620 Film Cameras

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Alisha, Aug 5, 2008.

  1. Alisha

    Alisha Member

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    I've been wanting to buy a camera that uses 620 film, maybe a camera from the Kodak Duaflex family being they're not in popular demand on eBay, so I can get one for less amount of money. I thought it'd be a good way of getting into medium format photography.

    I heard that 620 film is the same as 120 just that their spools are different. The problem is I don't know if my local lab will be able to accept 620 film, but they can process 120.

    I was wondering if anyone else uses a 620 camera and if you do, can you tell me how you get your film processed? Or is it a better idea to buy a camera that takes 120?
     
  2. Nathan Smith

    Nathan Smith Member

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    I use 620 cameras occasionally and re-spool 120 film, but I have always processed my own film.

    If I were going to take it to the lab I'd spool it back onto a 120 spool, because I wouldn't trust them to return the 620 spool. If you have a very good relationship with your lab and trust them to return it, then maybe you can give it to them as-is.

    I have never worked in a lab, but I'd think that they'd pull the film off the spool as a first step and after that it's obviously the same as 120 film, so I doubt there's a problem there.

    As far as 620 vs 120 cameras, I think that unless you really want a camera that comes only in 620 you should just get a 120 camera. There are plenty of them available and you're far more likely to use it and enjoy it if you don't have to mess with respooling. Just my 2 cents.

    Nathan
     
  3. DougGrosjean

    DougGrosjean Member

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    620 really is just 120 film spooled onto a different spool. All the numbers on the paper backing line up with the red windows, etc.

    620 spools are available on Ebay. I've got about a dozen of them.

    I use a Kodak Panoram that way, and sometimes a Kodak Medalist.

    Ask the lab for the spools back when you drop the film off, explaining to them that they cost you money, and if you don't get them back you'll have to charge them for any spools they throw away.

    I haven't had a lab lose one of my spools yet.

    One thing - are you comfy working in the dark, or with a changing bag, to spool the film onto the 620 spools?
     
  4. MXP

    MXP Member

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    If it was me I would get a camera that uses 120 film. I think you have to ask the lab if they will process 620 film. I know some labs will do it. But a good 120 film camera is not that expensive. The 620 spool is smaller than a 120. There are some information on the web on how to fit a 120 spool into a 620 camera and also how to re-spool 120 til 620 etc. If you do a google search on "620 film". You are right that 620 camera can be found very cheap. I got at near mint Kodak Vollenda 620 for approx. 5 EUR.
     
  5. Alisha

    Alisha Member

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    I haven't tried re-spooling yet being I haven't need to do it, but I think I'd be fine doing it in the dark.

    Thank you for the advise. I think what I'll do is buy whatever I can that's for auction on eBay at the time, hopefully I'll be able to land on a 120. If not, I can always re-spool and ask my lab if they could develop my film for me. I'll be sure to ask for the 620 spools back as well, I don't quite see the point in throwing them away either. lol
     
  6. Nathan Smith

    Nathan Smith Member

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    Yes, perhaps that wasn't clear: cameras that take 620 film will rarely take 120 film on 120 spools. You have to re-spool it onto 620 spools, or modify the camera (which may or may not be possible depending on the camera).

    Kodak made 620 with a smaller diameter spool in order to make smaller cameras, so the film compartment in these cameras is smaller. The film itself is the same.

    Re-spooling film is not particularly difficult and it can be fun to mess around with one of these cameras, especially some of the really nice ones. But, if you're really more interested in shooting photos, then go with a 120.

    Nathan
     
  7. railwayman3

    railwayman3 Member

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    I've just been given some out-dated 620 film (very o/d, like 30+ years!:surprised: ), which I'm intending to experiment with, the "other-way round" by respooling onto 120 reels to try out in my Yashica TLR. It's quite easy to respool by winding forward onto a spare spool, then back onto the size you want to use, in either a changing-bag or suitably totally dark room.

    As, however, there are no 620 films now manufactured, and in your case you would need a supply of 620 spools (and to make sure that the lab doesn't loose them :smile: ), it may be more practical to buy a 120 camera from the start. (Unless there was some other specific reason that you wanted to use 620 rather than 120?)
     
  8. Alisha

    Alisha Member

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    No, not really. It just seems as if 620 cameras are less wanted then cameras that take 120, so they're generally cheaper. Other then that, I'd like to try shooting with the older folding cameras that take 620 spools to see how it's like.
     
  9. naknak

    naknak Member

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    I have the folding Kodak Junior I,1957. One shutter speed,one f stop.It takes 620 film,8 frames and they are all very good.If you find one buy it and all you have to do is to convert its f/5,6 to f/16 or f/22. A very easy job to do. You will have much more sharp images.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Alisha

    Alisha Member

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    I was just looking at a Kodak Junior. Lovely photo though. :smile:
    Thank you for the advise of converting it's f stops.
     
  11. elekm

    elekm Member

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    I'd probably also be inclined to suggest a 120 camera rather than a 620. There's nothing wrong with 620 other than it's somewhat inconvenient.
     
  12. Greg_E

    Greg_E Member

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    I think the original model Rolleiflex was 620. And I think I would just mod the camera for 120 films.
     
  13. IloveTLRs

    IloveTLRs Member

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    I have a Duaflex. It's not the most high quality camera lens-wise; the corners are soft in my photos. Perhaps you might prefer a TLR like a Yashicaflex which I believe are cheap these days.
     
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  15. Alisha

    Alisha Member

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    I don't really mind when it comes to quality of a camera. To me as long as it shoots, it's worth having. Little things like soft corners, or sharpness are personal traits that vary from camera to camera and I like that. :smile: I did see a Yashicaflex on eBay today and they are low priced, if I had money on hand I probably would have bought it. lol
     
  16. Greg_E

    Greg_E Member

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    Yashica 635 is decent and normally pretty cheap in working condition.
     
  17. nemo999

    nemo999 Member

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    If you want a camera with the "interesting" image quality of a Kodak Duoflex, why not get something like a Kodak Brownie Cresta (preferably model 3). They are easy to find in good condition (at least in the UK) for £5 or so, take 120 film and don't seem to have problems with body light leaks or moldy lenses like other cheap old cameras. I think they're lots better than a Holga or Diana!
     
  18. MXP

    MXP Member

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    How limited is your budget?

    A nice camera you could consider is a Voigtländer Bessa I with Vaskar lens. It is a 6x9 camera (lens is a 10,5 cm). The Vaskar is a 3 lens design but can make really good images and you might find one on ebay that does not cost much. The Color-Skopar version is more expensive. I like the Bessa I very much.

    You don't know a person which will give you a camera? .....collectors usally have many they don't use and I think the cheaper ones....they don't care so much about.... so it could be a give away :smile: .....or at least you could borrow a camera for a life time :smile:
     
  19. Frank Szabo

    Frank Szabo Member

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    The center part of the spool is about half the size of a 120 spool, and consequently the rim diameters are less also.

    Why this would be done to save only about 3/16 - 1/4" in diameter is beyond me. The resulting camera would not have been much larger.
     
  20. Alisha

    Alisha Member

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    I forgot about the Brownies, but I'll look into that and I do think they're cheap here in the US too.
    Yes! lol

    I'm looking for a medium format camera around $10 - $30 and possibly staying away from Holgas and Dianas. I think they're charging too much for a plastic camera.
    I did have someone here on APUG who was willing to don me a camera, so I'm still waiting for it to show up. :smile:
     
  21. MXP

    MXP Member

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    OK! ......lets hope it will show up :smile:
    I probably also have a camera that take up space which can still shot but I am located in Denmark and the expense on shipping would be quite a lot :smile: .....some box cameras can take desent pictures and they are very cheap.....a couple of dollars :smile:
     
  22. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    Same part of the world, but Lubitels are pretty inexpensive. They're the cheapest TLRs I know of. The trouble is that they're mostly sold by people in former Soviet territories, so you'll pay close to your budget on shipping alone. Some sellers seem to think they're worth a lot more than they are, too; a quick check on eBay shows some Buy-it-Now-only listings for $75 (plus shipping!). Still, if you keep an eye out for a US seller, you can probably pick one up for a reasonable amount. I think I got my own Lubitel 2 from a US seller for under $30 (shipped), and definitely under $50.

    Incidentally, there are two "Medium Format on a Budget" articles at The Bokeh, one on folders and the other on TLRs. Neither covers a huge number of cameras, but they're informative if you're just starting out in medium format. Having read those, I personally want a Mamiya C-series, but I've got to prioritize my budget items, so I haven't gotten one yet....
     
  23. elekm

    elekm Member

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    Alisha, I'll send you a PM.
     
  24. B&Jdude

    B&Jdude Member

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    I have a Daiichi (Japanese) folder camera known as a Zenobia, a clone of the viewfinder Ikontas. It will fit in the side pocket of my pants and does fine with 120 color and B&W. The lens is a coated 3.5 Hespar (Tessar clone) with a Sekoisha copy of the Syncro Compur with f3.5 - f22 and 1 - 500 +B. It has front element focusing and I use one of those little split image rangefinders in the accessory shoe to get my distances (my eyeball is poorly calibrated). They are on FleaBay often and sell for around $20 - $30
     
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  25. geoferrell

    geoferrell Member

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    I have an Argus TLR that takes 620 film. I also have a Foldex camera that takes both 120 and 620 that I converted to a pinhole camera. I believe there is 620 film listed on Ebay and at several wholesalers in NY and elsewhere.
     
  26. Greg_E

    Greg_E Member

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    Film for Classics may still carry 620 film.