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Hi, I'm brand new to MF. I have a 120 folder (Ikonta 521/16). A friend gave me a couple of 220 rolls. Is it possibly to convert this camera to take 220 film? Can I put black tape over the window? Is there a significant difference in thickness between 120 and 220? Any guidance would be appreciated.
Yes, the thickness is the problem. 220 film does not have a full paper backing like 120, so the pressure plate must be different. The paper backing is only at the ends. Cameras that take both generally have a re-positionable pressure plate to accomodate both film types.
I suppose you might use a thin piece of plastic bonded to the pressure plate, but it would have to be exactly the right size. It would also have to be very smooth, including the ends, or you risk scratching the film. :cool:
You would also have to cover the red window on the back that you use to check the film advance (if there is such a window on the Ikonta) so advancing the film might be a little hit and miss.
Thanks a lot. I guess I'll run a 120 film through first and count the number of turns per frame. The piece of plastic might be a bit of a challenge. Thanks again.
I have used 220 film in a 120 camera and you may not need to fiddle with the pressure plate.
I don't think just counting the turns required for proper frame spacing on 120 will work for 220. The different thickness will mean that for the same degrees of rotation, the length of film spooled up will be different. It might be close at the very beginning of the roll, but you'll be more and more "off" as you go.
I think it's a neat thing to try, and I'm curious to know how it goes. If you shoot at small apertures (guessing f/16 to f/32) the film flatness issue may not be a problem.
If it were me, I'd go ahead and waste one roll of the cheapest 220 film and count the # of winds needed with the back open. You can use a sharpie marker or something similar to mark off the frames as they wind by, and record the # of turns you need to spool the whole roll.
As others have pointed out, you'll need to block the light coming in through the winding window, assuming that camera has one. Black electrical tape comes to mind.
Hmmmmm.... I'm curious enough to want to try this myself! I have an old Voigtlander Bessa, and getting only 8 frames on a roll is sometimes a pain. I wonder...
Let us know how it goes if you do try it!
To add to your solution...if you waste a roll of film then you have the proper thickness of paper that you could somehow tape to the pressure plate if you want...I believe that the paper backing on roll film measures out to .004"...just a bit thicker than human hair...the pressure plate should be able to pick up that amount of slack...if you want to eliminate all doubts then taping a strip of backing to the pressure plate should work...
why not just tape a piece of 120 backing paper to the plate !
Now that sounds like a good idea. What happens every time you advance? You have to see what number you're on. Good luck.
I'm not sure that you have to worry too much about the film thickness building up on the takeup spool changing that much. I have had a number of folders with auto functions on the takeup.... Balda Baldax (2 of them), PerkeoII (4 of these), Mamiya Six folder Auto (3 of these). Of these, the Baldas were the only ones that did not break down. The Perkeo's were about 50/50, and all of the Six Auto Mamiya were total failures after a while. However, while they were working I can tell you that there was never anything very sophisticated to take into consideration build up of film on the take up. The fact that the 220 film is thinner means less buildup as you go along until you have almost the same amount of film on the takeup by the end.
My point here is that I think you can do quite well counting the number and degree of turn, and then giving it a nudge for good luck. A bit of excess spacing can't hurt. And you do have to cover that ruby window, so counting turns is your only alternative. Also, the unique film pressure plate in the Mamiya Six folder would certainly take care of any differences in film thickness. The plate slides in after the film is loaded and is held firmly against the film whatever the thickness. This and the moving film plane focus is what gives the Mamiya folders a HUGE advantage in film flatness over all folders I have used. I would love to figure out how to adapt that system to a 6X9 folder.
Also, On both the Perkeos and the Mamiyas that failed to wind film with a locking counter, I have found it easy to strip out the counting mechanism, revert to the ruby window for spacing and still keep the double exposure prevention and the automatic shutter cocking. The Mamiya is extremely nice once you get rid of the stuff that breaks down, because it can be manually cocked for intentional double exposure. Using the ruby window has always given better film spacing on 120 film than any of the other auto mechanisms other than the Balda.
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