Difference between 120 and 220 film

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by tasman, Jun 9, 2006.

  1. tasman

    tasman TPF Noob!

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    I am going to start using a medium format camera, a Bronica 6x4.5.

    Because of the differnt backs that are available, I was wondering, what is the difference between the size of 120 and 220 film?
     
  2. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    120 film has paper backing the negative and rolled together.
    220 film has paper only at either end of hte negative roll.

    220 will net you approx 2x more shots on a role depending. I've only shot with 120 as all my inserts are 120. I've been looking for some 220 inserts and as far as people have told me the only difference is the tension of the springed plate that keeps the negative flat.
     
  3. ThomThomsk

    ThomThomsk TPF Noob!

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    :thumbup: Welcome to the club. I use an ETRSi. Great cameras.

    The other thing to remember is that a lot of films just aren't available in 220 these days, whereas pretty much everything can be obtained in 120. Trying to use one film in the other kind of back may not work, or even cause damage (can't remember where I read that, but Google is your friend).
     
  4. BernieSC

    BernieSC TPF Noob!

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    there is no difference, 220 just contains more film since they use no paper as a backing along the roll. Most med format cameras can use both, the ones that can't usually is because they use a little window in the back as the frame counter that works with 120 because of the paper backing, 220 would be fogged in such a camera because there is no paper backing.
     
  5. tasman

    tasman TPF Noob!

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  6. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    The major operating difference for me was when I dropped the 220 roll on the floor while unloading it, I wasted twice as many shots..... Welcome to the world of medium format...
     
  7. Soocom1

    Soocom1 TPF Noob!

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    Hold the phone here folks...

    This from personal experience. The 220 has half as much thickness as 120, (as mentioned above) but this also changes the focal distance. Not by much, but infinity will change, as well as the sharp focus ability of the camera. In addition. Warning to all who don't know but use the Mamiyas and blads. (fortunately the ETRS doesn't have as much of a problem). Putting 220 into a 120 wont affect it much, but 120 in a 220 back can damage the spring. Also, a 220 back wont stop at exp.12. A 120 back can be severe damaged if you try to advance it further than exp.12. So use the appropriate back.
     
  8. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    Since I never owned any of those I had no idea, but it is good advice. I knew the presure plate was different because on a twin lens I had once. you had to reverse the plate to cut or raise the pressure.

    The winder damange would never occure to me since I never used 220 after my adventure with dropping a roll.
     
  9. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The old 12 Hassy backs can run a 220 film. There are a few tricks to do that:

    -plug the viewing hole in the back (with something like cork or a piece of thick and black felt)
    -load the film in subdued light and in the usual way, by closing the back when the arrows align with the mark
    -turn the winding key 9 full turns, the film counter should show the number 7
    -now turn (nudge) the winding key backwards to reset the counter to 1
    -expose normally for the first 12 exposures and then turn (nudge) again the winding key backwards to reset the counter back to 1

    In other words you will make two 12 exposures on that film. This advice comes from "The Hasselblad Way" by Freitag.

    This does not work with the A12 backs! Only with the old style 12 backs.
     

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