Can I use 120 film in a 220 back for Bronica SQ-A?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by altair, Jun 8, 2010.

  1. altair

    altair Member

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    Sorry, the title is confusing. Here's the situation. I want to use 120 film in a Bronica SQ-A, which comes with a 220 back and a 220 insert. I can buy a 120 insert separately, but it's made for a Bronica ETR, not an SQ-A. So, can I use that 120 insert from the ETR in the 220 back for the SQ-A? Or do I need a 120 insert that's made specifically for the SQ-A?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Tony-S

    Tony-S Member

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    You'll need an SQ-A back. Also 120 film has paper backing while 220 film does not. This means that if you run the 120 film through a 220 back the film will be out of plane for focusing. Not by much, but some. Likewise, if you run 220 film through a 120 back the film is also out of plane (further from the lens).
     
  3. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    120 film in a 220 back isn't out of plane for focussing, the rails are the same regardless, but the pressure plate may be too tight for the film & backing paper.

    I can use 120 film with a Mamiya 220 insert on my M645's with no problems at all.

    Ian
     
  4. wiltw

    wiltw Subscriber

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    Better to get an SQ 120 insert to fit the SQ film magazine (which is generic)
     
  5. Tony-S

    Tony-S Member

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    Yeah, I suppose it's close, but Fuji rangefinder specifically says that if the pressure plate is set incorrectly that images may be soft if shot at wide-open aperture.
     
  6. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    The ETR insert will not work. You need to get an SQ 120 insert. 120 can be used in a 220 insert, but might have excessive tension. I think it's fine, but you'll have to try it to be sure.

    220 in a 120 back may not be held tightly against the film plane, so is contraindicated. With 120 in a 220 back there's no such problem, so long as the plate moves far enough back to accommodate the increased thickness.
     
  7. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Yes when the pressure plate is adjustable if it's set for 120 and you use 220 film then the film isn't pushed fully against the guide rails.

    But with inserts the pressure plate is integral.

    Ian
     
  8. altair

    altair Member

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    Ok thanks a lot guys. I guess the general consensus is that I won't really know for sure until i try it myself. It might work or it might not. Still, if someone who has actually tried/done this on the said cameras would chime in here it'd be most helpful.
     
  9. wiltw

    wiltw Subscriber

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    altair, keep in mind that the 220 insert will force you to 'advance the film' and shoot each time, past the end of the 120 roll, until it thinks you have exposed 24 shots before allowing you to simply wind to the end of the roll. And I am sure of the leader length assumed by the 220 insert is different from the 120 insert...I just measured that 220 film starts at 553mm from start of leader, 120 film starts at 427mm from start of leader, so the first shot will be wrongly placed!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 8, 2010
  10. ignatiu5

    ignatiu5 Subscriber

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    Forgive me if I've misinterpreted, but I don't think the biggest problem here is running 120 film through a 220 insert+back, or vice versa. The OP is proposing to buy an ETR (6x4.5) insert and run it through a SQ-A back made to handle 6x6 film. I'll admit to only having one of the systems (the 645) so I could be very wrong, but I would imagine that said mismatch is not going to align properly. Width-wise, maybe, but do they match top to bottom?
     
  11. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    They do not match.
     
  12. altair

    altair Member

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    wiltw: Thanks for that, I hardly thought about it, I guess it must've slipped my mind. And thanks very much for measuring the different start film position for both 120 & 220 film..great help.

    ignatiu5: Dohh (slaps forehead). Yet another thing that I missed completely. Guess the bottom line is that it won't work eh?

    Well, here I go searching for a 120 SQ-A that's priced reasonably. Not that I have an SQ-A, lost out on it on fleabay, lost out on a lot of things these past few days...oh well..sigh...
     
  13. Stregone

    Stregone Member

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    You can run 120 film through an SQ-A 220 back just fine. The spacing might be slightly off, but you will fit all 12 shots on a roll. I haven't even had to move the start point. "Shoot" atleast to shot 15 before you open the back to unload the roll.
     
  14. altair

    altair Member

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    Stregone: Thanks! I take it you've tried this yourself personally?
     
  15. flopsie

    flopsie Member

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    ive run 2 120 rolls through a 220 back on my bronicas. the first was a SQ-AM and the motor kept winding, but didnt advance the film past frame 9, so wasted film. the second through my SQ-A and hand cranking worked fine, but it did take a lot of effort later in the roll, which i found a little scary in terms of potential wear and tear on the gears.
     
  16. one90guy

    one90guy Member

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    I have ran one roll of 120 through a 220 back with no problems. My daughter has ran many rolls that way.

    David