Strange 116 spools - no winding groove

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Arctic amateur, Oct 24, 2011.

  1. Arctic amateur

    Arctic amateur Member

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    I recently got a Brownie no. 2A camera, which takes 116 film, and I want to have a go at running 120 through it. Three spools came with the camera. They look like 116 spools, all the measurements fit, but they don't have a winding groove that fits the camera. Instead, they have a round hole at one end and a square hole at the other. They are marked "GEVAERT" on the flanges. The camera has a winding knob that fits perfectly to a modern 120 spool, which is too small for the camera. Can anybody identify these spools? All the pictures I've been able to find of 116 spools have winding grooves.
    The picture shows one of the spools alongside a 120 spool.
    spolar.jpg
    One of the spools was inside the camera, which is rather odd, since there doesn't appear to be any way the camera could actually wind it.
     
  2. Ralph Javins

    Ralph Javins Member

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    Good morning;

    Gevaert is/was a European film manufacturer. Sometimes they did things a little differently. We have had the minor differences with the 120 spool and the 620 spool for years, in addition to the 116 film system.

    See if you can find some "American" 116 spools for rewinding something like 120 roll film onto for use in your camera. Do not send the film with the spool in for processing; usually you will not get the spool back with the processed film. Instead, look into processing the film yourself. Black and white is not difficult, and you know where the 116 spool will be. If the concept of black and white only is of concern, consider that most of the photographs taken with the Kodak Brownie cameras did use black and white film, so it will not be out of character. For color, you can use a "custom processing service" where you can specify that the uncommon spool will be returned to you.

    And, you might be able to use something like a Dremel tool and some fine small files to modify a film spool to work with your camera, if locating an original 116 film spool is a problem.
     
  3. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

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    Welcome to APUG! :smile:

    Can't help you much with the spool itself but here is a webpage: http://camerapedia.wikia.com/wiki/116_film with some info and some good links if you want to use the camera. I have a 2A myself but have never gotten around to modifying/using it.
     
  4. Ottrdaemmerung

    Ottrdaemmerung Member

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    If memory serves, the film your camera takes is larger than 120, and I've heard of people using plastic drywall anchors (the things that allow you to use screws in drywall) as spacers. Select the proper size, put the pointy end into the end of your 120 roll, and snip off the excess to fit. I've never tried it myself though.
     
  5. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    I have done the drywall anchor trick. It works in a couple of old brownies I have.

    The next trick is to make a spacer to keep the feed roll off to one side fo the feed hopper.

    I also make a shim to increase the friction on the film exiting the supply roll, to aid in keeping the film taught along the image plane. You can't count on the edge guides when only one side touches.

    I just mentally note which side is off. You might conider a mark over the view finder.

    The other trick is to work out the backing paper notes.
    I have a post it laminated to remind me which dots to stop at on Ilford film to get the rignt film postion for the longer than usual negative area.
    I worked mine out with a test roll ( i keep them around to coach others on loading steel and plastic reels when startign darkroom work ).
    With the back off I marked old backing aper up with a marker to figure out the ful frame advances, and then worked out where the window was.

    My film advance window's OEM red dyed plastic had faded, so I added a bit of red acetate snipped from a Rosco theatrical gel swatch book to make sure the window does not fog the film through the backing.

    My units have a 3 stop aperture adjustment, and I have had good luck using 100iso film.
    The shutter speed is about 1/40 to 1/60, so using the Fred Parker Ultimate Exposure Guide, from the web, I worked out that f/22 all in is for only the brightest day outside, one stop out is good for average days with the occasional cloud, and two stops out f/11 or so is for when clouds are heavier.

    The lens is some thing hazy to get use to.

    Get used to trying to shield the lens from direct light if you hope at all to minumize flare.

    Have fun!
     
  6. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    I've been using mine to make paper negatives. I slice up an 8x10 sheet to fit the film gate and go take a picture.
    Only one frame is a big downside, but it hasn't been a huge problem, and I get a full frame image.
     
  7. Arctic amateur

    Arctic amateur Member

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    Thank you for your helpful answers. I'll go look for drywall plugs to adapt 120 spools. Is it possible to use the film frame window with 120 film, or will the backing paper not be light-proof enough? If I push the film all the way to one side the 4.5x6cm frame numbers line up with the window. I'll probably try regular B/W film first, since I can develop it myself.
     
  8. Ottrdaemmerung

    Ottrdaemmerung Member

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    As Mike Wilde said above, you won't be able to trust the frame numbers, and will have to do your own tests to determine proper spacing.

    The window should be fine for use with 120 as long as the ruby glass is intact. If not, tape a gel swatch over it as Mike recommended. Just beware that in bright sunlight you should still use caution because intense light can still "burn" the frame numbers into your film.
     
  9. wblynch

    wblynch Member

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    If you can get some 116/616 backing paper or make it, 70mm bulk film can be rolled up pretty easily...
     
  10. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Did you notice that the hole on one side of the spool is square?

    That works just as well as the keyway (winding groove) when engaged with the proper windup spool.

    PE
     
  11. Arctic amateur

    Arctic amateur Member

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    Not in this camera, no. The winding key is too large for the square hole.
     
  12. Arctic amateur

    Arctic amateur Member

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    An interesting idea, but I don't have gear to develop 70mm film, or usable spools...
     
  13. ezwriter

    ezwriter Member

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    Kodak old films

    I have the Kodak 3A autographic ,takes 122 film. Would the drywall anchor trick work on this too? Man its a beautful camera!~
    wanna build a glass cube for it, just put it on display!
     
  14. Ottrdaemmerung

    Ottrdaemmerung Member

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    exwriter: If 122 (which I'm not familiar with) has a spool width wider than 120, then yes, it should.
     
  15. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    "I don't have gear to develop 70mm film, or usable spools"

    I will outline how the inner MacGyver can be unleashed with this story of film fiddling.

    I was appalled at the price to buy some c-41 120 film locally a few years ago ($8.95 per roll for Kodak Portra 160NC at a Henry's, which is a big camera chain store around here).

    So I got on the *bay and won 100' of 70mm Portra 160NC. The goal was to cut the stuff down, and reload for a much better price (material cost was something lie $2 per 120 rool).
    I have been saving spools and backing paper for years, enough to keep an old otherwise empty 250 sheet 8x10 paper box full. The backing paper has been great for creating impromtu darkrooms from time to time. So I guess that is why I keep the stuff around, and the easiest way to save it is on the spool it came on.

    Well, it turns out that slitting is quite feasible and rerolling is possible, but I subsequently found a cache of 120 from a commenrcial photogrpaher for less than $2, and so the bulk roll languished in the freezer for a few years.

    Then this old Brownie, and an old Polaroid J66 came to me as a gift.

    The brownie works on 70mm almost perfectly, and the apertures and shutter work well exposing 100iso film outdoors in the summer.

    I made spools up from 35mm cassette spindles that were cut in half and had 'sitting in front of the TV whittling' hardwood dowels fashioned to make the spools extend to suit 70mm wide film.

    The end of spools did not suit the drive key. I got the hot glue gun out and loaded it with slow cooling funiture type glue sticks.

    I coated the drive key with a dab of vaseline, then loaded the just glued spindle end in alignmnet, and pushed the drive key in, and pulled it out again.

    I fixed up any distortions from the key's extraction with my x-acto knife on the still soft glue mass.

    I had no 70mm backing paper, so I load the 75 mm rolls only in the darkroom.

    I worked out how many turns of the winding key to fully advance the fim by loading the film spools with old 120 backing paper, and mark it up with markers with the back open

    For development I have a Paterson two piece reel and single tank centre spinde that I have adapted with rubber bands and self amalgamating tape to end up with a reel that is just far enough apart to suit the film.

    I place it uncut on a glassless 4x5 neg acrrier with one edge in the edge of the carrier. I stop down and the thing projects fine, compared to the crappy optical quality of the Brownie lens.

    The Polaroid was a more radical mod. I added a take up drive bolt to wind the film. It yields a better image by virtue of it's better lens, and have found instruction on the web of correlating the lightmeter settings to the aperture setting needed to give a balanced exposure witht he automatically adjusting shutter speed doing most of the correct exposure work.

    The 70mmx 4" negative from it is a fair bit more crisp than the Brownie, but the Polarod sold for a hunk more money in it's day than the Brwonie was a few decades earlier.
     
  16. Arctic amateur

    Arctic amateur Member

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    I was able to create a makeshift adapter by cutting a 120 spool in two and whittling it down so that I had the end flange with a bit of plastic that I could stick into the film takeup spool, and then it fit into the camera and I could wind it normally. The drywall trick pushes the spool towards the winding key, but this trick allowed me to push the film spool away from the winding key, towards the film counter window. The 6x4.5 numbers then showed up in the window, and I counted two numbers for each frame. (Too tight, the pictures overlapped. Counting 2.5 or 3 frames would be better.)

    The adapter looked a bit fragile, and indeed it broke just after I shot the last frame on the second roll. But now I have a better idea of what I need to make it work. A thin steel plate, a metal cutter and a bit of hammering and cursing in a workshop should get me something solid I can glue onto a 120 flange to make a complete adapter.
     
  17. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi arctic amateur

    i also have a camera that takes 116 film ( and one that takes 122 )
    at first i was using a regular roll of 120 as the supply, and i found a 116 spool for the take-up
    then i just made cardboard "washers" that shimmed the 120 spool in the film-spots ... it worked fine.
    i have taken to spooling paper onto empty spools of 122 film and shooting paper negatives, and will probably
    do the same thing with the brownie ( 1A ) and the 116 spools. you just cut paper to the right size, tape the strips end to end
    and wind them all up on 1 spool "taped" for a few days ( and put it someplace dark ).
    try using cardboard washers / shims :smile:

    good luck !
    john
     
  18. Shalom

    Shalom Member

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    Speaking of modifying spools...

    I needed a 125 spool the other day, for a Seneca 3A Box Scout (which despite its name is in fact a 3B). No kidding. Same image size as 122, but wider spool. I'm not looking for adapters per se, as I'd rather shoot the right size film, even if I have to make it myself, than adapt it for 120.

    So I did this: I have a few extra 122 (and 118) spools. The wooden ones won't work for this mod, but the metal ones are OK.

    I clamped the jigsaw upside down in the vise (instant scroll-saw...) put the thin-metal cutting blade on, and sawed the spool in half.

    Then cut a 7/16" dowel, which is the exact ID of the spool (OD is 0.450" nominal), to the appropriate length. Cut a longitudinal slot in the dowel to match the slot in the spool (for this I had an old slotting cutter from a safe-deposit key-cutting machine, which I put in an arbor and chucked in a drill). Drilled round holes in both ends of the dowel, filed a keyslot over one of the holes, shoved the dowel into the two ends of the cut spool, checked the length and glued it in. Voila, a 125 spool...

    Mike: The older Patterson reels (the brown plastic ones) have a click-stop for 116, as do other plastic reels from that era. Developing 122 is more problematical, but I found one of those ancient developing tanks with the light proof apron.
     

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  19. Arctic amateur

    Arctic amateur Member

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    I shot two rolls, and most of the pictures were underexposed but some came out all right. I guess I should have shot all the pictures on largest apterture. I counted 2x 6x4.5 when winding, which wasn't enough space, so I got overlapping negatives. I'll try 3x next roll, when I manage to build another adapter.

    [​IMG]

    (Boy does that Shanghai film curl! I'll spend a little extra on film next time.)
     
  20. Dan Quan

    Dan Quan Subscriber

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