Why doesn't medium format film come in canisters like 35mm?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by BetterSense, Jun 1, 2010.

  1. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    It seems like 120 film just as much as 35mm film should have canisters to protect it. I'm just not comfortable licking the tag end on medium format film, and dropping the bare roll in my pocket or camera bag. It seems like they need a canister to keep out bright light, dust, and so on. What if you drop one in the mud or the adhesive strip comes loose and your film insta-unwinds? I never understood why medium format doesn't come in canisters. What do you think?
     
  2. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

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  3. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Film companies have been using this method for decades without problems. They see no reason to add to their R&D and manufacturing costs regardless how logical the proposed change seems to be. To my knowledge, there is no body of research that indicates a need for change. Without the need and research to back it up, why raise a hew and cry that could help kill the remaining film industry?
     
  4. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    In the past I bought 6 or 8 reusable plastic cannisters for 120, and have happily used them since.

    I'd be happy if 35mm was optionally available cheaper without the cannisters, because I have enough to last me for the rest of my life. :smile:
     
  5. Dave_ON

    Dave_ON Member

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    Hmmmm....but I can't find the rewind button on either one of my MF cameras. And I'd rather take the proper care with my exposed film than pay the extra cost for a 35mm type canister on every roll. If you're nervous about the glue tab failing, carry some rubber bands.
     
  6. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    35mm film used to have snap-on cartridge ends (like some metal bulk film cartridges have). They were vulnerable to popping off during rough handling. The metal (and later plastic) canister protected the film from having the ends pop off.

    Rollfilm, since it was tightly wound on a spool, did not have this issue and so did not need this special treatment.

    Now that 35rmm film has rigidly-attached cartridge ends, it probably doesn't need the canisters, but they continue to be used.
     
  7. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Can I get a "do over" button that reuses the frame in a better way?
     
  8. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Seconding Steve on this one. Classic case of it wasn't broke and they didn't fix it either.
     
  9. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    Didn't medium format film once come in a metal canister, in the era when 35mm film came in a metal screw-top canister? I don't know that 120 canisters were used in my own memory, but I believe I've seen them at camera shows or such like.

    In any case, I think they're a good idea, and I save my plastic Adox canisters for other films.
     
  10. Jeff L

    Jeff L Subscriber

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    I made some MF canisters out of two 35mm ones and some gaffer tape. My camera bag is soft the the film is much better protected in my homemade canisters.
    Jeff
     
  11. cysewski

    cysewski Member

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    I think Agfa used to, I have some old aluminum tubes that I still use for holding matches when I go camping.
     
  12. jamesgignac

    jamesgignac Member

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    I sometimes ask myself after shooting lots of MF for the last couple of years: Why is 35mm stuck inside those annoying canisters? Wouldn't a canister just bulk up the whole process for you and slow you down? The only down side is all that wasted backing paper...though my cats seem to enjoy playing with the little pile of paper coils after a day of developing.

    I guess the other main reason is that it's tradition - there are too many mf cameras out there to change things now.
     
  13. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Freestyle has some 120 film containers by Maco. There is an economy one for 99 cents, and a heavier duty one for $1.49. I do like the idea of being able to protect the film from moisture and other damage.
     
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  15. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    I have a few of the Adox film canisters, which I used to take with me when shooting 120 on the road. I gave it up after concluding that they weren't actually achieving anything, except for expanding the mess of random items I was carrying. They might be useful for IR film, which seems more prone to light leaks ex camera than other kinds.

    That said, I do store finished 35mm rolls in their canisters, I guess just because they're there. I suppose it also provides some marginal insurance against unlikely accidents like pulling on the leader---a nonissue for 120, of course.

    -NT
     
  16. WetMogwai

    WetMogwai Member

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    It is. Lots of film comes in bulk rolls. Get a bulk loader and you can load your rolls in daylight.
     
  17. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Already have two :smile:

    But I prefer factory loads for colour.
     
  18. wiltw

    wiltw Subscriber

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  19. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    I've bought the other containers from Freestyle. The hinge may not last forever, but so far, so good. They seem better sealed and a little less clunky than the screw-together variety.
     
  20. marcmarc

    marcmarc Member

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    The plastic canisters for the Adox films are why I chose them over the Efke branded film. Nevertheless, one still gets edge fogging with these films. Sometimes one gets the fogging a bit into the image as well as I've started to notice. I really like the Adox/Efke 100 and 50 films but will have to rethink my commitment to purchasing more because of this. If Kodak, Ilford, and the late great Agfa could produce 120 rolls that didn't leak light even without the nifty plastic canisters, why can't Adox/Efke? It would seem cheaper to me to fix this once and for all then to produce the canisters.
     
  21. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member

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    Never had an issue with the status quo. I do put my exposed stuff in a zip-lock baggie, to keep the furbies away, but thats good practice with any film in a dry environment like where I am.
     
  22. nick mulder

    nick mulder Member

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    I remember seeing a thread with someone showing the film backing numbers had formed an image on his/her 120 film - no idea how to search for it '120 film number light print through" ? ha ha - I think some rollei film I bought came in plastic canisters, probably the R3 ...

    and IR maybe ?
     
  23. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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  24. alexmacphee

    alexmacphee Member

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    I got some small shallow translucent plastic food containers, very cheap from my local supermarket's 'economy' range, with push fit lids. I think they were about 50p each. I cut a bunch of rough squares of aluminium foil and put them in the food container. Exposed rolls get wrapped in a sheet of the foil, which can be squeezed tightly to the roll, and kept in the container. I used to have the occasional instance of fogging of film edges, but never since I started using the aluminium foil.
     
  25. Wade D

    Wade D Member

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    I just stick 'em in my camera bag and process when convenient. Never had any problems even with color slides or IR. No need for extra protection.
     
  26. nick mulder

    nick mulder Member

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    actually, I remember now - it was from having left the film wound to a particular frame in an older camera with a red frame number back for a long period of time... Folders, Holgas etc... Not from having been exposed after use and out of the camera.

    I assumed at the time the Rollei canister was either plain ol' marketing or the fact the film could be 6400 rated (RHS developer):rolleyes: