what is this obession with 220 over 120

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by technopoptart, Sep 30, 2007.

  1. technopoptart

    technopoptart Member

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    What it this child like obsession with 220 film? I see begging and pleading to ilford for 220.

    I go and try some 220 (Kodak Tri-x 320) and after the 20 minutes to load it on the reel I paid $15 for just to try it, It comes out with a pale hazy backing and some purple 'flame' marks on the edge of a single frame.

    Did it exhaust the developer or fixer??


    I Think i stick with 120 for now
     
  2. Aurelien

    Aurelien Advertiser Advertiser

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    I am sorry, but usually there is no difference between 120 and 220. I often use 320TXP in 220, and I have never had any problem with it. Neiter with introducing it in the reel, nor with chemicals.
    Why this obsession? because double autonomy!
     
  3. BarryWilkinson

    BarryWilkinson Subscriber

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    Like Aurelien I have also never had a problem with 220. It loads as easily as 120 and does not require me to change film every 8-10 exposures.

    Barry
     
  4. m_liddell

    m_liddell Member

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    The reason for 220? I guess you have never shot fashion or a wedding :smile:
     
  5. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    Most cameras require a mechanical setting change to switch between the two sizes as 220 doesn't have backing paper for it's entire length. Apart from that, as others have said, it means less film changing. The film itself is the same.
     
  6. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    As a portrait photographer, I would love to have more b/w options in 220 format. You need to be sure the camera is set to 220, and were you using a 220 sized reel when you developed the film?
     
  7. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    If you use larger formats 220 become that much more enticing. 6x9 only gives you 8 shots per 120. 220 gets you back to 16. Just like many 645 cameras do with 120.
     
  8. David Henderson

    David Henderson Member

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    If you'd ever done a two or three week trip with rollfilm you'd understand the advantages of carrying/managing half the number of rolls as well as reducing the probability that you need to reload in the middle of an engaging sequence. I think you need to reconsider "childlike".
     
  9. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    Tri-X is Tri-X no matter how long the roll is. The reasons for using 220 are well stated.
    As for the hazy backing and purple stains you encountered, it sounds like you may not have fixed it long enough or maybe your fixer was exhausted.
    220 reels can be a little tricky to load, and take some practice. Some folks like to load two 120 rolls onto a 220 reel, which can be very helpful if you have a number of rolls to process.
     
  10. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    If you make a lot of exposures, longer rolls of film are handy.

    Aside from cutting down film changes, you can easily develop twice as many exposures in the same time (It's possible to put two rolls of 120 on a 220 reel, but it seems riskier than just shooting 220, if you can). If you've ever come home from a trip (or a fashion or wedding shoot, if you do that) with more than 20 rolls of 120 to process, and you don't want to maintain a 3.5 gallon tank line, then 220 starts looking very attractive.
     
  11. hywel

    hywel Member

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    Like to agree with you except that Tri-X can be 400TX or 320 TXP, completely different films. They offer 400TX only in 35mm and 120 but 320TXP in 120 and 220 but never in 35mm. So Tri-X isn't always Tri-X no matter how long the roll and Tri-X in 220 is always 320TXP.

    Most of the complaining comes because the 320TXP is the only B&W film that anyone does in 220, and some of us long for the idea of big negatives without having to change films so often.

    Hywel
     
  12. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    For me it comes down to this: I just hate loading film backs. It is drudge work, and working with 120 requires twice as many backs (unless one stops to reload the backs, which might not be convenient). A while back someone mentioned that Kodak might do a special run of Tri-X 400 in 220. That surprised me, but I hope that it turns out to be true.
     
  13. wilsonneal

    wilsonneal Member

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    I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and guess that your use of the words 'child like' are because English may not be your native tongue and you're unsure of the idiomatic usage. I don't see any particular obsession with 220. It's just a good option for some people. Like others, I wish there were more options available in 220 today.
    Neal

     
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  15. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I agree with all of the above and add this.

    It is a real joy to have one or more 220 rolls of color film hanging from ceiling to floor in your drying area just covered with beautiful pictures side by side.

    I can hardly wait to see them when they are dry!

    PE
     
  16. Harrigan

    Harrigan Member

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    It's also alot less expensive for me to have 220 c41 and e6 processed at me local lab. 120 c41 costs 5 dollars and 220 costs only 6 dollars per roll. Uh yeh that would be a no brainer. Most labs are not so generous so don't tell mine!

    Too bad.... EKC used to produce mostly plus-x in 220. I was always under the impression it had a thinner base on it but I could be wrong. I never did enjoy spooling that up on the plastic reels we had at the lab I worked at in Rochester.
     
  17. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    When I got the C330 I was excited about 220 rolls, then I found that none of the films I was interested in was available in 220. I promptly lost interest. I would not concider a A24 back now.

    Steve
     
  18. Nokton48

    Nokton48 Subscriber

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    When I was shooting alot of weddings, I would also use primarily 220 color negative film. When I was first getting going, I used only 120 (six film backs) and I was -constantly- loading and unloading film magazines. It was -grueling-.

    Now I have six 220 backs, so I -never- run out of exposures. But now, I am no longer shooting weddings :smile:

    For years, I have been playing with 70mm in my Hasselblads. It takes the advantages of 220 even further. Takes reloading out of the equation completely.
     
  19. technopoptart

    technopoptart Member

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    Well first, English is my only language besides geek speak. I said ' childlike' because of the huge thread to Ilford requesting 220, that even had posts that seemed to imply that Ilford would find 'some' way if they really cared.

    Second i did use a 220 reel, cost me $16, the clip only held half a Qtip tips worth of film and was working at about 100 psi, i was barley able to slip the film in.

    My concern was developer exhaustion, as i was unable to find any other times or even confrimation that the time was the same for 120/220.

    I will try again, i hope to find a plastic reel or Jobo tank, i hate the 2 reels i bought.
     
  20. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    220 needs twice the developer that 120 does. Depending on your tank that may be an issue. Also depends on how concentrated your developer is.
     
  21. bjorke

    bjorke Member

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    bromide streaking? look to practice your agitation technique... and yeah, it sounds like your fixer is exhausted
     
  22. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Developer exhaustion can be an issue with very dilute developers, like PMK, and 220. A 120 roll is the same film area as a 36 exp. roll of 35mm, but the 120 roll needs twice the volume of developer for adequate coverage in a daylight inversion tank, so insufficient developer is not likely to be a problem with 120. 220 uses the same film area and the same developer volume as two rolls of 35mm.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2007
  23. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    What equipment and developer did you use to develop the film?

    Using a Jobo tank and reel you can happily develop one 220 or two 120 rolls on one 2500 series reel.

    This sounds a bit like insufficient fixing which leaves a foggy haze over the film. Try re-fixing the film in fresh fixer (you can do it in daylight - any light damage is already done if that is the problem) - even partial fixing protects against the light to some extent.

    Good luck, Bob.
     
  24. bjorke

    bjorke Member

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    Actually, those "purple flame" marks sound like undeveloped area from bad winding.

    WHAT YOU NEED TO DO:

    PRACTICE WINDING

    Take that roll you'ave already done, and practice winding it, in the light, then looking away, until you can nail it in the dark
     
  25. sanking

    sanking Member

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    I am primarily a LF and ULF photographers who uses B&W sheet film. However, I also do a fair amount of work in medium format, especially on trips abroad where LF is not practical. The use of 220 film in this kind of circumstance is a major convenience factor, both for the time it saves in re-loading film, and in space saving as well. In fact, I value this convenience factor so much that have switched from B&W to color negative films because of the much wider choice of emulsions in 220 size in color. Far from a child like obsession, I consider the use of 220 film an important professional decision that enhances my ability to do good work.


    Sandy King
     
  26. PhotoHistorian

    PhotoHistorian Member

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    I have worked as a commerial photographer for more years than I would like to admit. And at no time have I found the need for 220 film. I like the idea my 120 film has the protection of the paper backing for all frames. And when it comes to reloading, 120 it nothing. At a wedding one time in fact, a friend of mine came up to me at the end of the evening and asked where I learned to reload so quickly. He had actually timed me several times and said my best was 12 seconds. I never timed myself, but I also have never found reloading to interfer with my way of work no matter how fast I am working. Like cameras, strobes and all the other tools we photographers use, film in both type, brand and size is always a personal preference. There is no "perfect" one for all photographers.

    Walker
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 3, 2007