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  1. #1

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    A few questions on how to shoot a Pocket Kodak

    Hey guys, I'm new to the forums.

    I've been wanting to get into medium format for a while, and coincidentally just discovered a Pocket Kodak in the spare room closet. I've gone over it and it looks to function properly and is light tight.

    My main question is how I'll know when I've advanced the film enough after taking a shot. There is a window in the rear cover that originally had red plastic over it, but the plastic is long gone and I've taped it over. I understand that 120 has backing paper...can I just pull the tape up for a short period and advance till I see the next frame number? How do I know that it's the correct frame number for a 6x9 neg?

  2. #2
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    The (red) window will reveal the next number when you have advanced the right amount. After you develop the film you can examine the backing paper and see the numbers are staggered to line up behind red windows in different places on different cameras. (Cameras that have inserts to do 6 x 4.5 may have two windows, you advance first to the one window and then to the next window.)

  3. #3
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    A few questions on how to shoot a Pocket Kodak

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Burk View Post
    The (red) window will reveal the next number when you have advanced the right amount. After you develop the film you can examine the backing paper and see the numbers are staggered to line up behind red windows in different places on different cameras. (Cameras that have inserts to do 6 x 4.5 may have two windows, you advance first to the one window and then to the next window.)
    I always wondered how 645 people measure the distance since they don't display that numbering...


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
    ~Stone | "...of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong." ~Dennis Miller

  4. #4

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    Bill-

    Thanks for the help, that makes sense.

    This is my first experience with 120 film and I'm a bit confused. The film I have didn't come in any sort of protective container, it was just wrapped around a spool. Once I've exposed all of the film, should I just pull out the take up spool (which now has my exposed film wrapped around it) and put it into some sort of lightproof container to bring to my photo lab?

  5. #5

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    There is no rewinding.

    Just keep winding the film until everything ends up on your takeup spool. You might want to take it into a completely dark room when you remove the first roll to make sure that the film is tightly wound on the spool.

    At the end of the spool, there will be a paper ring that you lick and wrap around the finished roll to keep it tightly rolled.

  6. #6
    StoneNYC's Avatar
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    This is fun, I shot 35mm for over 15 years before I found a 120 Pocket Autographic Kodak just like the OP, I thought it would be a cheap investment for $20 at a yard sale and a fun foray into MF.... THOUSANDS of dollars later in chemistry, new cameras, fridge full of film ... man if I only knew... but it's fun to see the me just 1 year ago...I had the same exact question and was SO AFRAID of the paper having light through it ... don't worry young paduan

  7. #7

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    you should find some red celophane and put it over the window so you don't have to tape it up. Alternately, the black backing paper on film is actually pretty light tight, if you find a deep shadowy place where you can lift the tape in relative darkness and only have it up enough to see the numbers go by as you wind, it will work.

    but red clear celophane is your best bet. local hobby shop will have yards of the stuff.
    Last edited by summicron1; 01-03-2013 at 12:42 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by powasky View Post
    Bill-

    Thanks for the help, that makes sense.

    This is my first experience with 120 film and I'm a bit confused. The film I have didn't come in any sort of protective container, it was just wrapped around a spool. Once I've exposed all of the film, should I just pull out the take up spool (which now has my exposed film wrapped around it) and put it into some sort of lightproof container to bring to my photo lab?
    as i said in previous comment, the paper is pretty light tight, but to keep light from piping down the edges at the flanges -- it can over time -- wrap the film in aluminum foil or just put it in a black bag of some sort. No need to rush, i just keep mine out of direct sunlight and shove it in my pocket until i get back to the car.

    if you saw the bottom end off of a 35mm film can (black one) and then tape that tube to the top of a second black can, you have an instant 120 film storage holderwith lid. Some brands of film also come in tubes, and i believe there is a brand of mini-M&Ms that come in a tube that works nicely.

  9. #9
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    A few questions on how to shoot a Pocket Kodak

    Quote Originally Posted by summicron1 View Post
    you should find some red celophane and put it over the window so you don't have to tape it up. Alternately, the black backing paper on film is actually pretty light tight, if you find a deep shadowy place where you can lift the tape in relative darkness and only have it up enough to see the numbers go by as you wind, it will work.

    but red clear celophane is your best bet. local hobby shop will have yards of the stuff.
    The red cellophane is not necessary at all, in fact if you even bother, green would be the color to use.

    Old B&W film (pre 1950's) was not reactive to red light so they colored the window red to prevent exposure, however that's not true of modern panchromatic film, plus as mentioned modern backing paper is much better than the old stuff.

    I said green because most deceloping instructions will say "if you MUST have light in your darkroom, you can use a dark green safety light for a few seconds toward the end of development" but really, just keep the back in subdued light/shadows and you will be fine.

    But check the bellows in direct sunlight not lamp light, as there are often leaks you don't see till the sun comes around.

    Enjoy


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
    ~Stone | "...of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong." ~Dennis Miller

  10. #10
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StoneNYC View Post
    I always wondered how 645 people measure the distance since they don't display that numbering.
    Usually with two windows using the 6x9 numbers twice. i.e. Frame 1 is with No. 1 in the first window, frame 2 with No. 1 in the second window, frame 3 with No. 2 in the first window... and so on until you get to frame 16 with No. 8 in the second window.


    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

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