Leaving 120 vs 35mm film in your camera

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by msbarnes, Sep 3, 2013.

  1. msbarnes

    msbarnes Member

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    When I shoot 120 I oftentimes finish the roll immediately (within a few hours), but with 35mm I tend to leave it in my camera for much longer (2-3 weeks). I use the two mediums differently and so I wanted to know if I can generally get away with this using 120 cameras.

    I ask because film flatness issues are oftentimes brought up in the context of 120 cameras, but not so much with 35mm cameras. To be fair, I'm oftentimes attracted to folders and those designs are inherently more problematic.

    If the camera matters then I am thinking about smallish/compact 120 folders/rangefinders: Fuji GS645, Fuji GF670, Plaubel Makina, Mamiya 6.
     
  2. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    Why not? I have often left 120 film in my 67 for 3 months (winter), with no problem about flatness of the film after processing. In 35mm, a roll can last a long, long time, typically 6 months. Once film is placed in archival sleeves curling will not be such an issue, and will flatten out in short time.
     
  3. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

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    Camera definitely matters, as the problems with film-flatness from being left in the camera stem from the film being bent around a roller and holding that shape (hence it'll be the second shot after you've left it for a while that won't be flat.

    I can't comment on the ones that you've mentioned, but in general it's the 'back' cameras that have the problem (mamiya 645 and hassy I can vouch for) where they're bent around rollers before being exposed.
    The 'big SLR' style cameras (I can vouch for Pentacon6, but it should also apply to mamiya 6 and pentax 67 styles) take the film straight off the roll, past the shutter, then straight onto the take-up spool. Same goes for 35mm cameras, it's straight out of the cartridge past the shutter, no bending.
    I've no idea about TLRs because I don't have one, but if you've got one just look to see if the film bends before going past the shutter.
    The only 35mm cameras that might have a problem are weird ones, like 35mm TLRs or the Rollei 3000 (I don't have one, but I'm assuming that it bends film by the nature of its having a film back).
     
  4. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    No problem.
     
  5. Vaughn

    Vaughn Member

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    The only problem with leaving 120 film in a 'camera' was using a Calumet roll film adapter for 4x5 cameras. The film gets bent opposite of its natural bend, and if left in that position for a relatively short period of time (overnight), the film keeps the opposite bend and is difficult to roll tightly. I had to unload the roll film back in a darkbag since light would sneak in the ends oft h e roll since it was not rolled up tight.
     
  6. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Roll film left in Yashica TLR's for any length of time will pick up a bend.
     
  7. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    No problem
     
  8. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    The sprocket holes probably help with the 35mm.
     
  9. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Mamiya TLRs have a pretty straight film path and I have never had any film flarness problems after leaving films in for long periods.
     
  10. msbarnes

    msbarnes Member

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    Thanks! It sounds like this isn't a serious problem--atleast not for the cameras that I'm considering.
     
  11. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Subscriber

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    I've left the same roll in mine for six months then finished it and had no problems at all. I'm not saying it won't "pick up a bend" but if it does it doesn't seem to cause any problems.

    Same with my M645Pro and its backs with rollers.
     
  12. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    I tend to have light leak and flakes of dirt problems on film left in vintage 120 folders... So for important shots, if your camera is affected, advance to the next frame before shooting the next important shot if you have done a lot of walking around with it since the last shot. Just to reduce the dust.
     
  13. TheToadMen

    TheToadMen Subscriber

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    I have several cameras (35mm and 120 roll film) that I use simultaneously. Sometimes I pick a camera to use again, to find it is still loaded with a film half used I forgot about. Recently I used an old camera after 7 years that was still loaded (24 shots out of 36). I finished the film and hat no problems at all. It even had an old image of my daughter from 7 years ago (nice surprise).
    I also often keep 120 roll film in my old cameras like Agfa Clack and Gevabox (converted into pinhole cameras) for several months without any problems.

    The only thing I'm concerned about is putting a small piece of tape over the red counter window of a 120 roll film camera. If it isn't covered, you might expose the number from the backing paper unto the film in several weeks - or even days in bright sunlight (especially with Holga). The red window isn't always of a decent "red filter quality".
     
  14. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Subscriber

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    Even if it is "decent red filter quality" modern films are panchromatic AND faster than films when those were designed. The backing paper is enough for briefer exposure with most films but I agree, cover with tape. I have a Kodak..heck, forget the model but it's a box camera masquerading as a TLR with a faux viewing lens that's really just a viewfinder. It's a nice condition old class my wife, then g.f. bought me and takes 620 film. It's the only red window camera I have and I use it mainly for novelty interest, but I do tape it over when I put it away with film in it.
     
  15. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    film flatness is only a problem with 120 (or 220) if you use the lens wide open and have a bend in film path before the frame Some TLRs are ok but lots of pro cameras are not but in normal studio use motor drive and several assistants reloading backs eliminated problems

    film flatness with 35 mm with the Barnack reverse wind can make tank loading with plastic spirals difficult

    the aprocapral story is the two Christmas trees and one bikini film
     
  16. GRHazelton

    GRHazelton Subscriber

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    I've encountered no problems with my Pentax 645n, which shoots 16 frames per 120 roll and doesn't feature a straight film path, even leaving the film in the camera for 6 months. Oh, the shame.... Never any problems with 35mm. Of course, YMMV.
     
  17. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    I've heard of the problem with some old (and I mean old) Hassie backs, some junk brands, and some poorly made rollfilm view camera backs.
    I personally have zero problem with either my Pentax 6x7's or my Horseman roll film backs for the 4x5. Roll film is quite thin and generally made of acetate, so if you advanced the film and didn't take the shot, it could hypothetically expand and buckle a little with humidity if it didn't remain under constant tension. I don't see how reverse rollers could be a problem unless they were just poorly engineered to begin with. That may have been an issue at one time long ago, but more likely the alternative was more a marketing ploy, though a straight path does require less physical depth in the back. What you can do is simply remove your film back and look at bright reflections on the face of the film - preferably something with straight lineslike a bank of fluorescent lights - and see if there is any waviness to the reflection.
     
  18. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Certain film & temperature and camera combinations are a real setup for the film to pop off the pressure plate. On my Horseman 6x9 back I try to finish the roll. When it sits for a while the first shot after winding will show it.
     
  19. Charles Wass

    Charles Wass Subscriber

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    There is a risk with most conventional TLRs, such as all Rollei and Yashica, because they wind from the bottom spool over a roller before the film reaches the pressure plate. The Minolta Autocord winds from the top spool straight to the pressure plate and so the film is bent only after exposure when flatness is not critical.
     
  20. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

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    I've had issues (both sharpness and loading onto reels) in a Hasselblad back that had film in it for several months, as well as a Mamiya 645Pro back. So I'm now careful to take an extra shot if the film has been sitting for a while in the Hasselblad. Never had an issue in Mamiya 7. From that I draw the conclusion that it's the cameras the bend the film backwards from the way the roll does it that's an issue.
     
  21. clayne

    clayne Member

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    Pull the film, give it a day in rolled up stored form. "Picking up a bend" is gone within 24 hours.
     
  22. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I sometimes shoot more than a roll a day, and other times it takes me a couple of months to finish a roll. I have not noticed any difference in the processed negatives or the resulting prints.
     
  23. momus

    momus Subscriber

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    I read about this all the time, but have never personally experienced any film flatness issues w/ 120 cameras. It won't happen if you shoot a red window folder because you get the opportunity to snug the film tight on each frame. If it were going to happen I suspect it would be w/ a TLR, where the film makes a sharp bend before laying in front of the film gate. I live in hot weather climates, and when it's 90+ degrees outside, I suspect that no film emulsion ever made is going to retain a kink in that weather for very long. In cold climates, I could see it theoretically happening. The choice then would be to either burn a frame, or shoot it and see what happens.
     
  24. clayne

    clayne Member

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    Never experienced focus issues or anything like that BUT I did one time process 120 that had been sitting in my c330 for months - after firing off a few BS frames at the end to finish the roll.

    While loading the film (Hewes) this particular roll was pretty much impossible to spool at some point - as it kept binding and spoiling the rest of the load. I finally had to just man handle that portion of the film to get it to play nicely (hands sweating - all of that). After processing guess which frames were the most trashed? The ones right around where I shot the first finish-it frames. Amazingly the rest of the film was alright but what I took away from it is that if it's been in the camera to let it sit in finished rolled on the spool form for atleast some time before processing as that portion of the film had definitely taken up a curve as a result of sitting.
     
  25. Alex Muir

    Alex Muir Member

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    I processed a 120 Rollei 400IR last night which had a definite kink in it. It had been in a Bronica SQ back for approximately a week. I shot one frame and put it aside. I finished the roll in a 2 hour period at the end of the week. The kink was between frames. I will avoid doing this in future by loading just before use, and finishing the roll in one session. Alex