620 Film Cameras
I've been wanting to buy a camera that uses 620 film, maybe a camera from the Kodak Duaflex family being they're not in popular demand on eBay, so I can get one for less amount of money. I thought it'd be a good way of getting into medium format photography.
I heard that 620 film is the same as 120 just that their spools are different. The problem is I don't know if my local lab will be able to accept 620 film, but they can process 120.
I was wondering if anyone else uses a 620 camera and if you do, can you tell me how you get your film processed? Or is it a better idea to buy a camera that takes 120?
I use 620 cameras occasionally and re-spool 120 film, but I have always processed my own film.
If I were going to take it to the lab I'd spool it back onto a 120 spool, because I wouldn't trust them to return the 620 spool. If you have a very good relationship with your lab and trust them to return it, then maybe you can give it to them as-is.
I have never worked in a lab, but I'd think that they'd pull the film off the spool as a first step and after that it's obviously the same as 120 film, so I doubt there's a problem there.
As far as 620 vs 120 cameras, I think that unless you really want a camera that comes only in 620 you should just get a 120 camera. There are plenty of them available and you're far more likely to use it and enjoy it if you don't have to mess with respooling. Just my 2 cents.
620 really is just 120 film spooled onto a different spool. All the numbers on the paper backing line up with the red windows, etc.
620 spools are available on Ebay. I've got about a dozen of them.
I use a Kodak Panoram that way, and sometimes a Kodak Medalist.
Ask the lab for the spools back when you drop the film off, explaining to them that they cost you money, and if you don't get them back you'll have to charge them for any spools they throw away.
I haven't had a lab lose one of my spools yet.
One thing - are you comfy working in the dark, or with a changing bag, to spool the film onto the 620 spools?
If it was me I would get a camera that uses 120 film. I think you have to ask the lab if they will process 620 film. I know some labs will do it. But a good 120 film camera is not that expensive. The 620 spool is smaller than a 120. There are some information on the web on how to fit a 120 spool into a 620 camera and also how to re-spool 120 til 620 etc. If you do a google search on "620 film". You are right that 620 camera can be found very cheap. I got at near mint Kodak Vollenda 620 for approx. 5 EUR.
I haven't tried re-spooling yet being I haven't need to do it, but I think I'd be fine doing it in the dark.
are you comfy working in the dark, or with a changing bag, to spool the film onto the 620 spools?
Thank you for the advise. I think what I'll do is buy whatever I can that's for auction on eBay at the time, hopefully I'll be able to land on a 120. If not, I can always re-spool and ask my lab if they could develop my film for me. I'll be sure to ask for the 620 spools back as well, I don't quite see the point in throwing them away either. lol
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Yes, perhaps that wasn't clear: cameras that take 620 film will rarely take 120 film on 120 spools. You have to re-spool it onto 620 spools, or modify the camera (which may or may not be possible depending on the camera).
Originally Posted by MXP
Kodak made 620 with a smaller diameter spool in order to make smaller cameras, so the film compartment in these cameras is smaller. The film itself is the same.
Re-spooling film is not particularly difficult and it can be fun to mess around with one of these cameras, especially some of the really nice ones. But, if you're really more interested in shooting photos, then go with a 120.
I've just been given some out-dated 620 film (very o/d, like 30+ years!:o ), which I'm intending to experiment with, the "other-way round" by respooling onto 120 reels to try out in my Yashica TLR. It's quite easy to respool by winding forward onto a spare spool, then back onto the size you want to use, in either a changing-bag or suitably totally dark room.
As, however, there are no 620 films now manufactured, and in your case you would need a supply of 620 spools (and to make sure that the lab doesn't loose them ), it may be more practical to buy a 120 camera from the start. (Unless there was some other specific reason that you wanted to use 620 rather than 120?)
No, not really. It just seems as if 620 cameras are less wanted then cameras that take 120, so they're generally cheaper. Other then that, I'd like to try shooting with the older folding cameras that take 620 spools to see how it's like.
Unless there was some other specific reason that you wanted to use 620 rather than 120?
I have the folding Kodak Junior I,1957. One shutter speed,one f stop.It takes 620 film,8 frames and they are all very good.If you find one buy it and all you have to do is to convert its f/5,6 to f/16 or f/22. A very easy job to do. You will have much more sharp images.
I was just looking at a Kodak Junior. Lovely photo though.
I have the folding Kodak Junior I,1957.
Thank you for the advise of converting it's f stops.