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  1. #1

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    Quick Question About 120 Film

    Hey everyone. I am a newbie when it comes to shooting film. I recently bought a holga and have a roll of 120 in there now. I was wondering if 120 film has a leader such as 35mm. I am wondering because I was going to do the strip of film in the fixer test to determine my fix time and also find out when the fixer has exhausted. But since i am a college student and cutting up a fresh roll of film seems like a crime, i would much rather take a leader off the roll I am currently shooting while I am loading it into my developing tank. but does 120 film have a leader? and if so will i be able to tell where it is in the dark? exact film I am using is ilford delta 400. and i will be using ilford rapid fixer. thanks.

  2. #2

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    No, no leaders. Beginning of the film is cut square and taped to the backing paper. The frame 1 starts about half an inch from there.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  3. #3
    JLP
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    There's no leader on 120 roll film but you can cut an inch of easily before you load the film on the spool for development and use that for your fix test.
    Do cut it before you insert the film to your spool for developing as there are very little left in the other end if you have 12 exposures on the roll.
    _______________
    Jan Pedersen
    http://janlpedersen.com

  4. #4
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    A fold-out small tab with a hole in it is as much you will find of a 'leader' on 120 film. Rolls of 120 film have a series of dots or numerals (these vary among manufacturers) that precede the start mark — a vertical line or word to that effect with the first frame beginning soon after. When the start mark is located and matched to a dot or marker in the film chamber, it is then advanced carefully until the number 1 is indicated by the wind on mechanism. When finished, the end of the roll is a reversed leader that is normally taped back against the roll before storing it ready for processing.
    .::Gary Rowan Higgins

    A comfort zone is a wonderful place. But nothing ever grows there.
    —Anon.






  5. #5
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    You can use 35mm film for the fixer test even if you are developing 120.

    I try to save the leader from my 35mm films for that purpose, but when I either forget or run out, I have bulk 35mm film that it is easy to take a snippet from.

    A single expired roll of 35mm Delta 400 would give you a bunch of fixer tests!
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  6. #6

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    so there is about a 1-inch area from the end that is taped down to the paper backing that is safe to cut?

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    It looked a lot bigger than 1 inch (2.54cm to us!) last time I accidentally unloaded a roll. Perhaps the only proven method of finding out is to sacrifice a roll, even a cheap one. As a learning experience nothing beats it.
    .::Gary Rowan Higgins

    A comfort zone is a wonderful place. But nothing ever grows there.
    —Anon.






  8. #8

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    As the others said, 120 film doesn't have a leader per se. But the roll is long enough to leave a little extra for you at both the beginning and end of the roll, from which you can snip a small strip without intruding into an image. I recall that with the Holga (like maybe all MF cameras?) the extra margin is something like 1-1/2", or maybe a little more. This extra exists at both ends, so it doesn't matter from which end you start rolling onto the spool or from which end you cut the test strip. Or, for that matter whether you cut it before or after spooling it. Personally, what I do is to roll the film onto the spool first and when I get to the end, just clip off the last 1/2" or so before winding the end on. Depending on exactly how you do your unrolling and spooling, the end of the roll may or may not still have the tape (and possibly the paper attached to it). Either way, it doesn't really matter.

    Jeff

  9. #9

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    Actually, the film is taped at the beginning, not the end. It's done this way because the film is pulled from the beginning. It'll be near the frame #1. I wouldn't assume how much space is left at the end because the spacing on 120 film isn't even like 35mm.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  10. #10

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    The spacing won't be exact, especially since the advance in a Holga is manually according to the numbers on the paper. But, there is probably more room at the tail (untaped) end. I find it easier to load the taped end into a reel anyway.
    So, if you adopt that method, spool it onto the reel then cut a bit off the end.

    You can also check your fix time by just watching the progress of your film. If you check it at say, 1 1/2 minutes and it's clear, you know you need at least 3 minutes total.

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