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Using 35mm film in a medium format camera
Old 05-16-2017   #1
Harry Caul
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Using 35mm film in a medium format camera

Was needing a bit of inspiration in my photography and picked up a 3D printed adapter to use 35mm film my medium format cameras. I loaded a roll in daylight like normal, shot the roll, then took it into the dark to wind it back into the cartridge. Because a roll of 35mm is roughly the same length as a roll of 120, you get the same number of images as you would normally. I have several MF cameras, but my Plaubel 670 (6x7 format) is always the first one I reach for so I got 10 shots on a 35mm... same as I would have with 120. I'm sure the film didn't sit flat across the gate with no contact at the top or bottom, but it's hard to tell if the focus was off because the film wasn't siting flat or if it wasn't scanned flat. As scanned by The Darkroom, the sprocket holes look skewed to me which makes me think sharpness might improve if I put them on a flat bed. I guess we'll see when I get the negs back. Anyway, this is a long-winded way to say, enjoy the experiment and all the sprocket-hole goodness!









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Old 05-16-2017   #2
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One of my dad's folding cameras actually had an adapter that allowed you to use 35mm (well, 828) in it in place of the 620/120 it normally used. I don't remember ever using it. I guess the idea has been around for decades, actually.
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Old 05-16-2017   #3
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Interesting...

I don't think something like the Rolleikin (35mm adapter for Rolleiflexes) allows for the same sprocket exposed look...
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Old 05-16-2017   #4
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Sprocket-hole photography holds no appeal for me. I'm a purist - I want my images sprocket-less, if only for the sharpness factor and, in my case for ease of printing and 'purity' (lovely archaic word, this, isn't it?) of the final product.

The Rolleiflex TLR system has a Rolleikin, a 35mm back with inserts for the earliest models (mine dates to 1949, I bought it for a few dollars at an estate sale and it fits every Rollei in my collection) or the later insert kits. Either will convert a Rollei TLR into a 35mm camera, quickly-smartly. If you find one, be sure it has the counter wheel, ort hat your Rollei already has one, or the Rolleikin will be just another useless photo gear bit in one of your storage boxes.

The one drawback (to some, not me) is the lens then becomes a short telephoto, of about 127mm. Contrast can be heightened in outdoor shots, which means one should shoot low contract (lower EI) films and use the appropriate filters in sunlit scenes.

For all this, I find I use my Rolleikin about 5% of the time, usually for close ups with Rolleinars/Rolleipars. I have also done series of portraits with my Rollei, as the 127mm factor is ideal for head and shoulders shoots.

Otherwise, AFAIK, no 120 roll film folding camera has ever had a 35mm adapter, altho these can be made at home quite easily. My eldest son went thru a period of wanting to adapt my Zeiss Nettar and Voigtlander Perkeo folders to use 35mm. He spent a few hours carefully drawing and cutting out black card inserts for the two cameras and then fitting them to the cameras, not as easy a process as one would imagine. results were so-so. Not quite sharp enough in my estimation, for big prints. But fun to play with if soft focus effects are your thing (they are not mine).

The Rolleikin was a professional standard 35mm kit and produced good enough images for publication (as I have done with mine). The rest is just for fun and not really serious stuff. Herein lies the difference.
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Old 05-16-2017   #5
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I used to do that with my Mamiya 7. Used the 35mm adapter but left out the mask. Good fun! Printed on a black background, they were quite eye catching.
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Old 05-16-2017   #6
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There is also a yashica tlr that has a 35mm adapter. The rolleikin of course gives you 35mm with normals paced negatives. I have actually enjoyed using it and found the results surprisingly good. Hard to think of other possibilities to get the tlr experience in 35mm or 35mm in native portrait mode.

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Old 05-16-2017   #7
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The Yashica 635 is the camera mentioned above - like the Rolleikin setup, with the camera set to use 35mm on the left and 120 on the right, depending what you have loaded.

But if you want sprocket-y shooting, you can do it for no additional cost if you have a dark bag or darkroom. Roll your 35mm film into a used paper 120 backing remembering to tape at the start as the 120 film was - hey presto. It's pretty much the same as re-rolling 120 onto 620 reels but with that additional bit of getting the film roughly in the right place on the backing.

The 120 reels will do the job fine - it's the loading/unloading that otherwise requires adapter arrangements, and of course film flatness would require a mask with guide rails per the Rolleikin/ Yashica 635 adapters.
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Old 05-16-2017   #8
Sarcophilus Harrisii
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Caul View Post
Was needing a bit of inspiration in my photography and picked up a 3D printed adapter to use 35mm film my medium format cameras. I loaded a roll in daylight like normal, shot the roll, then took it into the dark to wind it back into the cartridge. Because a roll of 35mm is roughly the same length as a roll of 120, you get the same number of images as you would normally. I have several MF cameras, but my Plaubel 670 (6x7 format) is always the first one I reach for so I got 10 shots on a 35mm... same as I would have with 120. I'm sure the film didn't sit flat across the gate with no contact at the top or bottom, but it's hard to tell if the focus was off because the film wasn't siting flat or if it wasn't scanned flat. As scanned by The Darkroom, the sprocket holes look skewed to me which makes me think sharpness might improve if I put them on a flat bed. I guess we'll see when I get the negs back. Anyway, this is a long-winded way to say, enjoy the experiment and all the sprocket-hole goodness!
Sorry, I don't quite follow. Except for rolls of 12 exposures, not very popular with most film shooters in recent times, a 36 exposure roll of film is more like a roll of 220 length wise, and even a roll of 24 exposures is longer than a 120 roll.
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Old 05-17-2017   #9
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That third shot is fantastic. I definitely need to get myself some of those adapters... and then to find out if my local lab will scan them...
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Old 05-17-2017   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arbitrarium View Post
That third shot is fantastic. I definitely need to get myself some of those adapters... and then to find out if my local lab will scan them...
No need for an adapter.

All you need is to use paper from a 120 roll and re-roll with 35mm in place of the 120 film. In your darkbag or other suitably black space, tape the 35mm where the 120 would have been and re-roll everything with the taped end coming out first -- don't tape the other end. It will probably be easiest to roll on from the taped end then back onto another roll for use. (Same process seems to work best for rolling 620 from 120).

If you develop 120 you are essentially reconstructing what you took apart for development.

This gets you numbers on the back, avoidance of light on your film, etc.

If you want you can just use a bottle opener on a commercial film can to get your film to use.
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Old 05-17-2017   #11
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Originally Posted by ozmoose View Post
The one drawback (to some, not me) is the lens then becomes a short telephoto, of about 127mm.
Surely it's a short telephoto of 75mm or 80mm depending on what you have on the camera. The focal length won't change at all.

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Old 05-17-2017   #12
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I was just reading about doing this with the Yashica 635 too. Load 35mm film but do not use the mask and tape the end of the film to a 120 spool. Use the 120 film advance, not the 35mm and you have sprockets and a wider shot. Probably could build a mask to keep the width but not have the sprockets too.

https://www.lomography.com/magazine/...ashica-635-tlr

I have a 635 (with Yashinon lens and the 35mm kit) on the way so I will have to try this. Did Yashica have a right angle viewfinder attachment like Mamiya offered for their TLRs? That would make shooting horizontal easier (when shooting wide 35mm).

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Old 05-17-2017   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shawn View Post
I was just reading about doing this with the Yashica 635 too. Load 35mm film but do not use the mask and tape the end of the film to a 120 spool. Use the 120 film advance, not the 35mm and you have sprockets and a wider shot. Probably could build a mask to keep the width but not have the sprockets too.

https://www.lomography.com/magazine/...ashica-635-tlr

I have a 635 (with Yashinon lens and the 35mm kit) on the way so I will have to try this. Did Yashica have a right angle viewfinder attachment like Mamiya offered for their TLRs? That would make shooting horizontal easier (when shooting wide 35mm).

Shawn
You've lost me.

The 635 has vertical film (portrait orientation). Are you saying using the camera on its side? AFAIK there is no pentaprism VF for the Yashicas so you would need to look across into the VF, and cope with the inversion.

I have 2 1960's film catalogs (sorry - catalogues would have been the correct spelling in 1960's Australia) - and the Yashica is a LOT cheaper than the Mamiya- and that's before accessorizing.
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Old 05-17-2017   #14
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And thanks for the Lomography link.

I've never tried that with the film. The trouble (so to speak) would be the film only in a space designed for film + heavy paper - so not a truly flat film.

The plus though (compared to some other approaches) would be the ability to rewind the film.

FWIW - my 635 came without the 35mm insert - and a bought a slightly incomplete set and made a replacement film linkage with a cut-down 120mm reel, inserting a small plate into the drive slot. This kind of DIY is easy enough if you are simply running canister-to-canister in a 120 layout.
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Old 05-17-2017   #15
Harry Caul
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Here is the adapter I used. I don't have any connection with the seller other than that is who I happened to buy it from. The plans are also available for free online if you have access to a 3D printer.



The custom take up spool isn't necessary, but it should help keep the film straight.

As for the length of the film -- I was mistaken. 120 film is only about 30" long while a 36 exposure roll of 35mm film should be more than double that (around 65"). Part of the difference would be accounted for by the lack of a paper leader. With 120 in my Plaubel, you put the paper tab in the take up spool and then advance the crank until the arrows line up, then close the back and crank a few more times to get past the paper and to get the counter set on 1. With the 35mm film, I just pulled enough film out to fit in the custom take up spool, closed the back and cranked until the counter was on 1. I then shot like normal and only got 10 shots. After your last shot with 120 you feel the crank loosen up as the film releases from the original spool and is fully wrapped up on the take up spool. With the 35mm cartridge, I was worried if kept cranking it might rip the film from the cartridge.

I'm sure I wasted film loading it the way I did, but it's hard to say how much and on which end of the roll. I suppose I could tape a paper leader on the end of the film and roll it back into the cartridge. I should probably also set the camera to 220 as then it will be expecting a longer roll of film and adjusts the pressure plate to a thinner film stock -- which might help with my film flatness/sharpness problems.

Anyway, this was just a quick roll I shot as an experiment. I had no framing lines to go by or anything in my RF. I just roughly centered my shots vertically and hoped for the best. I'll know more when I get my negs back. I asked them not to cut it so hopefully I can see on which end I'm wasting the most exposures.
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Old 05-17-2017   #16
David Hughes
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Hi,

With the proper adapter your 35mm film comes back as though it was shot in a 35mm camera. I'm thinking of Rollei as I type this as I had one of the early adapters for my 1930's Rolleiflex.

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Old 05-17-2017   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Caul View Post
Was needing a bit of inspiration in my photography and picked up a 3D printed adapter to use 35mm film my medium format cameras. I loaded a roll in daylight like normal, shot the roll, then took it into the dark to wind it back into the cartridge. Because a roll of 35mm is roughly the same length as a roll of 120, you get the same number of images as you would normally. I have several MF cameras, but my Plaubel 670 (6x7 format) is always the first one I reach for so I got 10 shots on a 35mm... same as I would have with 120. I'm sure the film didn't sit flat across the gate with no contact at the top or bottom, but it's hard to tell if the focus was off because the film wasn't siting flat or if it wasn't scanned flat. As scanned by The Darkroom, the sprocket holes look skewed to me which makes me think sharpness might improve if I put them on a flat bed. I guess we'll see when I get the negs back. Anyway, this is a long-winded way to say, enjoy the experiment and all the sprocket-hole goodness!










How fun are these shots!
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Old 05-17-2017   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrambler View Post
The 635 has vertical film (portrait orientation). Are you saying using the camera on its side? AFAIK there is no pentaprism VF for the Yashicas so you would need to look across into the VF, and cope with the inversion.
That is what I was asking about, if there was an alternate viewfinder to make it easier to shoot 35mm landscape in the Yashica... esp. if the mask was left out to make it nearly panoramic.

Thanks,

Shawn
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Old 05-17-2017   #19
Harry Caul
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Got my negs back today. They didn't cut the individual photos, but unfortunately they trimmed off the leading edge so I can't tell how much film I wasted while loading.

That's probably not my problem tho as there was a ton of unused emulsion at the end of the roll. I wonder if the Plaubel has some sort of shutter deactivation mechanism tied to the counter. When I hit 10 shots the crank freed up and I was just winding and winding and the shutter didn't re-cock. I think next time I definitely should set it for 220 and see if it gives me more shots. There wasn't enough unused emulsion for 11 more shots (220 gives 21 shots on a 6x7 Plaubel), but I would guess another 7-8 at least.
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Old 05-17-2017   #20
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Hi, Been removing clutter from my life this week. Came across a February 1955 issue of U.S. Camera with an article titled "Shooting 35 in 120 cameras".Kodak made more then a few adapters using 35mm film for their folding cameras and the use of 828 in the Chevron..Ricohflex and Rollei also had adapters....the ads and articles in the old mags are eye opening.....regards,Bill
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Old 05-17-2017   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valdas View Post
I have done this with Bessa II (using 120 spool and backing paper)... I got it a bit wrong.... but some shots came out quite funny:

Love this!

The whole reason I started experimenting with 35mm film in an MF camera was because I was day-dreaming about a future panoramic camera purchase (something like a Fuji 617, Noblex, Xpan, etc...). After doing some research I realized the Xpan neg (24x65) would be roughly the same as sticking 35mm film in a 6x7 MF (24x70) if you crop out the sprocket holes. Figured my Plaubel w/80mm lens would be a good free approximation of an Xpan w/90mm lens.

Next time I test a roll for film flatness/sharpness, I'll be sure to find a more static subject than swinging kids!
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Old 05-17-2017   #22
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If you want youcan save money and just cut down 120 reels to fit the 35mm. As above, thats what I did to replace a missing piece for my adapter. Looks like the middle part of your pic. You can carve the same for the other side of the 35mm canister and use a standard reel with adhesive tape at the other end. But rewind manually in a darkbag/darkroom.
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Old 06-22-2017   #23
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Good news. I think my previous focus concerns were a scanning issue/child stillness issue, not a film flatness problem. Focus is bang on. I also found that with the Plaubel 670 set to 220 film, I can get 19 shots on a roll of 35mm 36 exp film. That leaves very little waste, just a bit on the front end of the roll because there is no paper leader. Framing is a still a mystery, but that just adds to the excitement!

Super fun!

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Old 06-22-2017   #24
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That's a lovely photo.

Framing - you should be able to make up one of the make-do options - either a wire frame accessory finder (out of fencing wire or similar) or make a screening device for the top and bottom of your VF - even electrical tape though the adhesive can be an issue. you should be able to measure up the top and bottom - deduct 35mm from the 56mm of the MF, divide by 2 for the top and bottom of the film - so about 10.5/56 off top and bottom. The central portion is 24 of 56 - a little less than 1/2. If you want, reducing the front of the VF to 1/2 usual with 1/4 marked off the top and 1/4 off the bottom should approximate.

PS - and the film flatness will be much improved with the 220 settings - which should move the pressure plate closer in.
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Old 06-22-2017   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmr View Post
One of my dad's folding cameras actually had an adapter that allowed you to use 35mm (well, 828) in it in place of the 620/120 it normally used. I don't remember ever using it. I guess the idea has been around for decades, actually.
I have a back for 4x5 and one for 9x12 that takes 828 which the holders call 35mm. I have acquired a film splitter, but have yet to use it. I once talked with a photographer who formally worked in the auto business. He claimed the 4x5 back especially was used for the film saving, and still being able to use movements was a reason for it. Never made sense to me, but I guess if you needed enough photos and had sufficient magnification, it would all work out. I have no idea what lenses might have been used. I also don't know all the films used. I know I have read of b/w and one of my holders talks about Kodachrome.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #26
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I tried using the 120 backing paper and just roll the 35mm film but the film didn't stay aligned. I'm using a Pentax 67 and a metal mask since I'm afraid of the ends of the film to damage the cloth curtains.
Is there a way to ensure that the film will stay in the center?

The first one was ok but as I kept advancing the film it got pretty bad.


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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #27
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great shots!
I have some 35mm-120 spools as I figured I could use them on my MF as a cheap/bulky XPAN camera, just havent had much chance to shoot with it.

Have a Holga 120GFN that I wanted to play with this, I'll give it a whirl this weekend.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #28
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I have a 35mm back for my Plaubel Makina III and IIIR.

Those ARE fun shots!
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel.E View Post
I tried using the 120 backing paper and just roll the 35mm film but the film didn't stay aligned. I'm using a Pentax 67 and a metal mask since I'm afraid of the ends of the film to damage the cloth curtains.
Is there a way to ensure that the film will stay in the center?
Please see this post of mine above for a link to the 35mm->MF adapter I used. It keeps the 35mm film canister centered on the spools -- which in turn helps when framing in the viewfinder as you know you'll be capturing roughly the center section in line with the RF spot. Good luck... it's quite fun!
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #30
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Yes thank you! I saw that but I don't want to use an adapter like that. I want to be able to respool 35mm into 120 backing paper. Adapters like that one need a small dark bag in the field and I just want to have a couple of preloaded rolls and then keep shooting 120.
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