I was excited to process my fourth roll of self-developed film today. Each previous time it took me a while to load the film onto the reel, but I always got the film loaded eventually, and went on to a successful developing experience.
Not today . I was trying to load up some Efke 100 that I'd shot to test my Sonnar after its "accident" (another thread in another subforum, and possibly why I was on a short fuse). Anyway, the film just started either binding, or refusing to "catch", right away. It took me a million tries to get it started onto the reel, then on three different occasions, it started binding after a bunch of film was loaded. On the last loading try, I realized that the film was starting to stick to itself and that my pictures were most likely going to be ruined whether I got it onto the reel or not. Then that attempt got bound up, too!
I ended up yanking my arms out of the armholes of the bag, ripping the bag open, and yanking the film and reel out of the bag to look at it and yell at it for a moment. Then I yanked the reel apart and yanked the film off of it, and threw the film to the ground . Then I picked it up and cursed at it at the top of my lungs, and threw it down again, for good measure . Surprisingly, I didn't jump up and down on it, but I did do my best to get the attention of any supreme being that might be listening for offensive language. I may have thrown the changing bag into the corner, too. Yes, actually, I did. I didn't throw the scissors, luckily. Let's just say I was in a blind rage.
Anyway, while I was still pissed, but had stopped throwing things, I put the reel back together and found that I could practically toss the film at the loading slot from three feet away and get it to load right right onto the reel. This is the same experience I had when practicing loading my test roll in the open air (with eyes closed, and in the dark) before my first roll.
So my conclusion is that the humidity that forms in the bag as soon as I put my hands in it is to blame. It is truly trivial to fully load even this (horribly abused) film onto the (also horribly abused) reel out in the open, dry, air of my Denver basement.
I guess I'll just load film onto reels in my bathroom, at night, from now on. That way I can just get the film and the reel within a few inches of each other and have the film jump into the slot and wind on as if by magic.
Thanks for letting me get that off my chest. I feel better (sort-of) now.