2005; 10:58 a.m.

Oh please help! I have patterson reels that can open to hold 120 film, but have lost the manual. I see that I need to twist the reel clockwise (?) and pull like crazy to open it, but it wont budge. I think I am actually beginning to crack it! Can you help me? Thanks! Jen


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Lynn Jones , Feb 28, 2005; 11:22 a.m.

Some patterson and patterson reels aren't adjustable.


Zachariah Edwardson , Feb 28, 2005; 11:35 a.m.

Its one of those things that hard to do right at first, but once you get it, you can be set.

Basicly, Push it in and clockwise, and if it adjustiable, it will pop open.

Only took me 2 hours to figure out how to do it the first time, since I was scared to break it.

R Hofland , Feb 28, 2005; 02:30 p.m.

My Paterson reels all have three different settings-- 35mm, 127 and 120. I recall you twist the reels counter-clockwise to open, and then clockwise to re-engage. However, I have noticed one of my reels now doesn't want to disengage, probably because I had previously re-engaged it onto the wrong channels (one is wider than the other two). I'm sure that if I am determined I can still get it apart, and they are cheap enough that even if broken it is worthwhile to replace.

Plus I can use them for sheet film in a pinch. But that's another trick altogether.

Jon Shiu , Feb 28, 2005; 04:28 p.m.

Yes, turn clockwise and then they will just slide open. If it is really tight, maybe wear rubber gloves to get a better grip.

Dean Williams , Feb 28, 2005; 06:20 p.m.

Try this...


Lex Jenkins , Mar 01, 2005; 12:54 a.m.

Because plastic reels are designed to bugger up our thumbs and wrists. Once I have one set to either 120 or 35mm I don't change it again. PITA. Out of 10 or so of the things I have maybe two anonymous brand plastic reels that adjust smoothly.

Chris Waller , Mar 01, 2005; 04:59 a.m.

I frequently change my Paterson reels from 35mm to 120 - as a matter of necessity. Dean's set of three pictures shows you exactly how it's done.

Thomas Sullivan , Mar 01, 2005; 05:14 a.m.

yeah, the above pic examples are it. I change mine back and forth all the time. One thing I do though, and really didn't think of it till now, is that I take them apart after each use and rinse them off and let them dry apart from each other (the two halves). Perhaps you have been using them awhile and never really flushed out the chemicals that might have settled and dried up in there? I could see that making it next to impossible to get them apart then. Try soaking them in water over night, and see if they come apart then. And then get rid of any gunk that might be in there.

Philip Wang , Mar 01, 2005; 12:46 p.m.

I have a lot of plastic reels and they are not built equal. Some are easy to asjust. some are difficult. And some are so tough and nearly impossible to adjust and make you really wonder if you did it the right or wrong way/angel/direction :).

I experienced all of them and right now pleasantly stay with stainless steel ones. There is no need and no way to adjust those.

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