Respooling 620 to 120

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by aaronmichael, Feb 19, 2011.

  1. aaronmichael

    aaronmichael Member

    Messages:
    242
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2010
    Location:
    Long Beach,
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I've been getting the itch lately to try out medium format. I've only shot 35mm before. I have a beautiful Rolleicord that takes 120 film but unfortunately the shutter blades are stuck and I don't have the money to fix it. I have a Kodak Duafflex II camera that takes 620 and I've read that you can respool 120 onto 620 rolls. Just wondering the difficulty level of this for someone who has never done it before. It seems fairly straightforward. Any advice would be greatly appreciated - thanks.
     
  2. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,961
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Location:
    Minneapolis,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It is straightforward. Just keep in mind that you need to reposition the tape at the leading edge when you respool on the the 620 core. At least I've always had to reposition the tape. I find it a bit of a pain to do for just 1 roll, but I don't mind doing 3-4 at a time.
     
  3. pinhole_dreamer

    pinhole_dreamer Member

    Messages:
    238
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2011
    Location:
    In the froze
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I just shot a roll of 120 in my Duaflex. I took a pair of fingernail clippers and trimmed down the edge of the roll. It was still a bit of a tight fit but worked great. Once you get to the last frame, you'll find it's sort of hard to forward the film (or it might just be my camera). I've not tried re-spooling film from one spool to another quite yet. Maybe. I know I'll have enough backing paper to do it soon enough.

    Good luck with your venture of re-spooling.
     
  4. Valerie

    Valerie Subscriber

    Messages:
    905
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    Location:
    Magnolia, Tx
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  5. JPD

    JPD Member

    Messages:
    843
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2007
    Location:
    Sweden
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    When I have done it, I first respooled the 120 tightly on a 120 spool, and then on a 620 spool. I think this method is safer for a beginner.
     
  6. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,420
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    Location:
    northern Pa.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I agree with you JPD, even after many rolls respooled, I find it best to roll film onto an empty 120 spool first. It is much easier to control the tension of the film that way, and fewer headaches, not to mention less chance of unwanted fingerprints and dirt getting on it.
     
  7. aaronmichael

    aaronmichael Member

    Messages:
    242
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2010
    Location:
    Long Beach,
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Hope I'm not asking a really stupid question here, but what's the point on respooling it onto another 120 roll and then the 620?
     
  8. Matthew Rusbarsky

    Matthew Rusbarsky Member

    Messages:
    174
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Ordinarily you would unspool from 120 to your hand then re-spool onto 620. Spooling from 120 to 120 keeps things a bit more neat and tight, and (among other things) can eliminate the fingerprints you can get on your last frame from fumbling around for the tail end of the film in the dark.
     
  9. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

    Messages:
    8,003
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You definitely want to roll it backwards off of another spool (preferably 620) onto the 620 spool, keeping the span of film/paper between the two rolls as short as possible, and holding it taut throughout, but especially as you first get the tail of the film onto the 620 spool. Hold the two spools right up against one another. This keeps the trailing edge of the film where it should be on the backing paper. You shouldn't even need to retape the leading edge of the film if you are doing this. It might want to shift a few millimeters, but that's all if the backward rolling is done with the two rolls close together and the span held tautly. Those few millimeters can just be rolled right over, and you may be left with a slight bulge in the roll. No big deal as long is it is not protruding past the edge of the spool, which blocks light. Any slight bulge will be squeezed out of the image area when loading and advancing the camera. I'd only retape if you have shifted a lot during the rerolling.
     
  10. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,899
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    Location:
    SE Pennsylvania
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I used the 120 spool as an intermediate method on my only attempt and it worked well. I had only a very minor bump in the taped end and didn't bother to re-do it. Ran Delta 100 through my Brownie Target Six-20!

    Maybe the answers weren't complete on using the intermediate spooling .... You have to keep the front end the front end after the respooling because the trailing end isn't taped to the backing. And also, the numbers on the backing will be out of kilter if you try to wind directly on to a 620 spool from the original 120 (you would be trying to start from frame 8/12/16, and the rows of numbers could be offset the wrong way for the red window in the camera back).
     
  11. aaronmichael

    aaronmichael Member

    Messages:
    242
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2010
    Location:
    Long Beach,
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Thanks for the information. I think I'll give it a shot when I get a chance, if I screw it up then I'm only out the cost of a roll of 120 film.
     
  12. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

    Messages:
    19,991
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    local
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    i used to have a yashicamat124g and i was into double exposing, but i had to respool onto the same 120 roll.
    it was kind of like what you are trying to do with the 620 ... the only stumbling block is tension and getting the film tight
    when you go backwards .. then retaping .. it takes a few mins to learn the technique but after that it is a piece of cake ..
    even when it is like 10pm and you are in an empty parking lot with your hands in a changing bag, answering questions from the police :smile:
    after the first few times it becomes second nature ..

    good luck !
    john
     
  13. elekm

    elekm Member

    Messages:
    2,059
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2004
    Location:
    New Jersey (
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Putting it on a 120 spool first simply makes it easier to respool. It seems like it would make the whole thing more complicated, but it makes it easier.

    I use a Rolleiflex TLR to quickly unspool. Just pass it ABOVE -- not through -- the rollers and crank until you reach the end. Only takes about 30 seconds or so to transfer an entire roll.
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. gordon g

    gordon g Member

    Messages:
    1
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Location:
    WI
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have respooled 120 film to a 620 film spool, but it is best to first transfer the 120 film to a 620 spool and then back to another 620 spool. The 620 spool has a smaller diameter core than the 120 size spool. It is easier to get the film wound tight on the 620 spool and if you are lucky you do not have to retape the film to the paper backing. Always keep the two spools of film close to each other to prevent a mismatch in the film and its paper backing which causes a buckle in the film or backing. If you get a buckle in the film or paper backing carefully untape the paper backing and retape .Good Luck!, gordon g
     
  16. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

    Messages:
    7,114
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2005
    Location:
    In a darkroo
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have always just rolled it out into my hand abd then respooled onto the 620 spool. The trick, as always, is keeping the film aligned with the paper. Off by a fraction of a mm can throw a wrench into the whole works. But it's not at all as difficult as it might seem on the never-having-tried-before end of things.
     
  17. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    16,824
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    A Mamiya C series TLR would work perfectly for this - the straight film path is ideal!
     
  18. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,420
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    Location:
    northern Pa.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thats why I love the Yashica D, just recock the shutter and shoot again.
     
  19. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

    Messages:
    2,106
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Location:
    South Caroli
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If you have several 620 spools then spool it onto a 620 rather than a 120 first. That gets you closer to the desired roll diameter so the tape is less likely to heed adjusting.
     
  20. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Member

    Messages:
    1,897
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2004
    Location:
    Saint Paul, MN
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    One more vote for fingernail clippers. It doesn't work with every camera, but with my Brownie Bullseye it works like a charm. I do need to use a genuine 620 takeup spool, but a 120 roll trimmed works great. Saves tons of time over respooling.
     
  21. Saganich

    Saganich Subscriber

    Messages:
    536
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I practiced with a sacrificial roll before heading for the changing bag. First step is to roll from the 120 to a 620. Second step is roll it back from the 620 to another 620 so it is the correct direction again. The trick is to keep tight but not two tight or too loose. If spool is to tight you will have to reposition the tape, if too loose then light leak. As the roll tends to be a bit looser then factory I store all the re-rolls in a light tight bag until time to use. I tried the clipping method but the spools never rolled correctly and would get jammed. Also they tended to leak around the edges. I picked up a lot of 20 at auction which I haven't regretted.
     
  22. GS_Jean

    GS_Jean Member

    Messages:
    14
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    All advise here are good!
    But first: STAY COOL IT 'S EASY TO DO!!!
    Like you I descovered MF quite recently and was lost... :smile:
    But respooling is really easy. My first try and succes was done seated in the dark on the toilet (darkest place in teh house, and be seated is quit comfortable), with film, 2 empty spools (620) and my hands in my darkest jacket used as changing bags (hands passing reverse by the sleeves). It took me less than 5 minutes, it was so fast that I was sure to have made someting wrong ;-)
    Next time same condition, less than 2 minutes. And now with a changing bag, it's a little bit faster but I don't have to lock me in the dark :smile:
    So enjoy shooting with your old camera!!!
     
  23. Ryan!

    Ryan! Member

    Messages:
    11
    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2010
    Location:
    Kane County,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    And another vote for fingernail clippers. Works like a charm on my Brownie Hawkeye Flash.
     
  24. nosmok

    nosmok Subscriber

    Messages:
    219
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2010
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have a Medalist on the way, and a Monitor I haven't had time to test out yet. Is there any reason why this doesn't work:

    1) Put the 120 film in a Graflex (or other) roll back, take up onto a 620 or 120 spool.
    2)Take the reversed roll, and run it thru the rollback again, onto a 620 spool.

    Presto! No dark room, changing bag, tension issue, etc. Please tell me if I'm missing something, I must be, right?

    --nosmok
     
  25. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,420
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    Location:
    northern Pa.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    One problem with running 120 spools in a 620 camera, the drive tabs on the 620 are smaller than 120 and could strip out or slip.
     
  26. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,899
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    Location:
    SE Pennsylvania
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The likely problem is that the trailing (last frame) end of the film is not taped to the backing paper and might go astray trying to feed from that direction.