This article is about loading 135 film. Instructions for loading 120 film are also available.

Required equipment

The following items will be necessary:

The 2502 reel

The Jobo 2502 reel can develop one roll of 135 or two rolls of 120 film. The former is narrower, and the reel has to be set up to fit it.

To adjust the reel, unscren both sides and reassemble at the narrower setting.

Two Jobo tank reels, the top one narrower, and the bottom one wider.
Two 2502 reels. The top one is set to accept film in the 135 format, and the bottom one in 120 format.

On the side of the reel there's a red tab. It's used when loading the 120 film. For 135 film it should be left unlocked:

The Jobo reel with a red tab on the side.
A red tab in the unlocked position. When pushed in, it would prevent the roll of film to be loaded past it.

Loading the film

1. Extract the film lead

Follow the film retriever instructions.

For the AP retriever, it goes as follows:

  1. Rotate the film catridge spool counter clockwise two times
  2. Insert all the white slides into the catridge lip
  3. Move the slide A all the way up, while keeping slide B down.
  4. Rotate the spool counter clockwise until you hear 2-4 clicks, while keeping the retriever slides inside the catridge.
  5. Move the slide B all the way up.
  6. Forcefully remove the retriever from the spool.

There are other ways to open the spool. Some use a can opener. Or remove the spool lid with hands. I like using a lead retrievier because it can be done safely with lights on.

2. Cut the lead of the film

A roll of film with the lead (the beginning) cut to be a bit round.
Cutting the lead to make it a bit round helps with loading it onto a reel.

3. Prepare for the darkroom work

Before turning the lights off, make sure the following is laid out on your work space (or in the changing bag) in a way you'll be able to find it in the dark:

4. Turn the lights off

Before unrolling the film, remember to turns off the lights. Work in darkness untill the tank lid is closed.

5. Load the first roll

There are plenty of tutorials and YouTube vidoes online how to do this, go check them out.

6. Wrap up

Put the reel onto the center core and place them in the tank. Close the lid. Make sure it's tight. Double check everything - that there's no film laying around and everthing is ready. Then it should be safe to turn on the lights.