620

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by pgtips, Jan 22, 2012.

  1. pgtips

    pgtips Member

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    Why is it that you can still buy 120 film from any decent photographic shop and yet 620 is practically impossible to get hold of (the only place I know of is Photo Supplies UK)? As far as I can see it would have been logical to keep 620 in production and stop 120, since 620 fits in all 120 cameras (that I have seen) and yet 120 fits in hardly any 620 cameras.
     
  2. ozphoto

    ozphoto Subscriber

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    I've managed to get my hands on some old 620 spools (raiding the junk shops etc) and re-spooled the 120. Takes some practice, but after a while it gets easier and now I can just about do it in my sleep. :D
     
  3. jcoldslabs

    jcoldslabs Member

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    I respool my 120 onto 620 spools when needed, too.

    I recently shot some 30 year old Tri-X 620 that I got dirt cheap. One thing about 620 spools is that the film is wound around a much smaller diameter spool shaft; because of this the curling issues with the old 620 film were monstrous. I virtually mangled it getting it onto the Jobo reel. I haven't had quite the same trouble with older 120.

    J.
     
  4. railwayman3

    railwayman3 Member

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    620 seems to have been discontinued for many years, other than the small-scale re-spooling by enthusiasts like Photo-Supplies UK.

    I'm not sure that 620 will fit in all 120 cameras, certainly none of the 120 cameras which I have had would take it, so far a I remember. The film and backing paper is the same, but the spool and flange of the 620 is much narrower.

    Part of the reason may be that most 620 cameras were at the less expensive end of the market, while enthusiast and professional cameras seemed (and still are) to be 120 (thinking of Rolleflex, Hasselblad, Mamiya, Pentax, etc.).

    I'm not actually sure why 620 was produced, other than the slimmer spool (and hence slightly smaller packaging)...anyone know?
     
  5. Matthew Rusbarsky

    Matthew Rusbarsky Member

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    I'm pretty sure that Kodak introduced 620 to insure that Kodak cameras were fed with Kodak film. The tighter roll does cause some flatness/loading issues. Why couldn't they make an Adapt-A-Roll in 120?
     
  6. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    You can either modify a camera to accept 120 or respool onto 620 spools. Some 620 cameras have enough margin to accept 120 film without mods, these are rare instances. Some folks trim the ends of 120 spools prior to loading into a 620 camera. I have modified Kodak Tourist cameras to accept 120 in the feed side only and use a 620 spool in the take up side.
     
  7. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I'm sure Matthew is right, but it is important to understand that when 620 was introduced, there were a lot more film sizes that were either current or had been current recently.

    For a parallel, think of 828 film. It gave a negative/slide that was very similar to 35mm, but the packaging and transport procedure was entirely different.

    To the best of my knowledge, the film take-up in all my 120 cameras won't work with the end of flange holes on 620 spools - the holes are much smaller than on 120 flanges.
     
  8. Terry Christian

    Terry Christian Subscriber

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    I do the same as Rick: I either respool 120 film onto 620 spools, or trim the 120 plastic flanges so they'll fit with no respooling necessary. I have a Pho-Tak Foldex 30 folding camera, very similar to the Kodak Tourist Rick mentioned, that says it'll take 120 or 620, but many 120s can cause the film transport to jam up. It's only really happiest with 620, so I just use scissors to cut down the flanges, quick and easy.
     
  9. spacer

    spacer Subscriber

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    While unpacking, I dug up an old Brownie Hawkeye, which takes 620 film. I figure it's worth the time and effort to get at least a roll or two through it. Then, it'll probably take its place on the shelf.
    If it proves to be a lot of fun, however... well, then anything goes.
     
  10. cmacd123

    cmacd123 Subscriber

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    Kodak had a couple of "6" series film sizes. besides 620 I recall once seeing a roll of 616, which was also a smaller version of 116.

    The "given" explanation is that the 6 series films were smaller in diameter and so the "Vest Packet" cameras could be made slimmer.

    I have managed to geet 120 to work in an "Anny" 620 (simalar to a Diana) using a 620 spool for takeup. Most 120 cameras would not be happy with a 620 spool as the center pivots would not fit the holes in the flanges.

    120 Was used in a lot of Pro cameras which stayed in production even when the 620 film sales were failing.
     
  11. johnielvis

    johnielvis Member

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    hey-- I got one of them adapt a rolls---turns out you only need to use the 620 spool for the take up--you can put a regular 120 roll in the and pull the film off of it---ony "problem' is I had to add a couple of plastic washers to provide friction to provide enough feed tension..but it works perfectly---BUT for each roll of 120 you want to shoot, you need an empty 120 spool....
     
  12. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    That final sentence doesn't make sense, why would you when the film comes on a 120 spool. If you meant 620 spool, you only need one and keep reusing it. If you are planing to shoot several rolls before getting back in the darkroom, then I can understand needing extra 620 spools.
     
  13. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    You can buy it either respooled or with trimmed 120 spools. I just found this out as my fiance bought me an old Kodak Duaflex for Christmas. One place on eBay is selling film they've trimmed the flanges on (I suppose, they fit anyway) and B&H sells re-spooled film. Search eBay and the B&H website. The B&H film is on plastic spools that people report are difficult to use for re-spooling.

    All this film is about $10-$12 a roll for black and white, quite a premium compared to respooling your own, but you can buy it ready to go.
     
  14. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    Hmm I think johnielvis meant you need a 620 spool for take-up for each 120 you shoot on an outing.

    And that's another factor. I hung out on ePrey looking at 620 spools and typically with shipping they were averaging out to more than $6 each. This was in 2010 and I assume they won't be getting cheaper as time marches on. Fortunately the only 620 beastie in my collection is my Brown Target Six-20 which I don't plan to do major projects with. Respooling is a bit of a pain, but being retired, it beats paying 10 bucks or more a roll. It also offers more emulsion selection that what I've seen available prepackaged.

    DaveT
     
  15. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    Yeahbut, $6 a spool isn't so bad when you can re-use them.

    I don't expect to use this little Duaflex a lot as I'm just not a "cheap lens box camera" type and I have a Yashicamat. But I'll use it some for fun. But having a workable way to use 120 film without tedious re-spooling could make unconverted old Medalists really appealing.
     
  16. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    From what I read all that takes is a spare $250 to have it modified.
     
  17. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    Which means any given camera is $250 cheaper if you can just use existing film!
     
  18. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    My Adapt-a-roll happily takes 120 film as long as you have a 620 take-up reel. Makes life easy.
     
  19. Matthew Rusbarsky

    Matthew Rusbarsky Member

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    I should start an Adapt-A-Roll thread. Much maligned, but the only way to shoot true 6x9 on a 2x3 Graflex. A bit of a PITA, but there are some serious advantages.
     
  20. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    I had to look up Adapt-A-Roll. Now that I know what it is, I don't get the point. It's a roll film holder for a spring back. I have one (Calumet C2) - why get one made for 620 when you can just get one made for 120? Or are there spring back cameras (like the 2x3 Graflex you mention) that the Adapt-A-Roll will fit and a Calumet 120 holder won't?
     
  21. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Could it be lack of demand for 620 film. This film format was seen by Kodak and other film manufacturers as an amaleur format. Cameras which took this film were usually simple point and shoot models. Most of them finally found their way to the landfill.
     
  22. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    I think the term to consider is "proprietary", and that often has limits of acceptability in a marketplace.
     
  23. Matthew Rusbarsky

    Matthew Rusbarsky Member

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    Thats it exactly. Adapt-A-Roll made a version for 2x3 cameras that is equally happy with spring backs and graflok backs.
     
  24. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I think the Kodak Medalist is one of the biggest reasons to want 620 film to be easily obtained.
     
  25. pgtips

    pgtips Member

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    Fortunatelly I have a draw full of 620 and 120 take up spools (amongst others) so I think I'll try trimming down a roll of 120 and using a 620 take up spool.