Exposing Porta 120 with a Vigilant Six-20

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by Brian Harris, Oct 16, 2007.

  1. Brian Harris

    Brian Harris TPF Noob!

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    ** NOTE: Although the camera itself is classic, the film is probably the key aspect of my question. That's why I posted it here. **



    I found an old camera in the basement and it seems to work. It's a folding roll film camera. I've loaded it with Kodak's Porta 120 (some dremel work on the spool was necessary to make it fit).

    The Camera:
    http://www.zianet.com/connealy/vintagecameras/vigilant/index.html

    Here's what I'm wondering. I have all the old exposure guides and tables for the kodachrome and kodacolor film. But I suspect Porta exposes differently.

    Could I get exposure by using my D70's light meter? I couldn't dial in ISO120 though... but I could use ISO200 and then take it down a stop? This seems flawed: a digital camera light meter for new color film used in a 60 year-old camera. Too many variables.

    I don't have a clue what to do. But I'm excited to shoot with this camera.

    Cheers,
    Brian
     
  2. Steph

    Steph No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    120 corresponds to the size of the film, not to the speed of the film. Kodak Portra comes in 4 different 'flavours', VC (vivid colours) or NC (natural colours) and both in 160 or 400 ISO. So the speed of your film is either 160 or 400. Once you have found out, you can set this speed on your D70 and use it to measure the light as you would normally do.

    Also, medium format folding cameras are usually more than 40-50 year old. The material of the bellow usually does not age very well and you might get some tiny pinholes in it causing light leaks. You can check for light leaks by shining a small lamp in the bellows in a darkened room.
     
  3. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    Have you seen this page about using 120 film in 620 cameras?

    As Steph says, there are a few Portra films available in 120 - there's Portra 800 as well as the ISO 160 and ISO 400 flavours.

    All these films are very tolerant of overexposure, so set your D70 to the one lower than the film speed rating as a suggested starting point. It would be worth bracketing some frames to see what setting on your D70 gives the best exposures with the film.

    So, for Portra 800 set ISO 400 (it should be called EI 400 not ISO 400, but nobody pays any attention to that) on your D70.

    For Portra 400 set ISO 200 on your D70.

    For Portra 160 set ISO 100 on your D70.

    Good luck,
    Helen
     
  4. Brian Harris

    Brian Harris TPF Noob!

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    Well I feel silly. It is 400 speed so I'll meter at 200.

    I didn't check it for pinholes beforehand. So we'll see what happens!

    Thanks everyone for the help!
    Brian
     
  5. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    I use the Sunny 16 rule :wink:
     

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