220 film with the Kodak Monitor
A little background: I had got myself an old Koni Omega "Rapid", in a kind of "project" state, because I like MF in reality and interchangeable lenses in principle. I figured I would get the system dialed in, and then use it as my primary big lug of a camera. To reduce some of the lugginess, I wanted to shoot 220 film-- less reloads, less magazines, etc. So I began laying in expired lots of 220 film when I could get them cheap off evilBay. Flash forward 6 months or so-- the Koni sits more or less unused, as I have to deal with the back differences, some fiddly lenses, etc. And I have shot none of this 220. what to do?
My eye falls on one of my Kodak Monitor 620's. Why the Monitor, you might ask, it's 620 film only, right? I have respooled 120 onto 620 spools, not that much trouble, how bad could 220 be? (Twice as long, twice as bad, it turns out, one roll takes me 15 minutes to do). But the important thing about the Monitor is, it has a frame counter-- turn the dial and it stops. No red window needed-- good, since 220 has no backing paper, the red window cannot be used. But it IS needed to see the start mark-- for 120/620, it's the number 1. But for 220, that would waste a frame or two. What to do?
I find here on APUG a measurement of 220 film leader, which is different than 120 (which I had to measure myself). There's 7.5in (19cm) of paper leader from the start arrow until the film begins, and 22.25 inches of leader paper overall. A 620 spool with 14.5in of leader around it is about 0.4in around. So 6 full turns from once you see the start arrow should bring you to film start. This worked OK, but I was about 1 frame short of film start, so next time I'm going with 7.5 turns (on my Monitor, 1.5 turns on the dial is roughly 1 frame if the take-up spool is not empty).
So, the procedure is:
1) spool 220 onto a 620 spool, install in camera
2) with switch in "wind" position, wind until you see the arrow in the red window
3) close red window, black tape over it and the lever so you're not tempted to move it again
4) wind 7.5 turns more, then move switch to "1-8" position
5) take pictures
Keep taking them, the counter will swing around from 8 to 1 again. Go thru the cycle twice. Or more-- based on my observation of my uncut film, the spacing gets pretty wide at the end, but there should be enough film for 17 or 18 6x9cm exposures.
6) when you've got your 16-18 shots, move switch back to wind, and wind off the leader.
7) make sure you ask the lab for your spool back.
How are the pictures? Here's one, from my test roll (expired 220 Kodak T400cn c-41 b/w film). Excuse the probable upside down and backwards image; that's what Preview does for me every time I copy an image, and no amount of correction can stop it. If it is miraculously upright and forwards, then forget i said anything.
My verdict: has anyone ever really needed more camera than the Kodak Monitor 620? Don't think so.
I have an old Tourister with the upgraded Kodamatic flash shutter with a 105mm Anaston lens. It takes outstanding photo's. If you make some adapter plugs that fit into the 120/220 spool ends and take sharp nail cutters the spool could be trimmed up. This should keep you from having to reroll on a 620 spool. Of course one will be needed for takeup. Glad to see the ambition, Steven.
Steven-- One problem with this approach is that certain 620 cameras are sensitive to the diameter of the spool ends (which can be clipped) AND to the overall height of the spool. My Monitor's (with the fully coated Anastigmat Special lens-- an Ektar in all but name) film holder is tapered so that only metal 620 spools or 120 spools machined down in a lathe fit. The Kodak guys did this to ensure a uniform film path without having pins in both sides of the spool, but it makes using 120 a huge pain. The alternatives are to remove the feed side film holder or replace it with one from a 120 camera-- there's lots of room for one. Th last is the route I'm going to try to take. The takeup side is fine staying 620. This is an amazing camera, so it's worth all this trouble.
Really takes an excellant picture. Well done.
can also try a big piece of Velcro instead of tape.
[ Insert meaningless camera listing here ]
Sponsored Ad. (Subscribers to APUG have the option to remove this ad.)