Graflex "23" Roll Film Back
I've got a Graflex RB Super D camera and I've been thinking of taking it out for a spin. I've been practicing with it, doing dry fire, until I think I'm ready to shoot for real. Next time I get a day off and the weather is ice, I'm planning to take it out.
With it, I have a Graflex "23" roll film holder. I feel confident that I know how to load and use it but I have one question.
The frame counter shows that I get 8 frames out of a roll of 120 film but, it looks like I can get 9 if I'm careful at the end of the roll.
I have an old roll of film I keep around for practice. I spoiled a roll, a while back, so I figured I might as well get some use out of it.
When I want to practice with a camera, I load it up then, when I'm done, I roll it back to the beginning by hand.
So... In my practice runs with the Graflex "23" holder, I noticed that there is a frame's worth of film left at the tail of the roll.
I looks like, if I'm careful, there's one more exposure there. When you get to exposure number 8, press the release lever and turn the knob just until the point of the arrow lines up with the index mark.
I suppose I could try it and, if it doesn't work, I'll know but I just wondered what the experts think.
For me, my concern is maybe the best shot would be #9 and something didn't work as I expected. There must be some reason why there are 8 pictures per roll. Rather than trying to re-invent the back, would rather put the time and effort into other areas. However, to each their own, and if it works, go for it. Good Luck.
I develop my own film, rolling onto stainless steel reels. And sometimes it takes a bit to get the film under the clip at the center of the reel and I end up with those small crescents from creasing the film ever so slightly. So for me an inch or more of blank film at the end of the roll is a safety area. Maybe if it wasn't there I'd be much more careful in loading the reel.
I rarely get 120 developed at a lab, but I imagine that machines or such need some handling room at each end of the roll.
So this safety zone at the ends would be my concern. I'm sure the Holga crowd would love the machine marks and such in their frame, but that's not my style.
Film isn't ~that~ expensive yet, Randy.
Experiement to your heart's content, but when I get serious I forget about trying to push the envelope beyond the original design and intent.
Graflex roll holders have autostop. If loaded properly, the holder will stop advancing film when frame one is ready to be exposed, and after that will stop when the film has been advanced one frame plus the interframe gap. Autostop will work until the film is advanced to the last frame (8, 10, 12, depending on whether the roll holder is designed for nominal 6x9, 6x7, or 6x6). After that autostop disengages and its up to you to advance the film one frame plus the interframe gap. I suppose you can work it out, but if you don't get it right, the length of film in the gate ready to expose after you've gone past the last frame will be somewhat random. You may also have film flatness problems because the end of the film, if in the gate, may buckle a little.
If your RB Super D has a Graflok back, you can use (if you can find one) an Adapt-A-Roll 620 roll holder to get 9 frames. These devices don't have autostop, will give 9 nominal 6x9 frames/roll if loaded correctly.
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There is a little over five inches of unused film at the end of a roll of Tri-X.
I have an old roll of film that I screwed up and spoiled but, instead of throwing it out, I saved it for practice. Times just like these.
I just wind it back to the beginning again and use it over and over. Since it has already been exposed to light, it doesn't matter.
Anyhow, I loaded the practice roll and traced around the opening in the film back with a pencil to mark every frame.
Everything works the way it's supposed to but, when you get to the eighth frame, there is enough film left over to make one more exposure, plus a good inch of film left at the tail. That includes a generous amount for inter-frame spacing.
Yes, you have to load the roll correctly and you have to wind carefully at the end.
I figure this is like the 37th shot on a roll of 35mm film.
It's there. It's usable film but you can't always count on it. Proceed with the understanding that it might not always work.
I used to do it with Provia when I was learning with a Hasselblad "peep hole" back.
The lab dude would get P Oed lol.
It seemed with Fuji E6 you could get lucky 13 easy with the peep hole bladback.
Now is the issue of dealing with storage/working with a single cut 6x6 frame